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Surveyor’s Clinometer


This object is kept in a triangularly shaped leather case with a flap-close and a hole in the flap to attach to a pin to allow it to be closed. The object itself consists of a square metal tube with an open end and at the other end a round, ridged screw adjuster. Attached to one side of this tube is a metal semi-circle shape with a scale marked in divisions of tens around the curved edge. At the far ends of the scale, the divisions are twenties and thirties. Attached to the centre of this protractor shape is a piece of metal with a spirit level/bubble in the middle. An extending arm reaches down from the centre of the semi-circle on a pivot slider with an arrow that acts as an indicator on the scale. This can be fixed in place with a ridged screw knob.

Accession Number: 2019.for.20

Alternative Name: Hand Level

Primary Materials:

Metal: Iron Alloy, Metal: Copper Alloy, Leather.


Stamped into the leather of the case: “K & E CO”

Written in ink on the interior of the case: “Buckingham”

Etched into the metal of the instrument’s compass: “KEUFFEL & ESSER”

Dimensions (cm): In case: 18cm x 9cm x 4.5cm


This instrument enables the calculation of the height of an object given a known distance from its vertical base using percentages.


Good: The leather case of the instrument is marked, dented and worn across its surface. The flap and pin that allow the case to be closed are intact. The metal of the tube section is in good condition, although worn around the corners. The metal of the compass is corroded in places, with evidence of verdigris around edges and centres of the knobs.

Associated Instruments:

Manufacturer: Keuffel & Esser, New York

Date of Manufacture: c. 1910s-1920s


Department of Forestry. This object was likely used in the field by undergraduate students. It may have belonged to someone with the name “Buckingham”. Since then, it has been stored by the Department. It was collected in July 2019 from Tony Ung.

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: