August Lingke Telescopic Alidade

The telescope of this instrument has stadia wires and a hanging level. The base has a level vial, a screw adjustment, and a vertical arc that extends 50 degrees either way and that is read by vernier to single minutes. There is also a plumbing arm for use on plane tables.
Albert Joseph Seligman (1859-1935) probably bought this alidade in the late 1870s, when he studied mining engineering at Freiberg, and he probably donated it to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his alma mater, around 1899, when he obtained a seat on the New York Stock Exchange. The signature reads "AUGUST LINGKE & CO FREIBERG IN SA NO 1315." A German silver tag on the wooden box reads "Albert J. Seligman New York."
Currently not on view
Object Name
telescopic alidade
August Lingke & Co.
telescope: 13 1/2 in; 34.29 cm
base: 20 in; 50.8 cm
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Freiberg
ID Number
accession number
catalog 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


Add a comment about this object