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Larry and Carole
Meeker

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Antique & Vintage
Keuffel & Esser Surveying Transits

Past Sales Archive

This is just a sample of the many antique K & E transits we have sold.
Click link to see other Sales Archive Pages on this Site.

We can help you sell quality Surveying Related Antiques Contact Us.

Special Note Concerning Prices Seen Below:
Most prices seen reflect actual sale results from this website.
Prices seen span a long time and may not reflect current values.  Some are selling for more, many now sell for less.
On other pieces you will see no price, or a price range, with or without an explanation.  The reasons for that are discussed on the FAQ page.

For further info on consigning / selling your antiques with us please see our FAQ page, the Appraisal / Selling Page and the Selling Your Collection Pages.

Our current offering of Antiques for sale are at our sister Website Patented-Antiques.com.



Keuffel & Esser Paragon #5081 1/2 C Mining Transit w/ Auxiliary ScopeKeuffel & Esser  #5081 1/2 C Mining Transit w/ Auxiliary Scope  This is a super nice Keuffel & Esser Paragon Mining transit.  The # 5081 1/2 C is designated as a mining transit, and it is specially designed to accept a secondary scope that mounts either to the top of the main scope or to the outboard side as shown in the pics.  Mining transits with these secondary scopes are very unusual and hard to come by. 

This mining transits serial # is 133021 indicating it was made in the 50's.  The black matt finish is near perfect.  It shows little signs of use and just a few minor box scuffs at high points to the finish.  The optics are crisp and clear.  The fitted box is nice as well, and set up to accept the auxiliary scope and weight you see. 

The main scope is 10" long and has a 20 power magnification.  The horizontal limb is 5 1/2" and graduated to half degrees. It has double vernier windows set to 30 degrees thatKeuffel & Esser Paragon #5081 1/2 C Mining Transit w/ Auxiliary Scope read to a minute.  The compass needle is approx 3 1/2" and is gold plated.  It functions  properly.  All motions are free and turn smoothly.  The rear eyepiece focus works well..  The 4 1/2" vertical circle is graduated on silver and also reads to a minute. 

The auxiliary scope is 6 5/8" long and 14 power.  It is designed to mount either to the top of the scope or just outside the standards on the side.

Mining transits were used in situations where the operator had to shoot down vertical shafts or odd angles and the horizontal plate would interfere.  When mounted on either the top or side it projected past the plate to allow the user to shoot that line.  Different manufacturers used different approaches to solve the problem, and K & E used the two point attachment system with counterweight which allowed for different setups in different situations.  Others include the Buff version where the main scope could be released and moved into another position on the standards above the plate.  There is also a version with a leaning frame to allow for the same effect.

Excellent . . . . .  $1995.00       SOLD!!



K & E / Keuffel & Esser c. 1910 Twisted Frame Transit w/ Saegmuller Solar Attachment in Original BoxK & E / Keuffel & Esser c. 1910 Twisted Frame Solar Transit w/Saegmuller Solar Attachment in Original Box  This is the most complete, and nicest condition solar transit I have ever seen or offered for sale.  It hardly looks to have never been used.  The box is covered in canvas and is in like new condition noting minor wear or fraying of the cloth at the corners.

The distinctive looking twisted frame standards K & E used on this instrument were only offered for about 10 years or so.  The serial # 23632 is found on both the box, and the plate of the instrument.  That dates this transit from 1911 according to the charts available at www.surveyhistory.org. The matte green lacquer finish on the instrument is near pristine. Nearly every holder for small tools on the door is full.  The loupe, plumb bob, oil can, and more are all present.  The solar attachment has a mounting platform on the inside of the box on a side wall.   Please look at all the pics to see the exceptional condition.

Solar attachments were developed for use in the field to facilitate finding ones location using the sun and horizon much as seafarers would do with sextants or octants.  There use was made necessary where ore deposits would adversely affect the accuracy of a regular compass.  Each surveying instrument maker developed or adapted one or more different designs for use on their instruments.  Other patented versions were named after the inventor such as Burt, Smith, Pearson, and others.  

All motions operate smoothly. The silvered compass face is flawless, and the compass swings north.  Cross hairs are present in both scopes. NO apologies.  You will never find a nicer example.  The nicest example of a rare instrument that will display very nicely in any number of settings.

Fine +  . . . . . . $3250.00         SOLD!!



