overall: 1.8 cm x 22 cm x 10.8 cm; 23/32 in x 8 21/32 in x 4 1/4 in
drawing instruments, set of
United States: Connecticut, New Haven
This wooden case is covered with black leather and lined with blue satin and velvet. The case has a steel locking pin. The bottom of the case has a red and white sticker marked: PRE-1960 (/) PROPERTY OF (/) Edward A. Chapin. (/) SMITHSONIAN (/) ENTOMOLOGY. The inside of the lid is marked: E. L. Washburn & Co (/) New Haven, Conn. The set includes:
1) 6" German silver compass with bendable legs and removable pencil point, pen point, and lengthening bar. On one side, the joint is marked: D.R.P. On the other side, the joint has the Schoenner logo: an S, a G, and two intersecting arrows with two heads superimposed on each other. Inside one leg is marked: SCHOENNER GERMANY.
2) 5-3/4" German silver fixed-leg dividers. On one side, the joint is marked: D.R.P. On the other side, the joint has the Schoenner logo: an S, G, and two intersecting arrows with two heads superimposed on each other. Inside one leg is marked: SCHOENNER GERMANY.
3) 3-3/8" German silver bow dividers, bow pen, and bow pencil.
4) 4" and 5-1/8" ebony, German silver, and steel drawing pens.
5) 1-1/4" cylindrical metal case with four pencil leads. Two additional leads and a 1/2" round brass weight are loose in the case.
6) 1" metal joint tightener.
Besides the extra leads and weight, the set appears to be intact. For other sets manufactured in part or whole by Schoenner, a German firm that operated between 1851 and World War II, see 1977.0279.01, 1977.1101.0097, 1979.0868.01, 1989.0305.05, 1990.0350.01, and 317925.04. E. L. Washburn, a medical doctor, began to make and sell surgical instruments and supplies in New Haven, Conn., in 1866. He had partners until 1876, when he became sole proprietor and named the business after himself. By 1899, he also sold mathematical instruments. The firm was still operating in 1938.
Edward Albert Chapin (1894–1969), curator of entomology at the National Museum of Natural History, owned these instruments. He completed undergraduate work at Yale in 1916 and then moved away from Connecticut, so it is likely he purchased the instruments during his studies. He worked for the Smithsonian from 1934 to 1954 and left the set behind when he retired. U.S. Department of Agriculture scientist Richard White may then have used the instruments.
References: <i>Leading Business Men of New Haven County</i> (Boston: Mercantile Publishing Company, 1887), 134; <i>New Haven Directory</i> (New Haven: Price & Lee Co., 1899), 734; Smithsonian Institution Archives Acc. 11-085, "Chapin, Edward Albert 1894–, Edward Albert Chapin Field Notebooks, 1937–1947," http://siarchives.si.edu/collections/siris_arc_298428; accession file.