F. Arnold Surveyor's Vernier Compass

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This is an incomplete example (the arms are missing) of an unusual 4–armed instrument. The needle rim is graduated to 30 minutes. The variation scale, at south, extends ± 20 degrees, and is read by vernier to single minutes. The “F. Arnold & Co.” signature refers to Francis Arnold, an immigrant from Frankfurt, Germany, who signed naturalization papers in Philadelphia in 1854. After working briefly for William J. Young, Arnold went into business on his own, advertising as a manufacturer of surveying and engineering instruments. He settled in Chicago around 1860. By 1875, B. Kratzenstein was advertising as Successor to F. Arnold & Co.
Currently not on view
date made
F. Arnold & Co.
dial: 6 3/4 in; 17.145 cm
overall: 3 7/8 in x 8 1/8 in x 8 1/4 in; 9.8425 cm x 20.6375 cm x 20.955 cm
ID Number
catalog number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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