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This instrument is marked "Geo. Shilling Washn D.C." and "U.S.G.S." It was made after 1882 when George Shilling opened his business, and before 1907 when the U.S. Geological Survey transferred it to the Smithsonian. The horizontal circle and vertical arc are silvered, graduated to 30 minutes, and read by verniers to single minutes. A level vial sits atop the telescope; another level vial sits on the horizontal circle. The inside of the lens cap is marked "U.S.G.S. No 2."
George Shilling (1844–1917) was born and educated in Norway and moved to the United States in 1867. In 1882, after working in several American instrument shops, he went into business on his own, manufacturing surveying and astronomical instruments. His shop was in Washington, D.C., and the federal government was his biggest customer.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Shilling, George
place made
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
horizontal circle: 4 1/4 in; 10.795 cm
telescope: 9 1/2 in; 24.13 cm
overall: 9 7/8 in x 4 3/8 in x 9 1/4 in; 25.0825 cm x 11.1125 cm x 23.495 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
U.S. Geological Survey
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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