Set of Drawing Instruments


This wooden bar-lock case is covered with black leather and lined with purple velvet. The top is marked: OTTO FRUTH. A metal holder inside the lid secures a 4-1/8" wooden triangle and 6-1/2" beveled wooden straight edge. The bottom of the case contains: 5-1/8" German silver and steel dividers with removable point, pen point, and pencil point; 3/4" metal joint tightener; 1-7/8" brass cylindrical case with four graphite lead pieces; and 5-3/8" ivory, German silver, and steel drawing pen. The inside of one leg of the dividers and the insertion tip on the pencil point are both marked: 66. The pen point is marked: D.R.P. 40967.

An empty slot in the case suggests a lengthening bar is missing. The pen point may have come from another drawing compass, and the drawing pen may not be original to this set. German patent record 40967 was not located.

Otto J. Fruth (1874–1965) was the father of the donor. Born and raised in St. Louis, Mo., he studied at the manual training school that became Washington University, earning a dental degree in 1897 and a medical degree in 1898. He was elected corresponding secretary of the Missouri State Dental Association in 1902, and in 1908, he built a house for his practice. Until 1918 he operated Barnes Medical College with two other dentists, George H. Owen and D. E. Morrow. For a set of drawing instruments owned by his father, Andreas Fruth, see 1990.0115.01.

References: Fruth Family, Papers, 1862–1920s, Missouri History Museum,; "Missouri State Dental Association," The Dental Cosmos 44, no. 7 (July 1902): 761; "American, Barnes, and National College Collection, 1881–1915," Bernard Becker Library Archives,; accession file.

Date Made: ca 1900

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: Germany

Subject: MathematicsDrafting, Engineering


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Mathematics, Science & Mathematics, Drawing Instruments


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift of Helen-Marie Fruth

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1990.0115.02Catalog Number: 1990.0115.02Accession Number: 1990.0115

Object Name: drawing instruments, set of

Physical Description: leather (overall material)wood (overall material)fabric (overall material)german silver (overall material)steel (overall material)ivory (overall material)Measurements: overall: 2.3 cm x 18.5 cm x 7 cm; 29/32 in x 7 9/32 in x 2 3/4 in


Record Id: nmah_1122206

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