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  Surveying Instrument Collection 


R. Reiss, Liebenwerda, Germany



Serial Number



445 x 233 x 57 mm





When complete, this German drafting set contains about 41 pieces for technical drawing with pencil and Indian ink. The box is felt lined (dark blue). The tray with the drawing instruments can be removed. The felt is embossed (in gold print) with "Präzisionsmarke Prima Exact" and "R. Reiss GmbH, Liebenwerda".

Close to the hinge are two devices for 10 different types of dotted lines and a parallel rules for producing shaded areas. The ten small disks can be inserted to generate dotted lines with different patterns. The long bar is a beam compass. In one of the two sliders, a pin can be inserted, in the other, a pencil or and Indian ink ("ruling") pen.

The set contains two ruling pens and one dividing compass (with two spikes). All compasses are missing.

History & comments

Hermann Robert Reiss (1844 - 1911) was a German inventor and founder of companies, who started his professional life as a surveyor. In 1882 he started trading with surveying tools as a sideline. In 1985, his mail order business became his main occupation. In-house production started with ranging poles, measuring bars, levelling staffs and then progressed to fine mechanics (incl. levels, theodolites, slide rules (1912), precision rulers and drafting sets) and office furniture. The company was expropriated in 1945. Reiss employees however continued the business, concentrating today on office furniture. For more information, go to (de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermann_Robert_Reiss), for example.

According to (www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=230694) Esdaile traded under the name and address given below from 1947 to 1953.


in wooden felt-lined box


excellent, but many pieces missing


Box carries label "Sirius E.Esdaile & Sons Pty Ltd, 42 Hunter Street, Sydney, BW8631". The company used the trade name "Sirius" (after the flagship of the first fleet)[ from 1919?].


Catalogued in October 2013 by JMR. Photo by JMR.

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