Keuffel & Esser Transit

Keuffel & Esser offered this distinctive form of instrument, with the twisted standards, from the early 1890s to around 1915. This example, which has a vertical arc extending over 160 degrees, was made around 1901, and belonged to the University of Montana. New, it cost about $220. The solar attachment, which allows the surveyor to determine the astronomical meridian, latitude, and time, cost an additional $50.
The horizontal circle is read by opposite verniers to single minutes. The vertical arc is read by vernier to single minutes. There are clamps and tangent screws to the horizontal circle and to the telescope axis. The signature reads "KEUFFEL & ESSER CO. 5884 NEW YORK" and "PATENTED DEC. 3. 89. MAY 26. 91. OCT. 13. 91." The dates refer to patents granted to John Paoli.
Ref: Keuffel & Esser, Descriptive Price-List of Improved Surveying Instruments (New York, 1893 ), pp. 11-13.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Keuffel & Esser Co.
overall: 12 1/2 in; 31.75 cm
horizontal circle: 6 1/2 in; 16.51 cm
vertical arc: 5 in; 12.7 cm
needle: 4 3/4 in; 12.065 cm
telescope: 11 1/4 in; 28.575 cm
hanging level: 5 in; 12.7 cm
telescope solar attachment: 6 in; 15.24 cm
place made
United States: New York
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
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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