Butenschön Level

This level is marked "GEORG BUTENSCHN BAHRENFELD. B. HAMBURG" and "G.B. Hbg" and "D.R.P. 36795." Georg Butenschön was the proprietor of a workshop for scientific instruments located in Bahrenfeld, near Hamburg, and he showed his wares at the international exhibitions in Chicago (1893), Berlin (1896), and Paris (1900).
His basic pocket level was based on his German patent (#36795 dated 1886), which described an instrument in which the level vial, cross hairs, and distant object were seen together through the eyepiece of the telescope. The lower, angle-measuring part of the instrument is based on another Butenschön patent (#76668 dated 1894).
This example has screws for horizontal and vertical fine adjustment. The horizontal circle is graduated to degrees, and read by vernier to single minutes. The base of the instrument is a ball and socket joint that can be screwed into a piece of wood.
Ref: Georg Butenschön, Beschreibung der Taschen–Nivellir–Instrument (Bahrenfeld bei Hamburg, 1902).
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Mechanik und Optik, Special Catalogue of the Collective Exhibition of Scientific Instruments and Appliances (Berlin, 1893), p. 16.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Butenschön, George
overall: 1 3/4 in x 9 1/4 in x 4 1/2 in; 4.445 cm x 23.495 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Mechanik und Optik. Special Catalogue of the Collective Exhibition of Scientific Instruments and Appliances
Butenschön, Georg. Beschreibung der Taschen-Nivellir-Instrument
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