- "Of the different varieties of the leveling instrument, that termed the Y Level, has been almost universally preferred by American engineers, on account of the facility of its adjustment and superior accuracy," declared Gurley in 1871. At that time, Gurley offered four different levels, with telescopes of 16, 18, 20, and 22 inches long. Since the "W. & L. E. Gurley, Troy, N.Y." signature on this example was engraved by hand, the level was made between 1852 when Gurley began in business, and 1876, when Gurley's new engraving machine was up and running. New, with tripod, this level cost $110. It belonged to Bowdoin College.
- Ref: W. & L. E. Gurley, Manual of the Principal Instruments used in American Engineering and Surveying (Troy, N.Y., 1871), pp. 197–118.
- W. Skerritt, "W. & L. E. Gurley's Engraving Machine," Rittenhouse 11 (1997): 97–100.
- Currently not on view
- Object Name
- level (wye)
- date made
- Bowdoin College
- W. & L. E. Gurley
- place made
- United States: New York, Troy
- telescope: 18 in; 45.72 cm
- overall in case: 4 7/8 in x 18 1/2 in x 9 1/8 in; 12.3825 cm x 46.99 cm x 23.1775 cm
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History
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.