Set of Drawing Instruments

This polished wooden case is lined with green satin and velvet and is fastened with two brass hooks. It holds ten brass and steel drawing instruments and attachments:
1) A 5-3/4" pair of dividers with a leg that may be removed by loosening two screws.
2) A 5-1/2" pair of dividers with a leg removed by loosening one thumbscrew. The point on the other leg is broken.
3) Two drawing pens (2-5/8" and 1-3/4") with short brass handles.
4) A 2-3/8" pricker.
5) A 4" extension bar that can be inserted into the second pair of dividers.
6) Pen and pencil points that fit the second pair of dividers.
7) A 3-3/4" compass with only one leg and a pen point that fits this compass.
Because they fit snugly in the case and have matching blue screws, both pairs of dividers, the pen and pencil points for the second pair of dividers, the compass and pen point, and the shorter drawing pen are likely original to the set. The Smithsonian acquired this object in 1960. It probably dates to the early 19th century.
Currently not on view
Object Name
drawing instruments, set of
date made
early 19th century
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
steel (overall material)
paper (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 2.5 cm x 16.8 cm x 12.1 cm; 31/32 in x 6 5/8 in x 4 3/4 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Science & Mathematics
Drafting, Engineering
Drawing Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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