Pantograph Sold by the Frederick Post Company, Model 1495

Pantograph Sold by the Frederick Post Company, Model 1495

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A pantograph is an instrument used to duplicate drawings, at different scales if need be. This example consists of four wooden arms held together with pins and a screw-eye with a wooden anchor support under one arm. Two metal screw-eyes are placed in holes which are numbered from 1 to 10. There is a tracer point in one arm, but there no longer is a pencil point.
A mark stamped on one of the wooden bars reads: 1495 (/) POSTS. Below this is stamped an image of an eagle clutching a shield that is stamped P. This trademark appeared on the first page of the Frederick Post Company Catalog in 1903. By 1921, another trademark was used.
The pantograph is number 1495 in the catalog of The Frederick Post Company. The company was started by Frederick Post (1862-1936), a native of Hamburg who emigrated to the United States in 1885 and soon settled in Chicago. By the time of the 1900 U.S. Census, he was a manufacturer of artist's materials there. Post imported drawing instruments and slide rules as well as manufacturing them. Whether his firm made this pantograph is not known.
The instrument is from the estate of the American inventor of tabulating machines Herman Hollerith, Jr. In 1889, Hollerith introduced a device for punching cards for tabulating machines that was called a pantograph card punch. This pantograph dates from after that invention.
For information about the pantograph card punch, see MA.312896.
U. S. Census 1900, 1910, 1920, 1930.
Catalogs of the Frederick Post Company.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
place made
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
wood (arms material)
metal (pins material)
overall: 2.8 cm x 43.7 cm x 3.3 cm; 1 3/32 in x 17 7/32 in x 1 5/16 in
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of the Estate of Herman Hollerith, Jr.
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Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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