Surveyors' level

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probably made in Edinburgh

Postcard of Surveyors' level.
© National Museums Scotland

Surveyors' level

This surveyors' level (pictured here in its wooden case) was made around 1850, probably by Alexander Adie & Son, scientific instrument makers based in Edinburgh. It is made of brass.

The level has a bubble tube slung under the telescope, and is supplied with an extra eye-piece. It does not have a levelling head, with fitted screws, which would have fitted underneath between the level and the tripod.

The market for surveying instruments continued well into the 19th century. Instruments like this level would have been used by civil engineers in the many new urban projects undertaken by the Victorians, such as new roads, railways and water supply.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-696-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1959.40
Date: Around 1850
c. 1850
Material: Wood case
Dimensions: 11.00" x 8.00" x 3.50" overall
What: Level, surveyor's / case
Subject: 5. CARTOGRAPHY, Surveying (Departmental Classification)
Who: Adie and Son, 50 Princes Street, Edinburgh (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Brass surveyor's level, in a wooden case, by Adie and Son of Edinburgh, c. 1850
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. p 45 
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