Kern-Danner Surveyor's Compass

Kern-Danner Surveyor's Compass

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
The inscriptions on this compass read "S. Kern Inventor" and "J. S. Danner Maker, Middletown, Va." On July 31, 1846, Samuel Kern of Strasburg, Va., obtained a patent (#4,675) for an instrument meant to be "at once cheap and efficient, enabling one to use it as a compass for running lines, or for leveling, as may be required." A trough compass, level vial, and outkeeper are inset into the face. The edge of the face is graduated to 30 minutes, and numbered in quadrants from north and south. Jacob Sensensy Danner (1807-1877) lived in Middletown, Va., and made instruments for surveyors.
Ref: Charles Smart, The Makers of Surveying Instruments in America Since 1700 (Troy, N.Y., 1962), p. 35.
Currently not on view
Object Name
surveyor's compass
Kern, Samuel
Danner, Jacob Sensensy
overall: 5 1/2 in; 13.97 cm
overall: 2 1/2 in x 6 in; 6.35 cm x 15.24 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
George H. Kernodle
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

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.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object