Gramercy Bow Compass

The ridged cylindrical handle on this metal bow pencil is directly attached to a ring. The tops of the legs are pointed. A metal disc between the legs adjusts the width of the instrument. The bow screw is bolted inside the legs and has no nuts on the outsides of the legs. Thumbscrews on the front of one leg and the back of the other adjust the height of the needle and pencil points. The compass is marked: GRAMERCY IMPORT GERMANY.
The Gramercy Import Company began operating around 1930. Robert Behrens Condon studied engineering at the University of Vermont and Columbia University in the late 1940s and early 1950s, which is probably when he purchased this instrument. He operated the New Englander Motor Inn with his politically active wife, Marie, from 1955 to 1978.
Reference: "April Milestones 2012," Friends Journal,
Currently not on view
Object Name
bow pencil
compass, drawing
date made
mid 20th century
Gramercy Import Co.
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
overall: 16 cm x 5.4 cm x 1.2 cm; 6 5/16 in x 2 1/8 in x 15/32 in
place made
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Dividers and Compasses
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Dividers and Compasses
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Robert B. Condon

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