I buy, sell, and deal in many antique surveying instruments
and related tools.
In addition to this informational antiques related website
also have our antique sales website
www.Patented-Antiques.com where we conduct our surveying instrument
sales and other antique sales.
If you are in the market to buy vintage and antique surveying
instruments or other scientific related antiques please visit that page.
interested in many different types or forms of early survey instruments
surveying tools and accessories. I have specific pages
covering other types of surveying
instruments with links on the left.
To see past sales results look through the appropriate links in the right column.
We are especially interested in early
transits such as mining transits, Theodilites,
solar transits or solar compasses. Surveying instruments that have solar
attachments, or those with auxiliary scopes used in mining applications, or
have other unusual
patented or special use features are
If you have antique surveying
instruments or vintage surveyor's tools to
sell, please contact me at
AntiqBuyer@gmail.com with as many details as possible, including the size, the maker's name,
or any other important written information. A pic would be especially
of the instrument are critical, and without them it is going to be
determine what you have or be able to discuss it intelligently. Just telling me
you have a Gurley, a Berger, David White, Lietz or Leitz etc. and giving me the
serial number, or what you think is the serial # or model # is not enough information.
The list of American surveying instrument makers is extensive, and starts
with such famous makers as Rittenhouse, who made instruments during
George Washington's time, to the more well known and prolific makers like
W. & L. E. Gurley, A. Lietz, Buff, Berger, Heller & Brightly, Keuffel
and Esser, Roach, Sala, or Queen & Co. to name just a few.
Tools & Accessories
One surveyor's tool we buy is called
a surveying link chain, or Gunter Chain. Surveyor's chains are linked wire measuring devices
that came in various lengths from 33' to 100' and in
several different configurations including Metric. Common examples are
either unmarked or English and marked Chesterman. Chains can also be found marked K & E, Gurley, or by other American makers. Some have special features to compensate for heat or expansion. The links on earlier
chains are not welded, and typically are on
later ones. Steel tapes on reels that were
used by surveying parties in the recent past are referred to as
chains but in general are not nearly as collectible or in demand
as link chains. There are now new reproduction chains being
sold, be aware.
I am also interested in early
tripods or compass staffs. The earlier the
better. Plane tables with Johnson Head tripods are also of interest. I
both listed for sale on our sales
I also buy other precision tools and accessories
that a surveyor would use in the field or in the office. I have mentioned many of these on other pages
of this site, but the list would include planimeters, anemometers, early drafting
sets in fitted wooden boxes, alidades, plane tables, plumb bobs &
Plummets, and any form of lights used in mines.
Unusual plumb bobs like the one pictured
here with an internal reel or string winder are sought. This style
internal reel plumb bob can be found with several different
names or unmarked. Other unusual plumb bobs
have external wheels, or cranks, while those used for mining
were called plummets and have a lighting feature so that
they could be sighted in on at the end of a dark shaft or
Surveying Stadia Rules
Surveyor's also used different calculators or means to figure large
numbers in their
and all of these devices are of interest. We ware especially interested in hand held
Curta calculators. Additional info on them can be found on the
Also of interest are different stadia slide rules used by Surveyors that
were put out over the years. K & E offered several different models
with their more typical stick rules being the 12" 4100 Stadia
Rule, and the 4101 20" model. They also offered the Webb Stadia
Rule that was a small portable circular or drum style stadia rule.
One of those pictured in the past sales archives.
Wye, Dumpy, Railroad, Engineers, Architects
& Other Surveying Levels
Surveying Levels were designed and offered for different applications and
oftentimes their names are an indication
of that use. Examples are
precise, railroad levels, architects, farm or drainage levels, dumpy
or wye levels and more. On the left is
a rare "Precise"
level made for the US Coast and
On the right is a Wye level or Engineer's level made
by W. L. & E Gurley of Troy NY. It dates from the
late 19th century. Levels like this looked very similar for nearly
100 years with only minor changes. They came in lengths from under
26" or so.
Below on the right is an Alidade. It is basically a level
scope mounted to a base plate. Alidades were used in the field to draw maps, layout roads, and were used with a
plane table & tripod. They come in different forms and sizes,
and are identified by names such as
high post, low post, explorer, and others for different
Next is what is
known as a convertible level. This type of level / transit could be set up
as either a standard level (as shown), or by using the pieces shown the instrument could be
turned 90 degrees in the frame and reinserted to be used as a crude transit
to shoot vertical angles. These relatively simple survey devices were mostly aimed at casual or less professional users
such as home builders and were produced in large numbers. Top
of the line models also had a compass.
If you have a surveying instrument that you want to sell
pictures of the instrument and the
amount you think you want to net from it sale would be a great
help. Without that info it is going to be difficult to discuss or
determine if there is a real interest in your piece. Trying to evaluate
or consider an instrument that is being offered for sale without seeing
it and having the important details is a near impossible situation.
Just telling me
you have a Gurley, Berger, David White, or other name instrument and giving me the
serial number is not enough information. Asking me what your
instrument is worth without my seeing it would be like me asking
you what my car is worth, without telling you anything
more than it is a Toyota. In most cases it simply can not be done
with so little information.
The surveying instruments you
see here are examples of the caliber, condition and quality of
these antiques that we buy. To see past sales
results of instruments and other antiques we
have sold in the past,
please see the Sales Archive Pages in the right column.
If you have antique surveying
instruments or vintage surveyor's tools that you want to
sell, please contact me at AntiqBuyer@gmail.com with as many details as possible, including the size, the maker's name,
or any other important written information that is given.
To see examples of antique
surveying instruments and related equipment that I have currently have for
sale, please go to our sister site
visit the surveying related sale pages you will find there.
Larry & Carole