Set of Drawing Instruments

Set of Drawing Instruments

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This wooden bar-lock case is covered with black leather and lined with black satin and velvet. A silver metal plate on the lid has been scratched with the letters: E R. A compartment inside the lid (such as often held a protractor) is empty. The case holds:
1) 1-1/2" German silver trammels for a beam compass with pen point attachment.
2) 3" steel bow pencil and two bow dividers. The handle for the bow pencil is different from those on the dividers.
3) 6" German silver and steel proportional dividers, marked on one side for circles from 7 to 20 and for lines from 3/4 to 10. The other side is marked for planes from 2 to 10 and for solids from 2 to 10.
4) 5-1/2" German silver dividers with bendable legs and removable needle points. One leg may be replaced with 3" German silver and steel pen and pencil point attachments. All three pieces and the dividers are marked: 24.
5) 4-3/4" brass and steel fixed leg dividers. One point may be adjusted.
6) 4-1/4" brass compass with pencil point. The legs are bendable.
7) 4" brass and steel drawing compass with pen point and bendable legs.
8) 2-1/8" brass and steel pen point that does not appear to fit any instrument in the set.
9) 4-1/2" German silver pricker with ivory handle.
10) 4-1/2", 5-1/4", and 5-1/2" steel drawing pens with ivory handles. The shortest pen is marked: KENT DRAWING PEN (/) HIGH SPEED. Four Japanese characters are to the right of this mark. The back is marked: PAT'D. The middle pen is marked: MIDZUKAMI (/) BEST. The longest pen is unmarked.
11) 1-1/2" empty cylindrical ivory case for leads.
12) 3-3/8" metal bow compass missing both legs. One screw is marked: NCMIS COMPANY (/) MADE IN HOLLAND.
The incomplete bow instrument is clearly not original to the set. Although the brass instruments fit poorly in their slots, a similar set of Kent drawing instruments sold on Ebay in June 2012. George Kent began manufacturing industrial instruments in London in 1838. The firm acquired the Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company in 1968 and was in turn acquired by Brown, Boveri, and Company of Switzerland in 1974.
Reference: "George Kent," Grace's Guide to British Industrial History,
Currently not on view
Currently not on view
Object Name
drawing instruments, set of
date made
early 20th century
Physical Description
german silver (overall material)
steel (overall material)
brass (overall material)
ivory (overall material)
leather (overall material)
cloth (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 2.5 cm x 24 cm x 15.7 cm; 31/32 in x 9 7/16 in x 6 3/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Elyssa and Michael Hillman
Drafting, Engineering
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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