Abney level with compass and pentaprism


William de Wiveleslie Abney (1843–1920), an English scientist who made many important contributions to spectroscopy and photography, devised this level in the 1870s while working for the School of Military Engineering at Chatham.

This Abney level is equipped with clinometer and compass. Keuffel & Esser termed it a "Universal Instrument" that gives bearing, grade, and distance with sufficient accuracy for military reconnaissance and preliminary surveying. The clinometer scale is graduated to degrees, and read by vernier to 10 minutes. The inscription reads "KEUFFEL & ESSER CO N. Y." New, it cost $34.

Ref: Keuffel & Esser, Catalogue (New York, 1921), p. 434.

C. Jones, "Sir William de Wiveleslie Abney, K.C.B., D.C.L., D.Sc., F.R.S., Hon. F.R.P.S., etc.," The Photographic Journal 61 (1921): 296–311.

Maker: Keuffel & Esser Co.

Location: Currently not on view

Place Made: United States: New York, New York City

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


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: University of Missouri-Columbia, Department of Civil Engineering

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.333654Catalog Number: 333654Accession Number: 300659

Object Name: Abney level

Measurements: case: 5 3/8 in x 3 3/8 in x 2 1/2 in; 13.6525 cm x 8.5725 cm x 6.35 cmlevel: 2 5/8 in x 5 in x 1 3/4 in; 6.6675 cm x 12.7 cm x 4.445 cmoverall in case: 5 5/8 in x 3 1/2 in x 2 9/16 in; 14.2875 cm x 8.89 cm x 6.50875 cm

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-9737-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_761995

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