Plotting Board, Army Sketching Case by W. and L.E. Gurley

Plotting Board, Army Sketching Case by W. and L.E. Gurley

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Usage conditions apply
This instrument has a wooden base that holds a paper scale attached to a metal disc. Around the rim is a scale of degrees from 0 to 360, divided to degrees. A grid of lines on the inner part of the disc is divided to degrees. Radial distances representing distances of up to two miles are indicated. Reels on either side of the base hold a roll of tracing paper over the disc. There is a compass ring divided to degrees that is enclosed in a metal container and fits to the right of the sketching board. A short belt attached to the back of the base would make it possible to wear the device on the arm. There also is a small clinometer on the back of the instrument. The instrument fits in a cloth pouch which has a leather strap.
According to the 1912 Gurley catalog, Glenn S. Smith, who patented this instrument September 1, 1908, was a topographer in the U.S. Geological Survey who initially designed this instrument for the Army Engineers. This example of the instrument came to the Smithsonian from the Department of Civil Engineering of the University of Missouri.
Glenn S. Smith, "Sketching Outfit," U.S. Patent 897,794, September 1, 1908.
W. and L. E. Gurley, A Manual of the Principal InstrumentsUsed in American Surveying and Engineering Manufactured by W, & L. E. Gurley, Troy, New York: W. & L. E. Gurley, 1912, pp. 256-258.
Currently not on view
Object Name
plotting board
date made
ca 1910
W. & L. E. Gurley
place made
United States: New York, Troy
Physical Description
wood (base material)
metal (mechanism; guides; clamp; protractor material)
paper (tracing paper material)
cloth (case material)
leather (strap material)
error (extra please eliminate error)
overall: 4.5 cm x 24.5 cm x 33 cm; 1 25/32 in x 9 21/32 in x 13 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of University of Missouri - Columbia
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Plotting Boards
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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