Pantograph in Case, Keuffel & Esser Model 1127

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This brass pantograph consists of four hollow bars with rectangular cross section. These are thirty-one inches and twenty-nine inches long, with the distance from the fulcrum to the points being twenty-eight inches. The bars slide on three metal wheels. The bar containing the pencil point is marked for ratios up to 1:6. There is also a vernier divided into tenths. The tracer and pencil points are on the outside bars. A cup on the pencil mechanism hold weights, such as coins or shot. An extra tracer point is stored on a screw in the bottom of the case. Strings wound around spools on these mechanisms are set by lowering a pin on the spool into a slot on the adjacent metal bar. Each spool is supported by another metal bar which has a black handle. A lead weight with two metal side plates and screws and a metal under plate fits into a pinion on one of the central brass bars. A metal clamp slides into place to secure the weight. Since the tracer and pencil are not on parallel bars, it seems to be especially important to have the tracer, weight, and pencil lay in the same line when attempting to copy a drawing.
The pantograph is stored in a wooden case with two metal hooks and a lock. The interior of the case holds three wooden bars, each with two brass screws that secure the instrument in transit.
A mark on one bar reads: KEUFFEL & ESSER Co (/) NEW YORK (/) 42555, giving the serial number. A mark on a metal tag on the front of the lid of the case reads: KEUFFEL & ESSER CO. (/) CHICAGO. NEW YORK. ST. LOUIS. (/) SAN FRANCISCO. MONTREAL. (/) NO. 42555.
Keuffel & Esser was offering pantographs with bars twenty-four inches, twenty-eight inches and thirty-three inches long (the models 1126, 1127 and 1128 respectively) from at least 1890. However, the cross-section of the bars was square. By its 1906 catalog, the cross-section of pantographs 1126, 1127, and 1128 was rectangular – as it is in this example. Hence this appears to be a model 1127 in the later style. Three models also was listed in the 1909 catalog. Catalogs for 1913, 1916, and 1921 list only the model 1127. None of these pantographs were listed in the 1927 or 1936 catalogs. Hence it seems likely (especially considering the high serial number) that this pantograph was made between 1910 and 1925.
Catalogue of Keuffel & Esser, New York, 1890 (p. 107), 1892 (p. 107), 1906 (p. 168), 1909 (p. 154), 1913 (p. 151), 1916 (p. 151), 1921 (p. 102), 1936.
Currently not on view
date made
Keuffel & Esser Co.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
brass (overall material)
lead (overall material)
overall: 17.5 cm x 87.5 cm x 29.2 cm; 6 7/8 in x 34 7/16 in x 11 1/2 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Keuffel & Esser Company
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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