Keuffel & Esser, (fl.1867-1982) New York.

German immigrants Wilhelm Johann Diedrich Keuffel (*1838-†1908) and Hermann Esser (*1845-†1908) establish scientific instrument manufacturing firm Keuffel & Esser in New York City in 1867. Best known for its popularization of the slide rule, Keuffel & Esser was the first American company to specialize in the manufacture and sale of drafting and surveying tools. By the early twentieth century, it was one of the largest manufacturers of scientific instruments in the world.

 

 

Above left: Keuffel and Esser showroom frontage at 127 Fulton Street in NYC ca. 1890, before it was rebuilt and 4 floors added in 1892-93. Illustration from Catalogue & Price List of Keuffel & Esser Co., N.Y., 23rd Edition, 1892.

Courtesy of Hoboken Historical Museum.

 

Above right: Keuffel and Esser showroom interior at 127 Fulton Street in NYC ca. 1904. Illustration from Keuffel & Esser Co., Instruments for Forest Work 1904.

Courtesy of Internet Archive.


Proportional dividers

Key Instruments proportional dividers by Keuffel & Esser. Key Instruments (drawing instruments and sets) was a brand marketed by Keuffel & Esser. These proportional dividers, graduated for lines and circles, feature a micrometer bar for accurately setting divisions for line or circle. The bar can also be moved in a position to accurately set the distance betrween the points. Dividers measure 245mm in length.

 

Illustration on right from Catalogue & Price List of Keuffel & Esser Co., N.Y., 23rd Edition, 1892, page 65.

Courtesy of Hoboken Historical Museum.

 


Lithographic compasses

Illustration on right from Catalogue & Price List of Keuffel & Esser Co., N.Y., 23rd Edition, 1892, page 71.

Courtesy of Hoboken Historical Museum.


NOTES / REFERENCES

 

1. Hoboken Historical Museum: Online Collections Database;  Partners in Creating. The First Century of K+E 1867/1967 http://ppolinks.com/hoboken32340/20090060022_K&E_Centennial_1967_pages_PDF.pdf

 

2. Landmarks Preservation Commission KEUFFEL & ESSER COMPANY BUILDING, 127 Fulton Street

http://www.nyc.gov/html/lpc/downloads/pdf/reports/k&e.pdf 

 

3. K+E Timeline: http://www.antiquesurveying.com/K&E%20History.htm 

 

4. Wilhelm J.D. Keuffel (1838-1908) http://www.immigrantentrepreneurship.org/entry.php?rec=157

 

K+E ONLINE CATALOGUES

  Year   Edition   Source   Notes
  1890   21st edition    HathiTrust  
  1892   23rd Edition, 1892   Hoboken Historical Museum   
  1900   30th edition, 1900   Antique Surveying Instruments  
  1904   Instruments for Forest Work   Internet Archive   instruments for forest work
  1909   33rd edition   Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh  
  1913   34th edition   Internet Archive  
  1921   36th edition    HathiTrust  
  1925   K+E Drawing Instruments   Internet Archive  
  1936   38th edition   Internet Archive   
  1949   41st edition   Internet Archive  drafting & reproduction catalog
  1963   K+E Educational Supplies & Equipment   Internet Archive