Gurley Surveyor's Compass

Description
W. & L. E. Gurley submitted this instrument to the U. S. Patent Office in support of their application for a patent describing an Improvement in Telescope Attachments for Surveyors’ Compasses. The patent (#205,742) was issued on July 9, 1878. The Patent Office transferred this model to the Smithsonian in 1926.
The basic instrument is a standard small compass with a north-south level on the north arm, and an east-west level and an outkeeper on the south arm. The hand-engraved signature indicates that the compass was made before the middle of 1876. The telescope, which attaches to one of the sight vanes, was presumably made shortly before the patent application was submitted in June 1878. The signature reads "W. & L. E. Gurley" and "Troy, N.Y."
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
surveyor's compass
maker
W. & L. E. Gurley
Measurements
overall length: 12 3/4 in; 32.385 cm
needle: 4 in; 10.16 cm
telescope: 8 5/8 in; 21.9329 cm
place made
United States: New York, Troy
ID Number
PH*308958
catalog number
308958
accession number
89797
patent number
205,742
subject
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
Additional Media

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.

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.