Surveyor's Transit


This "Complete Engineers' and Surveyors' Transit" is marked "C. L. Berger & Sons, Boston, U.S.A. 8879" and "PAT'D APRIL 28-1896." Swarthmore College ordered it from Berger in November 1911. The horizontal circle is of solid silver, with opposite verniers placed at 35 degrees to the line of sight, and reading to 30 seconds of arc. The vertical circle is of solid silver, read by vernier to single minutes, and protected by an aluminum guard. The standards have a cloth finish. Berger noted that it was "designed for engineering work of a high class, such as is required in bridge building, water works, and for city and land surveying." New, it cost $255.

It is difficult to know how to interpret the patent reference in the inscription. On April 28, 1896, C. L. Berger received a patent (#559,117) for a Surveyor's Transit with an auxiliary telescope that could "be used for the ordinary plane surveying, and also for mine surveying and similar purposes." This instrument is not of that sort.

Ref: C. L. Berger & Sons, Hand-Book and Illustrated Catalogue of the Engineers' and Surveyors' Instruments of Precision (Boston, 1912), pp. 142-146.

Chicago Steel Tape-Berger Instruments (Document Management Systems, 1995), Book 27, p. 33.

Maker: C.L. Berger and Sons

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: Massachusetts, Boston

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


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: C. L. Berger & Sons. Hand-Book and Ilustrated Catalogue of the Engineers' and Surveyors' Instruments of Percision

Credit Line: Swarthmore College, Department of Engineering

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1986.0668.01Accession Number: 1986.0668Catalog Number: 1986.0668.01

Object Name: surveyor's transit

Measurements: overall: 14 in; 35.56 cmhorizontal circle: 6 1/4 in; 15.875 cmneedle: 4 1/4 in; 10.795 cmverticle circle: 5 in; 12.7 cmtelescope: 11 in; 27.94 cmhangling level: 5 in; 12.7 cmoverall inside case (1986.0668.01): 16 1/2 in x 9 5/8 in x 12 in; 41.91 cm x 24.4475 cm x 30.48 cm


Record Id: nmah_745875

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