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Old Brass Theodolite Stanley London Mahogany Cased Antique 1920s

Ref: 2RG17

$ 610

Discover a piece of history with this exquisite antique brass theodolite from Stanley London. Crafted in the 1920s by William Ford Stanley and Co. Ltd., this remarkable instrument has been meticulously restored and readjusted in April 1961.

Housed in its original mahogany case, it boasts an engraving of the maker’s name Stanley London 46|86 Made in England. Originally produced for the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, it bears its mark and No. C29. The telescope features a rotating circular base with thumbscrew adjustment and is equipped with a bubble level for precision.

Weighing 4kg (8.82 lbs) with the case and 2.270 kg (5 lbs) standalone, the brass theodolite measures approximately 23cm x 13cm (9.06 inches x 5.12 inches). The mahogany box measures approximately 27cm x 16cm x 14cm (10.63 inches x 6.30 inches x 5.51 inches).

In remarkable antique condition, this theodolite is complete and appears to work as it should, but at this age, it’s being sold as just a decorative item. An ideal display piece, it adds a touch of history and elegance to any collection.

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Please take a look at the photos to evaluate the condition for yourself.

to United States: $ 91.15 with Austrian Post AG.
Located in Vienna, Austria
Estimated between Mon, 22 Apr and Fri, 26 Apr. Including detailed tracking.
Seller ships within 2 days after receiving cleared payment.
14 days. Buyer pays for return shipping. See details
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  • Authorities outside EU may apply duties, fees, and taxes upon delivery.
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  • For collection, please contact us for an arrangement.

Unlocking the Past: William Stanley's Legacy and the Evolution of Surveying with Stanley London's Enhanced Theodolites

Old Brass Theodolite Stanley London Mahogany Cased Antique 1920s

Old Brass Theodolite Stanley London Mahogany Cased Antique 1920s

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William Ford Robinson Stanley (1829–1909)

William Ford Robinson Stanley, a prolific British inventor born on February 2, 1829, left an indelible mark on various fields. With 78 patents to his name across the UK and the US, he revolutionized precision instruments. As the founder of "William Ford Stanley and Co. Ltd.," his engineering prowess crafted unparalleled drawing tools, mathematical instruments, and telescopes. His contributions extended to surveying instruments and enhancing scientific endeavors globally.

Portrait of William Ford Robinson Stanley
Image: Portrait of William Ford Robinson Stanley.
Source: By Unknown author -, Public Domain,

William Stanley's Enhanced English Theodolite

William Stanley's improvements to the English Theodolite marked a significant leap forward in surveying technology. Beginning in 1865, Stanley dedicated himself to refining the elegance and stability of surveying instruments, particularly the theodolite. He streamlined its construction, simplifying its design while enhancing its functionality.

An English Theodolite, revolutionized by William Stanley's improvements
Image: An English Theodolite, revolutionized by William Stanley's improvements, showcasing precision engineering for accurate surveying.
Source: By Unknown - "William Ford Stanley: His Life and Work" by Richard Inwards (1911), Public Domain,

Stanley's theodolite boasted a rotating telescope, enabling precise measurement of both horizontal and vertical angles. Its advanced optics allowed for sighting prominent objects even at considerable distances. Remarkably, Stanley managed to reduce the parts to fewer than half of the 226 found in previous versions. This reduction not only made the theodolite lighter but also more affordable and accurate.

What is a theodolite? - Theodolite definition.

A theodolite is a precision optical instrument used in surveying and engineering to measure horizontal and vertical angles. It typically consists of a telescope mounted on a rotating horizontal and vertical axis. The telescope can be precisely rotated and inclined to sight specific points or features in the landscape. By observing these points through the telescope, surveyors can measure angles accurately, which is crucial for tasks such as mapping, construction layout, and land surveying. Theodolites are equipped with various features such as vernier scales, electronic displays, and leveling mechanisms to ensure accuracy in measurements. They have been widely used since the 16th century and have evolved with advancements in technology, including the integration of electronic sensors and digital displays in modern versions.

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