Keuffel & Esser 510 Beam Compass

This German silver instrument has steel and brass points. Two trammels have thumbscrews for fastening to a wooden bar (not included) and for attaching one of the five points. One trammel has a micrometer and is marked on the front: KEUFFEL & ESSER Co. N.Y. GERMANY. The back is marked: PARAGON. Above this mark is scratched: CE1RD. Compare this mark to 1978.2110.02.
The attachments include a pencil point, an adjustable pen point, two steel needle points, and one brass needle point. A rectangular wooden case is covered with morocco leather and lined with green velvet. The bottom of the case is marked: GERMANY.
K&E sold this instrument as model number 510 at least as early as 1892, but the Paragon brand was not introduced until 1901. By 1936 the points were stainless steel instead of steel. The price with case was $10.25 in 1909.
References: Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co. , 23rd ed. (New York, 1892), 34; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co. , 33rd ed. (New York, 1909), 69; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co. , 36th ed. (New York, 1921), 66; Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser Co. , 38th ed. (New York, 1936), 107, 121.
Currently not on view
Object Name
beam compass
date made
Keuffel & Esser Co.
Physical Description
leather (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
wood (overall material)
velvet (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 18 cm x 7 cm x 3 cm; 7 3/32 in x 2 3/4 in x 1 3/16 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 Ruth A. Ming
Additional Media

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