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Surveying Aneroid


This instrument was used to measure the altitude of an object above a fixed level. It is a circular instrument with a small magnifier attached and a dial mechanism for adjustments, and the entire face of the object is made up of a large dial, measuring altitudes between 0 and 6000 feet. The instrument is made of lacquered brass and glass, and is heavy in comparison to its size. The case of the object is purpose-built, made of brown leather and carried on a strap, demonstrating that this object was meant to be used in the field for surveying. The case does not have a fastener, but the cover is hinged and fits tightly when closed. The inside of the case is lined with maroon velvet.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name: Aneroid Barometer, Altimeter

Primary Materials:

Brass, Lacquer, Glass, Leather, Velvet, Other Metal


On dial: “Surveying Aneroid No G 4754” “Short & Mason London” “Made in England” “Compensated”

Dimensions (cm):

Case: Length = 16 cm, Width = 13.5 cm, Depth = 6 cm; Instrument: width = 12 cm, length = 14.5 cm (inclusive of magnifier), height = 5.5 cm


Used to measure altitude above a fixed level.


Instrument: good, some minor scratches on bottom and side revealing the brass beneath the lacquer.

Case: Poor – leather is visibly deteriorating and affected by red rot, particularly on the strap. The strap has broken into three pieces.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Short & Mason, London

Date of Manufacture: after 1875


It was acquired by the University of Toronto Scientific Instruments Collection on August 25th, 2014 from a storage room in the McLennan Physical Laboratory building.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: