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Carl Bamberg, Berlin, Germany



Serial Number



Telescope Length 560mm, Height 360mm


Carl Bamberg Micrometer Theodolite


This micrometer theodolite by Carl Bamberg comprises of two diagonally opposite screw microscopes for the reading of the horizontal circle which. The telescope is 560 mm long. The horizontal circle has a diameter of 210 mm and is graduated every 5 minutes from 0 to 360. Due to the absence of a vertical circle, the theodolite can only be used for measuring horizontal directions. Since the telescope cannot be transitted, it has to be removed from the horizontal bearings and rotated by 180 degrees for measurements in 'Face Right'.

This version of the theodolite with a 210 mm diameter circle has been used for meaurements in second order triangulation networks. According to W. Jordan (1893) this instrument was used for trigonometric surveys at the time in Germany. Similar instruments with larger horrizontal circles (270 mm and 350 mm) were used for first order triangulation surveys.

Jordan (1893, Chapter 61, Page 182, see figure below) depicts a very similar theodolite to which he refers as 'Berlin Microscope Theodolite'. It has a shorter telesope of 440 mm length (with two Ramsden eyepieces of 40x and 55x magnification), a striding (rather than 'plate') level with a sensitivity of 5.6" and two reading screw microscopes with 17x magnification. The instrument design follows that of the former manufacture of Pistor & Martins (where Carl Bamberg worked before).

Ref: Jordan, W. 1893. Handbuch der Vermessungskunde. Vol. 2: Feld- und Land-Messung, 4th improved and extended edition, J.B. Metzlerscher Verlag, Stuttgart.

History & comments

According to Wikipedia, Johann Carl Wilhelm Anton Bamberg (1847 - 1892) was a German (fine-) mechanic and enterpreneur. He trained as a mechanic at Carl Zeiss (Jena) from 1862-1866 and attended lectures by Ernst Abbe at university. After the apprenticeship he worked first at Zeiss, was accepted at university without a high school certificate and then moved to Berlin where he worked with Eduard Sprenger and then at Pistor and Martins. In 1871, he started his own company, manufacturing planimeters as well as nautic and magnetic instruments and theodolites and tripods for surveying. Orders for astronomical instruments followed. The 'Carl Bamberg Werkstätten für Präzisions-Mechanik und Optik' were created in 1888 (in Berlin). Bamberg was assisted by Siegfried Czapski with the development of a circle dividing machine and the calculations of optics. After Carl Bamberg's death at the age of 44, the firm was continued by his wife, a son (Paul Adolf Bamberg, 1874-1946) and a son-in-law Max Roux (1886-1946). After the purchase of another firm, a new company (Askania Werke AG) was created.

After the second world war, the ASKANIA WERKE AG Bodenseewerk Ueberlingen was created which manufactured, amongst other things, distance meters (for photograpy and cameras). The firm became later Bodenseewerk Perkin Elmer and manufactured still cameras and stereo-cameras (1954),

Refs: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Bamberg (viewed on 5 Sep 2014)

http://www.3d-historisch.de/Bodenseewerk/Geschichte-BSW.htm (viewed on 5 Sep 2014)

The webpages with the biographical details of Carl Bamberg were kindly provided by Manfrad Spata


In a wooden box


Good condition, well maintained


  • Inscription: 'S. G. O.' (Surveyor General's Office)
  • Catalogued by T. Ko
  • Updated by F. Pall
  • Updated by J. M. Rüeger (2014)
  • Dates

    Manufactured in 1884 (approx). Catalogued in 1997 and 2014

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