Surveyor's Vernier Compass


This surveyor's vernier compass has an unusual and ornate face decorated with Masonic symbols. The variation arc on the north arm extends 10 degrees either way; the vernier is moved by rack and pinion, and reads to 10 minutes. A level vial is on the south arm. The "J. SIMPSON BARDSTOWN KY" inscription refers to Jonathan Simpson (1787-1863) who was was working in Kentucky by 1820, and who advertised in the Bardstown newspaper, The Republican, on October 3, 1844: "I shall keep on hand a constant supply of SILVERWORK of my own manufacture-warranted to be as good as any manufactured in the United States, and at the Cincinnati prices. My necessities compel me to labour as much as ever I did. I have a few Surveying instruments on hand, which I will sell very low."

Maker: Simpson, Jonathan

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Kentucky, Bardstown

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences, Surveying and Geodesy, Measuring & Mapping


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Fordham University

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.325686Catalog Number: 325686Accession Number: 257690

Object Name: Surveyor's Compasssurveyor's compass

Measurements: overall length: 15 1/4 in; 38.735 cmneedle: 5 1/2 in; 13.97 cmoverall: 8 7/8 in x 15 1/8 in x 6 1/2 in; 22.5425 cm x 38.4175 cm x 16.51 cm


Record Id: nmah_745753

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