Description and Notes:
This complete and finely made beam compass set was once the property of the U. S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation. It had also been used for Hydrography by the U. S. G. S., as stamped on top of the case lid.
According to this page, Theodore Alteneder started making patented drawing instruments since 1850. A beam compass set similar to this one can be found in the Theodore Alteneder & Sons 1952 catalog. However, by judging from the style of the label attached to the inside the box lid, and the fact that the wheels of the wheel attachment are made of ivory, this is most probably an early example. In addition, according to the address, Branch 1722 PA Ave, shown on the label attached to the back of the case, this set was presumably been sold by the Schmidt's Artists' and Architects' Supplies, which was in business in the 1890s.