Antique & Vintage Surveying Transits & Related Surveyor
Keuffel & Esser / K & E Transits Architect, Engineer,
& E / Keuffel & Esser # 5081 1/2 Engineers Mining Transit w/ Aux Scope
/ Tripod & Attachments in Original Box This
is a very nice condition Engineer's Mining Transit. It is in near mint
original condition. The black crinkle finish is 95% or better and near
pristine noting just a few minor scuffs. It looks to have seen little
use. All motions operate smoothly. The silvered compass face is
flawless, and the 3 1/2" Gold compass needle swings north. Cross hairs
are present in both scopes. 1 white plastic vernier scale cover is missing.
NO other apologies. The nice collapsible leg tripod is included as well.
The serial # 124,320 is found on the box, the
horizontal plate of the instrument and is on the second scope as well. That dates this
mining transit from 1952
according to the charts available at
K & E marked loupe, plumb bob, oiler and more are all present. Note how the
plumb bob comes apart and is made to hold a second tip. An unusual feature that
is not seen very often.
Mining transits were developed for use in mines or places where the user
would need to shoot a line where the plate would be in the way. The
scope could be mounted on either the top over the main scope, or on the
outboard side. The counterweight is also present.
This graphic, rare & desirable surveying instrument will
display very nicely in a mining related collection or a number of other settings.
& E / Keuffel & Esser c. 1919 # 5074 Engineers Mountain & Mining
Transit This model and style transit with its
unusual 3 screw leveling base is very rare. In catalogs it gets an
asterisk with explanation that it is only available through special order. K & E called this style of
transit off as "Extra Fine". The serial # is 38611 dating it from 1920
or so. The tag on the door says the needle is calibrated for Buenos
Aries Argentina. There is a tag on the box that also indicates it came
from South America. Note that it has 2 auxiliary magnifiers to allow
for a more precise reading of the extra fine scales on the different
All motions and thumbscrews operate smoothly. The silvered compass
face is near flawless, and the 3 3/4" compass needle swings north. The black
oxidized finish is mostly fine. All three level bubbles are good and
appear to be original. The optics are clear and good.
There are a few
minor apologies. The door on the box has been remounted on the
opposite side of the opening. Not sure why and no apparent reason. There is one vertical and 2 horizontal crosshairs. One
crosshair above the center horizontal crosshair is broken or unattached.
Also, the protective outer cover or guard for the vertical circle / vernier scale is
broken. I see no damage to the wheel itself. Finally, there is a
small dent on the end of the scope as pictured.
is complete with its rare 3 point tripod. (last pic) Please look at all the pics to see the
condition and features. This rare & desirable surveying instrument will
be a highlight of the well rounded surveying instrument collection and will
display very nicely in any number of settings.
W. & L. E. Gurley Transits Architect, Engineer,
1919 W. & L. E. Gurley
Engineers Transit This large W. & L. E. Gurley transit is offered as seen without a
box. It is in overall good original un-cleaned condition. It is a
large and graphic instrument that will make for a great display piece.
The scope is 11" and it has a 5" half circle vernier. All three level
bubbles are good, and the 5" compass need swings north as it should.
The serial # begins with a 19 would date this transit
All motions operate freely and smoothly. The optics are good, and crosshairs are present. It will make for a great display piece. Nice!!
& Sons # 10 Solar Transit with Smith Patent Telescopic Solar Attachment in Original Box This
rare c. 1913 Young Solar Transit with an unusual Smith Patent Telescopic Solar Attachment is in very nice overall condition.
includes the box and a nicely refinished tripod. A graphic and commanding piece for display or addition to many collections.
Young solar transits are
called off as model No. 10 in early Young catalogs. The patent for the Smith solar attachment was first granted in 1880. This
solar transit carries an improved model solar attachment that was re-issued a patent in 1902
and is so stamped. The 8484 serial number on the face of the compass on
the transit dates it from shortly after the turn of the century.
Young's use of Aluminum for many of the different parts of the solar transit is very unusual for an instrument from this time period. The transit has a 4½" horizontal circle,
a 4" silvered vertical circle, a 3.3" needle, and a 10" main telescope. The telescope on the Smith solar unit is 7" long,
and is inscribed "Pat Sep 16, 1902." All motions are free and move smoothly.
