Dietzgen Surveyor's Vernier Compass

Dietzgen introduced this form in the 1930s, describing it as a Surveying and Timber Cruisers’ Compass of an "improved type as made by us for the U.S. Government." Dietzgen designed it to make "the entrance of moisture or dust practically impossible." The needle ring is graduated to degrees, and numbered in quadrants from N and S. A pinion with capstan head, located outside the box at W and marked "Declination," is used to offset the compass for magnetic variation. The National Imagery and Mapping Agency transferred this example to the Smithsonian in 2000. The signature reads "Dietzgen Made in U.S.A."
Ref: Dietzgen, Catalogue (Chicago, 1938), p. 617.
Currently not on view
overall: 4 1/2 in; 11.43 cm
needle: 3 in; 7.62 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
U.S. Department of Defense, National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Geodesy and Geophysics Department
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


Add a comment about this object