Keuffel & Esser Polar Planimeter Model 4230 or 1104

Keuffel & Esser Polar Planimeter Model 4230 or 1104

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Usage conditions apply
This stainless steel polar planimeter has a stainless steel weight, a brass weight, and a brass testing disc. The weights fit on one of the arms, the brass one on the surface below and the other at the end. The tracer arm moves, with a setting scale divided from 0 to 25, and measuring wheels near the vertex.
A mark on the weight arm reads: KEUFFEL & ESSER Co NEW YORK. Marks on the underside of the tracer arm, on the brass weight, and on a paper tag inside the lid of the wooden case rgive the serial number: No. 1109. Keuffel & Esser also sold an instrument with model number 1109, but it was quite different.
Keuffel and Esser sold this planimeter as the model 1104 from 1892 until 1901 and as the model 4230 from after 1901 until before 1936. The style of the clasps on the case suggests a relatively early date. The donor assigned a date of 1895, which would make it a model 1104. He also indicated that the instrument was made for Keuffel & Esser by the German firm of Haff.
This instrument reached the Smithsonian in 2016.
Accession File
Clark McCoy, "Collection of Pages from K&E Catalogs for the 4210 Family of Polar Planimeters," at the webksite, in the section on planimeter models.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1900
Keuffel & Esser Co.
place made
Physical Description
stainless steel (instrument, weight material)
plastic (mesuring discs material)
brass (weight, test plate, hooks material)
wood (case material)
case: 8 cm x 36.3 cm x 10 cm; 3 5/32 in x 14 9/32 in x 3 15/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Maximilian Berktold
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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