Elliott Brothers Dumpy Level

This level, marked "Elliott Bros, London," was made between 1854, when Elliott Brothers began using this form of signature, and 1916, when the firm became Elliott Bros. (London) Ltd. Unlike American levels of the period, this example is provided with a magnetic compass. The floating ring that holds the needle is made of aluminum, graduated to 30 minutes, and read against a pin outside the compass box. This level was probably used or repaired in California: a label in the wooden case reads "John Roach, Optician, 129 Montgomery Street, San Francisco."
Ref: Elliott Brothers, General Illustrated Catalogue, with Supplementary Lists, of Philosophical, Optical, and Mathematical Instruments (London, about 1867), p. 4 and Fig. 5.
Currently not on view
Object Name
dumpy level
Elliott Brothers
telescope: 7 1/8 in x 4 5/16 in x 15 in; 18.0975 cm x 10.95375 cm x 38.1 cm
case: 8 1/8 in x 5 5/8 in x 18 in; 20.6375 cm x 14.2875 cm x 45.72 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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