Dietzgen 967A Beam Compass

This steel instrument is plated with chromium and stored in a leatherette pocketbook case lined with purple velvet. The inside of the flap is marked: DIETZGEN. The back of the case is marked: GERMANY. The beam compass consists of a solid tubular beam, 13" long and 3/16" in diameter; a second solid tubular beam, 6" long and 3/16" in diameter; a coupling for joining the beams with a thumbscrew; a needle point with a micrometer adjustment; a second needle point; a pencil point; a pen point; and a cylindrical case holding one extra lead and two additional needles. The handles on the points are cylindrical with a honeycomb pattern. The thumbscrew on the needle point with micrometer is marked: DIETZGEN GERMANY.
The Eugene Dietzgen Co., a Chicago manufacturer and retailer of mathematical instruments, advertised the model 967A "Champion" brand beam compass and case in the late 1930s for $8.50. Dietzgen may have purchased instruments in the Champion line from Bayerische Reisszeugfabrik, a company in Nuremberg, Germany, that was owned by Joseph Dietzgen and made ECOBRA brand slide rules. See 1984.1071.04.
References: Catalog of Eugene Dietzgen Co., 15th ed. (Chicago, 1938), 141; Dietzgen Essential Drawing Instruments and Materials, cat. no. 38A (Chicago, [1939]), 11.
Currently not on view
Object Name
beam compass
date made
ca 1938
Physical Description
chromium (overall material)
leather (overall material)
velvet (overall material)
steel (overall material)
overall: 34.7 cm x 6.1 cm x 2 cm; 13 21/32 in x 2 13/32 in x 25/32 in
place made
Deutschland: Bayern, Nuremberg
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 Sebastian J. Tralongo

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.