Theodolite: in Wooden Box

Cary, Porter, Ltd.
Production date
Circa 1900
Theodolite has telescope with rack and pinion focusing to the objective, with sliding mount and ray shade. This has bubble level mounted above, connected by tube to an enclosed vertical circle with silvered scale, twin verniers and magnifiers, clamp and tangent screw fine adjustment, the glass covered compass mounted over the connecting tube with two bubble levels, silvered dial, edge-bar needle, and clamp, the horizontal circle with silvered scale and twin verniers and magnifiers, clamp and tangent screw fine adjustment, raised on a tripod base with three adjustable screw feet. Contained in original fitted mahogany box with brass hinges, handle and fittings. inside supports are trimmed in green felt, and the lid has the remains of an applied label for Cary, Porter, Ltd. On the outside of the lid is the painted inscription 'H.O.[Government broad arrow mark]59'.
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Object Detail

Collecting unit
Production role
Provenance details
Surveying instrument made by Cary, Porter, Ltd., and used on the Discovery expedition to Antarctica. Specifically used in the 1902 season by Armitage on the first ascent of the Ferrar Glacier ( later named the Upper Taylor Glacier), as well as in the 1903 season by Lt Mulock on Barnes' second journey to the South West on which they were the true discoverers of the Byrd Glacier and sighted the inland ice, Mulock recording an angle of one thirtieth of a degree elevation from the horizontal.: Lieutenant George Mulock: Hut Point/Mc Murdo Sound/Antarctica: 1903
Lt Albert Armitage: Hut Point/Mc Murdo Sound/Antarctica: 1901-1904
Dimensions (LxWxH): 185 x 150 x 120mm (7 5/16 x 5 7/8 x 4 3/4")
Dimensions (LxWxH): 230 x 170 x 130mm (9 1/16 x 6 11/16 x 5 1/8")
Associated place
Current rights code
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Accession number
Marks and Inscriptions
Marks/Inscriptions: Cary London; Type of mark: Signature; Notes: Signed on the compass
Marks/Inscriptions: ANT EX 1901 H.O. [Government broad arrow mark]59.; Type of mark: Engraved; Notes: Engraved on telescope
Marks/Inscriptions: Cary, Porter, Ltd.; Type of mark: Label; Notes: Remains of label
Marks/Inscriptions: H.O. [Government broad arrow mark] 59; Type of mark: Painted; Notes: Gold with shadow technique


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Hi I know of 3 of this model, I have one, you have one and one in the British science museum collections Do you know of any others?? There is no batch markings, No model or serial numbers on or in my instrument I am shore 5 or 6 were made fore the Antarctica experditions, Can you shed any light on this? The ring and set screw that are displayed with your one are not for this model, I am striped and repaired my one so am very fermiller with each part, It appears that you are missing a lot of parts with your theodolite.

- Chris

Posted on 25-09-2023 15:31:10

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