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K. & E. twisted standard transit

The "twisted frame" and many other features of this transit were designed and patented by John Paoli, of Hoboken NJ while working for Keuffel and Esser. The main plate is marked "Patented Dec 3, 1889, May 26, 1891, Oct 13, 1891" and the celluloid compass face is marked "Keuffel & Esser Co., New York" and the serial number "2002". The reason for the twisted standard (in addition to aesthetic)and the method of its construction are described in Paoli's U.S. patent #453158. Many other attributes of this instrument are described in that patent and the innovative telescope is described in patents #416270 and 461389. These and all U.S. patents may be viewed online at the USPTO site.

The 10" telescope has a top mounted object focus and a top mounted eyepiece focus, with a 6" underslung level vial. All three tangent screws are spring loaded. The two vernier windows are protected with hinged brass covers fitted with white celluloid reflectors. The arms of the leveling base which accept the screws are split and compressed with an adjustable screw to take up any wear. The compass needle has vertically flattened ends, curved slightly upward so as to function when the compass is not perfectly level.

The brass has a uniform dark patina and is uncleaned. The celluloid compass face has stress cracks at the 4 screw holes securing it. One of the two level vials on the main plate has been removed. The adjusting nuts are still present and the studs are 2 5/8" on center. The internal needle arrestor linkage appears to be functioning, as viewed through the center hole in the compass face, but does not make contact with the needle. One of three screws holding the upper tangent screw assembly to the plate is missing, but has no effect on the function of the screw or clamp. All adjustments are in working order, the telescope has good cross hairs and properly functioning focusing mechanisms.

front view

rear view

side view

the telescope

the leveling base

the vernier scale, brass cover with celluloid reflector

the compass face

the box - open

the box - closed

Price: sold
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Contact: Richard Van Vleck - Email:

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