The optics are clean and clear and it has 3 horizontal and 1 vertical
crosshair. The compass swings to north, and the needle lock works as it
should. Note that there is a vernier scale on the outside plate, and another under the glass. The different scales are all silvered w/
tarnish. The transit fits into the lift top box with the solar attachment in place. The box shows its age but is OK. The tripod
is included in the price.
G. W. Wilson Concord New Hampshire c. 1877 Transit
This unusual Engineer size Surveying transit is in
very nice condition. Smarts book has a short Bio on G. W. Wilson, an
early New England maker, but scant other info comes up with Google searches.
He is not in the Smithsonian 's list of makers, nor listed in the Compass
Note the very unusual pillar style round standards. They
have a great look and are a near unique feature for transits. All the bubbles
are good. Compass points north and the compass face is nicely engraved. Nice even
patina. Also included is the correct and proper taper leg tripod (not
pictured). You must view the pics to see how nice and different this
instrument is from the typical instruments from this era. The compass
is clearly marked with the maker name and location as well as the 1877 date. A nice piece
that will fi into many different collections.
Transit This c. 1900 Dietzgen Solar
transit is in nice condition. It is a light mountain or preliminary survey
size instrument and has a 9" scope. It has a female threaded mounting point
on the top of the scope for a solar attachment. It is being sold w/o the attachment. All motions are free and smooth.
Good optics w/ crosshairs. Compass points north. Nice even
patina. An overall nice piece in nice condition.
& Lomb Solar Transit Solar
transits are a an unusual form of surveying transit. They were introduced or developed because of
issues using compasses that could be thrown off by mineral deposits
where they were being used. The basic
idea is to allow the user to find his location using the horizon and sun,
much as mariners use a sextant to find their location out on the open
seas with no other reference points.
Bausch & Lomb are most famous for their line of binoculars
and other optics but ventured in to the surveying instrument field after George N. Saegmuller joined the company in 1905.
This solar transit has the logo the company adopted after 1907 and dates
from right around there. They stopped making things for the general
public during WWI so they were not in the surveying instrument business for
long. There is a nice history on the company at the
The transit is in overall very nice condition.
All level bubbles are good, and motions are smooth. The transit optics are good.
A nice instrument by a maker seldom seen on the market.
/ Kassel Mining Suspension Theodolite in Box
This unusual instrument is NOS never been used. It appears it was sold
through K & E and dates from the 70's. There is a translated set of
instructions for use and a K & E bulletin announcing their carrying the
product is included. Basically it
is a theodolite designed to be hung upside down from preset points installed
in mines or tunnels.
I found another in a collection with a good
I did not do a good job of showing the knuckle joint like attachment on the
bottom that one would use to mount it from the ceiling of the mine or
tunnel. Different, Unusual, and Very Nice!!
Young / Maker Philadelphia TransitA
very early and nice example of William Young's work. Young is credited
with producing the first surveying instruments known as transits in the 1830s.
The serial # of this transit is 3859. The Smithsonian has a very
similar instrument in their collection with a serial # in the three
thousands that they date as being from the 1850s.
Solar & Mining Attachments for Architects, Engineers, & Surveyor's Transits & Related Surveying
& Berger's Pearson Patent
Solar Attachment The Buff & Berger
partnership first appeared in the 1870's and was dissolved in 1898 when both
principals opened firms under their own names with the addition of other
family members, hence the later instrument maker names Berger & Sons, and Buff & Buff.
That would date this rare Buff & Berger solar attachment as pre 1898.
was first granted the patent for this telescopic solar attachment in 1875, and Buff & Berger offered an improved
version after 1878. Also note the handwritten instructions that are glued
into the top of the box. Faded but legible.
Solar attachments were developed for use in the field to facilitate finding
ones location using the sun and horizon much as seafarers would do with
sextants or octants. There use was made necessary when there was a
danger of ore deposits affecting the accuracy of a regular compass. Each
surveying instrument maker developed or adapted one or more different
designs for use on their instruments. Other patented versions were
named after the inventor such as Burt, Smith, Saegmuller, and others.
A nice example of a rare piece that will make an otherwise standard looking
instrument into a rare and desirable instrument that display well.