Keuffel & Esser # 5165 Engineer's Locating TransitKeuffel & Esser # 5165 Engineer's Locating Transit   The serial number on this nice looking and hard to find transit is 10973.  It can be found on the plate near the window and the patent dates this transit was manufactured under.  According to the chart it dates from 1905.  The compass needle measures 3 5/8" and is operable.  With its 9" scope, it is approx. the same size as the Preliminary transits or the light mountain models. A very nice instrument all in all.  The box is pretty nice, and I can supply a nice collapsible leg tripod for an additional $155.00

Excellent  . . . . .$495.00         SOLD




Keuffel & Esser & Y & S #5166 Special Survey TransitKeuffel & Esser & Y & S #5166 Special Survey Transit Serial # 62968     This is a very nice Preliminary Surveying Transit that carries both the well known name of  K & E and the lesser known but widely respected firm of Young & Sons a long established instrument making company from PA that K & E bought out in 1918.  This instrument was well cared for and shows little signs of use or abuse. This transit is basically the same size and design as the Light Mountain Transit, but was offered during its time for slightly less money.  The finishes are near fine, and all of adjusting screws move freely and the optics are clear.  Inside the box the label says this is a Special, and I assume that refers to the crosshair arrangement as it has in addition to the 3 horizontal and 1 vertical line that you would expect there are also 2 diagonal lines running in each direction as well.  All 3 of the bubbles are good, The compass is nice, the scales are nice, the 16oz bob is a Dietzgen, and the small feet are in the pouch to convert the base for tabletop use. The lens cap and sun shade are here as well.  All in all a great little piece in super condition.  Use it or display it in the collection it is ready for either.

Excellent  . . . . .$595.00          SOLD



Keuffel & Esser # 5060 Engineer's Locating TransitK & E #5060 Engineer's Transit This is a very large and graphic transit. The scope measures 11".    The serial # is 63463 which would date this from approx 1936 according to the dating chart found on the www.SurveyHistory.org site.   It does have one apology in that one of the 4 leveling screws is stripped and slides up and down in its hole.  The threads are worn, and i believe that simply replacing it will solve the problem.  The box is proper but beat up and very dirty.  The tripod size is 3 5/8 x 12.

Excellent  . . . . .$495.00          SOLD






Keuffel & Esser / K & E # 5127 Builders TransitKeuffel & Esser # 5127 Builders Transit   This style of transit w/o a compass was generally used by trades where a compass or orientation was not important such as builders.  The condition is super and it is all original.   

Excellent  . . . . .$395.00          SOLD









Keuffel & Esser TransiKeuffel & Esser Builders Transit   This style of transit has a nice contrasting color scheme.  I think it may have been refinished.  The ring to the left is an adapter to mount it to the 3 1/2 x 8 tripod that it came with.  The condition is super.   

Excellent  . . . . .$495.00          SOLD







Keuffel & Esser # 5129 Preliminary Survey TransitKeuffel & Esser # 5129 Preliminary Survey Transit   This is a nice looking transit that dates from approx 1918 as evidenced by the serial # 35,--- which is found on the compass face.  It is in overall very nice condition and has 90% or more of the black / bronzed  finish on most of the instrument.  The scope measures approx. 8" long.  The compass is functional and the needle on this example measures about 3 1/2" .  On the side it has a  vertical half circle vernier which is 3 1/2" in Dia.  All screws and motions move freely and as they should.  The optics clear and clean.  The base measures 2 3/4", and the instrument weighs approx 8 lbs.  It is an ideal size for use or display.   A nice piece, in a hard to find size.

Excellent  . . . . .$695.00        SOLD





Keuffel 
	& Esser # 5129 Preliminary Survey TransitKeuffel & Esser # 5129 Preliminary Survey Transit    This is a great looking transit that dates from 1908 as evidenced by the serial # 16974 which is found both on the compass face and the Mahogany box.  It is in overall very nice condition and has 98% or more of the green lacquer finish on the scope portion.  The horizontal limb in its original brass finish has mellowed to a soft warm patina.   The compass is operational and the needle on this example measures about 2 3/4" .  It has a full vertical circle which is 3 1/2" in Dia.  All screws and motions move freely and as they should.  The optics and crosshairs are clear and clean.  The base measures 2 3/4", and the instrument weighs approx. 8 lbs.  It is an ideal size for use or display and it is a great looker with its contrasting finishes.  A nice piece, in a hard to find size.

Excellent  . . . . .$595.00         SOLD



Keuffel & Esser Engineers or Architects Survey TransitKeuffel & Esser Engineers or Architects Survey Transit    This is a nice looking transit that dates from the 1920's according to the serial number found on the compass face.  There are earlier patent dates from the 1890's on the outer brass ring.  The 3 level bubbles are all clear and look original.  The optics are crisp and there is a single cross for crosshairs.  The scope measures approx 12" and the mounting ring for the tripod is about 3 5/8 ".   The overall condition of this transit is very nice, and it has aged to a nice 2 tone brownish brass patina that close to 100 years age provides.  It has the original box which someone has painted in the past (see pics). 

Architects or engineers style transits typically had 10-12" scopes. The half vertical circle measures 4 1/2" and is graduated to 30 degrees or 1 minute to either side.  The compass face is 6" and the needle measures just over 4". It is operable. The vernier under the small windows is set up the same 30 degrees to either side.   All motions are pretty smooth and operate correctly. This transit will display nicely, or would make a good user.

