Model of Magnetic Surface

Model of Magnetic Surface

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
This is a visual representation of the changes in magnetic declination as observed in the early 1840s by Alexander Dallas Bache, then a professor of natural philosophy at Girard College in Philadelphia, and soon to become director of the U.S. Coast Survey. It was made by Ferdinand Engel, a German artisan who immigrated to the United States around 1848, and found work with the Coast Survey. It was probably made for the Smithsonian Institution, which published Bache's account of his magnetic observations in 1859.
Ref: A. D. Bache, "Discussion of Magnetic and Meteorological Observations Made at the Girard College Observatory, Philadelphia, from 1840 to 1845," Smithsonian Institution Contributions to Knowledge 11 (1859).
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
around 1859
place made
United States: District of Columbia
overall: 10 in x 25 13/32 in x 21 3/16 in; 25.4 cm x 64.516 cm x 53.848 cm
overall: 3 3/4 in x 8 3/8 in x 10 in; 9.525 cm x 21.2725 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Science & Scientific Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object