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[Surveying & Navigational Tools and Equipment]

View at Kansas Memory

Accession Number: 1903.36.1

Physical Description: Solid brass Vernier transit on walnut tripod. .1a) Solid brass vernier transit. The quadrants are marked on the face with an "E," "S," "W," and a fleur-de-lis. Telescope mounted on two triangular supports. Brass-bound spirit levels on forward side of compass, on left side of compass, and atop telescope. Vernier on rear side of compass. Six adjusting thumb screws. Shaft at bottom for mounting on tripod. .1b) Consist of two parallel, roughly U-shaped mounts joined by a horizontal shaft. Centered beneath horizontal shaft is a tapering vertical shaft four mounting on tripod. Atop each U-shaped mount is a swiveling curved clamp which is locked in a closed position on one mount with wire and an eyed pin secured with copper wire on the other mount. Solid brass. .1c) Consists of three walnut legs which taper slightly towards bottom where they are fitted with brass tips. Uppermost part of legs are square in cross-section and are fitted at top with square brass ferrules. Each leg is secured to the bottom of the mount with a screw on which it pivots. Socket through center of mount. Four thumb screws to adjust level of mount, one to adjust direction, and one thumb screw to tighten socket. .2) Walnut box of dovetail joint construction. Lid joined to bottom with two brass butt hinges. Two hook clasps in front and a brass-lined keyhole lock in front center. Box has velvet-line, circular mount on inside bottom for transit, a rectangular mount with hole through center located on inside right side for level holder, and a small triangular compartment at top left front inside corner. Paper manufacturer?s label adhered to inside center of lid. Leather strap formerly extended from front to rear of box. Red paper, Wells Fargo & Co. label on left rear outside corner of box.

History of Object: Albert D. Searle used this transit while laying out the towns of Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan, Osawatomie, Burlington, El Dorado, and others. Searle came to Kansas from Massachusetts in 1854. He apparently knew S.C. Pomeroy, agent for the New England Emigrant Aid Company that organized antislavery settlements in Kansas Territory. Searle was trained as a civil engineer before coming to Kansas. He laid out the city limits and streets of Lawrence, Kansas, in September 1854, and three months conducted the first regular survey of Topeka.

Date: Between 1845 and 1851

Dimensions (in cm): 26.40 (H) 20.90 (W) 34.00 (D) Measurement given is that of the transit (.1a). .1b) L: 18.7 cm W: 5.7 cm H: 34 cm .1c) L: 154.9 cm W: 16.3 cm D:12.7 cm .2) L:37.8 cm W: 23.8 cm H: 36.5 cm

Marks/Inscriptions: [.1a-engraved on compass face] Phelps & Gurley / Troy, N.Y. || [.2-printed on paper label on insdie of lid] PHELPS & GURLEY / MANUFACTUREERS AND DEALERS IN / Civil Engineers' and Surveyors' INSTRUMENTS / No. 319 RIVER STREET / TROY, N.Y. / [a three-column list of instruments marketed by Phelps & Gurley] ||

Index Terms

Associations and Subjects

    Use, Place of: Burlington (Kan.)
    Use, Place of: El Dorado (Kan.)
    Use, Place of: Lawrence (Kan.)
    Use, Place of: Manhattan (Kan.)
    Origin, Place of: New York (State)
    Use, Place of: Osawatomie (Kan.)
    Use, Place of: Topeka (Kan.)
    Individual: Searle, Albert D., 1831-

Creators and Contributors

    Phelps & Gurley

Status: Cataloged

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