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probably made in Edinburgh

Postcard of Level.
© National Museums Scotland


This level was made around 1790, probably by John Miller, a scientific instrument maker based in Edinburgh. It is made of brass.

The level has a bubble tube beneath a telescope with push-fit focus and a single lens objective. The telescope is hinged at the objective end over a limb, with a screw adjustment in altitude at the eye end. The limb is signed 'J=Miller Edinburgh'.

Miller began in business in 1769 just as a period of rapid agricultural change in Scotland was ending. The number of land surveyors between around 1750 and around 1770 increased from around 10 to around 70 and stayed at this level into the 19th century.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-755-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1980.124
Date: Around 1790
c. 1790
Material: Brass. Inscription: J=Miller Edinburgh
Dimensions: 450 mm L
Who: Arthur Frank Collection of Scottish Scientific Instruments
J. Miller, Edinburgh (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: 18" level in brass with bubble tube suspended beneath the telescope and socket mount, signed by John Miller of Edinburgh, c. 1790
  • 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 65 
  • T.N. Clarke, A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson (1989): "Brass and Glass 
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