Messer Surveyor's Compass

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This compass is more British than American, and in Britain it would have been referred to as a "circumferentor." The face reads clockwise. The needle rim is graduated to single degrees, and numbered counterclockwise from north. The "Messer London" signature refers to Benjamin Messer, an instrument maker who was in business during the years 1789–1827.
Ref: Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550–1851 (London, 1995), p. 187.
Currently not on view
overall length: 13 in; 33.02 cm
needle: 4 in; 10.16 cm
overall: 6 1/4 in x 12 1/2 in x 4 3/4 in; 15.875 cm x 31.75 cm x 12.065 cm
ID Number
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Credit Line
Museum of Science and Industry
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
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National Museum of American History