Surveyor's Compass


This compass is more British than American, and in Britain it would have been referred to as a "circumferentor." The face reads clockwise. The needle rim is graduated to single degrees, and numbered counterclockwise from north. The "Messer London" inscription refers to Benjamin Messer, an instrument maker who was in business during the years 1789–1827.

Ref: Gloria Clifton, Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550–1851 (London, 1995), p. 187.

Location: Currently not on view

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


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Clifton, Gloria and Gerard L. E. Turner. Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers 1550-1851

Credit Line: Museum of Science and Industry

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.327881Catalog Number: 327881Accession Number: 271855

Object Name: surveyor's compass

Measurements: overall length: 13 in; 33.02 cmneedle: 4 in; 10.16 cmoverall: 6 1/4 in x 12 1/2 in x 4 3/4 in; 15.875 cm x 31.75 cm x 12.065 cm


Record Id: nmah_997290

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