Plain Dividers Retailed by Keuffel & Esser

Plain Dividers Retailed by Keuffel & Esser

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Description
These plain dividers have grooved brass legs with steel points and are held together with a screw. Two small holes are in the joint on either side of the bottom end of the screw. The instrument arrived at the Smithsonian in a case (now lost) marked: Keuffel & Esser Co., New York. The dividers are similar to the 4-1/2" plain dividers from Switzerland advertised (without a case) in James Queen's 1883 catalog for $1.50. The instrument slightly resembles 4-1/4" plain dividers from France sold by K&E in the 1880s and 1890s for between 24 and 85 cents. It is not depicted in K&E's 1909 and 1936 catalogs.
References: James W. Queen & Co., Priced and Illustrated Catalogue of Mathematical Instruments (Philadelphia, 1883), 22; Catalogue and Price-List of Keuffel & Esser Co., 23rd ed. (New York, 1892), 62, 102; Trade Price List. An Annex to the General Catalogue (Twenty-Eighth Edition) of Keuffel & Esser Co. (New York, n.d.), 30.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
dividers
date made
late 19th century
place made
Europe
Physical Description
brass (overall material)
steel (overall material)
Measurements
overall:.9 cm x 11 cm x 1 cm; 11/32 in x 4 11/32 in x 13/32 in
ID Number
MA.335341
accession number
305958
catalog number
335341
Credit Line
Gift of Eunice L. Hoffman
subject
Mathematics
Dividers
Drawing Instruments
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Dividers and Compasses
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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Comments

I have a little 2 1/2" one just like it but not with a screw. It is nearly pristine and so finely made and pretty that it could be worn as jewelry.

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