Search Results


< 1 of 1 > Back

probably made in London

Postcard of Theodolite.
© National Museums Scotland


A theodolite is a surveying instrument for measuring horizontal and vertical angles. This example is known as an 'Everest' theodolite after its designer, Sir George Everest (1790-1866). It was made around 1860, probably by Troughton and Simms, scientific instrument makers based in London.

The instrument is a bold attempt to model a radically new theodolite, on the best principles of contemporary astronomical instruments, and some of its best features were adopted as standard in theodolites.

Everest (after whom the mountain is named) was head of the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India from 1823. In 1825 he went back to England on sick leave, and it was apparently during this period that he devised a small five-inch theodolite which was manufactured and tested during 1829. So successful did this model prove that it was still in production in the 1880s.

Record details

To search on related items, click any linked text below.

Online ID: 000-190-004-723-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1974.304
Date: Around 1860
c. 1860
Dimensions: 5.00"
Subject: 5. CARTOGRAPHY, Surveying (Departmental Classification)
Who: Everest (Epnoym)
Troughton and Simms, London (Maker)
Where: England, London
Description: Reversing Everest theodolite by Troughton and Simm, c. 1860
  • For George Everest, see Colonel Sir George Everest (1790-1866): a Celebration of the Bicentenary of his Birth (London, 1990). For the Great Trigonometrical Survey, see Matthew H. Edney, Mapping an Empire: the Geographical Construction of British India 17 
  • For Troughton & Simms, see Anita McConnell, Instrument Makers to the World: A History of Cooke, Troughton & Simms (York, 1992), esp. pp 27-29. 
  • Jane Insley, 'The Origin of the Everest Theodolite', Bulletin of the Scientific Instrument Society, No. 43 (1994), 22-23. 
Related Records:
< 1 of 1 > Back
Powered by Scran