Collecting Military Compasses


Survey compass Keuffel & Esser Co New York


 The Keuffel and Esser Co., also known as K & E, was a drafting instrument and supplies company founded in 1867 by German immigrants William J. D. Keuffel and Herman Esser. It was the first American company to specialize in these products.

 Keuffel and Esser started out in New York and sold drawing materials and drafting supplies. In 1876, K & E started selling surveying instruments. A four-story factory, a in Hoboken, New Jersey was completed four years later, and K & E was incorporated in 1889. In 1892, the company commissioned a building for their showroom and offices at 127 Fulton Street in Manhattan.The building was completed in 1893, and the company occupied it until 1961. It was designated a New York City landmark in 2005.

In the first decade of the 20th century, Keuffel and Esser introduced another, new line of surveying instruments based on the work of John Paoli, an Italian immigrant in Hoboken. A new Keuffel and Esser Manufacturing Complex was built in 1906. The building was converted to housing in 1975, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 12, 1985.


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