August Linke Miner's Dial

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This is a compass in a gimbal mount that can hang from a line. The silvered face reads counterclockwise, and has a raised rim graduated to 30 minutes. There is also a semicircle that hangs vertically from a line, and is graduated to 30 minutes.The signature reads "AUGUST LINGKE & CO FREIBERG IN SA NO 1111." Albert Joseph Seligman (1859-1935) probably bought this instrument in the late 1870s when he studied mining engineering at Freiberg. He probably gave it to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his alma mater, around 1899, when he obtained a seat on the New York Stock Exchange.
Wilhelm Friedrich Lingke (1784-1867) was a mathematical instrument maker in Freiberg, Saxony. August Friedrich Lingke (1811-1874) studied at Freiberg University and then worked for his father. He took charge of the business in 1859, trading as August Lingke & Co. Max Hildebrand purchased the firm in 1873, but kept the old name until 1889. The Royal School of Mines in Freiberg attracted many students, foreign as well as German, and many of these students purchased Lingke surveying instruments.
Ref: J. B. Te Pas, “Max Hildebrand, late August Lingke & Co. G.m.b.H.,”Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society 58 (1998): 19-21.
Currently not on view
August Lingke & Co.
place made
Deutschland: Sachsen, Freiberg
needle: 8 cm; 3 5/32 in
semicircle: 24 cm; 9 7/16 in
overall in case: 6 9/16 in x 10 3/8 in x 4 1/2 in; 16.66875 cm x 26.3525 cm x 11.43 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Department of Civil Engineering
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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