Range Finder

Range Finder

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Francis Weldon (1836-1926), a British Army officer in India, devised this simple and portable range finder in the early 1870s. This example belonged to the U.S. Geological Survey, a federal agency established in 1879. It came to the Smithsonian in 1909. The inscriptions read "Elliott Bros., London” and “U.S. G. S. 1” and “Weldon Range Finder."
Ref: Francis Weldon, “Improvement in Apparatus for Measuring Distances,” U.S. Patent 165,282 (July 6, 1875).
“New Range Finder,” Scientific American Supplement 223 (1880): 3550.
Lieut. A. H. Russell, “A Report on the Weldon Range-Finder,” Appendix 23 in United States Army. Ordnance Department, Annual Report of the Chief of Ordnance (Washington, D.C., 1880).
United States Army. Ordnance Department, Description and Instructions for Use of Weldon Range Finder (Revised ed., Washington, D.C., 1917).
Currently not on view
Object Name
Range Finder
Elliott Brothers
place made
United Kingdom: England, London, City of London
overall: 3 in x 1 3/4 in x 1 in; 7.62 cm x 4.445 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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