Good . . . . .$795.00         SOLD



Keuffel & Esser Paragon  Model # 74-0000 Engineers TransitKeuffel & Esser Paragon Model # 74-0000 Engineers Transit  This Keuffel & Esser Paragon transit is a beautiful piece of engineering from the end of an era in the US. K & E's  Paragon transits were one of the last American made transits that were offered for sale in the United States, and this is one of the last of those.  The Keuffel & Esser Co. had had a long and notable run in the industry beginning as far back as the 1860's.

This particular instrument has a additional history and provenance that sets it apart from  standard K & E Paragon transits you might find.  This Paragon transit was never sold by K & E and was originally used as an executive sales demonstrator until it was presented to the last acting president of the company Gary Wrench,  in 1982.  Included is its Rosewood Laminate carrying case, and a NOS collapsible leg transit that were given to the last president in appreciation for his services in the early 80's.  It has been on display for the last 25 or so years in Mr. Wrenches home and office.

The transit itself stands about 14" tall and it has a 12" scope.  The  4 1'2" vertical circle / vernier is engraved on silver to 1 minute.  The optics are clear and crisp.  The crosshairs present.  The compass works as it should and the serial number of 234,304 is on a label under the glass.  It has a 4" gold plated needle.  A fine instrument in superb condition that marks the end of an era and an American icon, the Keuffel & Esser Company.

Excellent  . . . . .$1250.00          SOLD



Keuffel & Esser Twisted Frame TransitKeuffel & Esser 5085 Engineers Transit   This is a large & nice looking Engineers transit that dates from 1908. The serial # 17657 which is found on the plate outside the compass. There are two patent dates from near the turn of the century stamped there as well.

This was the largest size transit that K & E produced and is listed in their catalogs as an Engineers Transit. This transit has K & E's distinctive twisted leg standards that were promoted as being stronger and superior to their earlier A frame design in the catalog write-ups. They give the instrument a very graphic look and interesting look the way one is twisted in the front and one in the rear and opposite from side to side. I believe K & E only used this design for 10 - 15 years and were phased out around 1913 or so.

It is in overall very nice condition and has 98% or more of the black matt finish on the upper portions, and a gloss black finish on the lower base. The scope measures 11 1/2" long. It has a 4 1/2" gold plated needle, and the silvered compass face is super clean. There is no discoloration or corrosion here at all. It appears that one of the small level vials has been changed out at some point, and there is a repair tag inside the box that would indicate that this was a factory repair. It is equipped with a half circle vernier and the readout is to the rear of one leg and graduated to 15 degrees. The horizontal vernier are graduated to 30 degrees. The small opaque shades for them are missing but are an easy fix.

All screws and motions move freely and as they should. The optics are clear and clean and there is one vertical and three horizontal crosshairs. The base measures 3 1/2" x 8. The tripod is proper and nice, noting that one leg bracket has a crack in the brass. There are two of these on each leg so it is still operational. The transit weighs over 16 lbs and has a commanding presence. It is an ideal size for display and it is a great looker with its near perfect finishes. A nice piece.

Excellent  . . . . .$495.00         SOLD



Keuffel & Esser Engineers TransitKeuffel & Esser Engineers Transit   This is a large & nice looking Engineers transit that dates from 1927 or so.   The serial # 52593 is found on the plate outside the compass.  

This transit has K & E's inverted U   standards that were promoted as being stronger and superior to their earlier A frame design in the catalog write-ups.  They give the instrument a very graphic look and interesting look.  They adopted this style after the twisted leg standards were dropped and I believe K & E used this basic idea until getting out of the surveying instrument manufacturing business back in the 80's. 

The transit is in overall very nice condition and has 98% or more of the black matt finish on the upper portions, and a gloss black finish on the lower base.  The scope measures 11 1/2" long.  It has a 4  1/2" gold plated needle, and the silvered compass face is super clean.  There is no discoloration or corrosion here at all.     The horizontal vernier are graduated to 30 degrees. The small opaque shades are present. All screws and motions move freely and as they should.  The optics  are clear and clean and there is one vertical and three horizontal crosshairs.   It takes a 3 1/2" x 8 tripod.  The box looks to be owner made using parts from the original box. 

Good + . . . . . .$595.00          SOLD!




K & E / Keuffel & Esser 5077 Light Mountain TransitK & E / Keuffel & Esser #5077 Light Mountain Transit  This fine condition small transit  is very lightweight and designed for use in the field.  The finish on the instrument is near perfect.  The tripod mount size is 2 3/4".   From the serial # 24908 this transit dates from 1911.  The catalog I have from 1909 shows this model with what is known as twisted frame standards.  This transit has a more typical A frame standards.  The scope is approx 8" long.  It has an erect image and the optics are crisp and clear.  The crosshairs are present.  The silvered compass with 3" needle operates properly.  All other motions seem to operate as they should. All level vials are full and original.  The box is nice.  There is no tripod.

This transit will display very nicely and be a highlight of any collection of surveying related instruments.  

Fine . . . . . .$695.00        SOLD!




Keuffel & Esser # 5076 Light Mountain Transit w/ Saegmuller Solar AttachmentKeuffel & Esser # 5076 Light Mountain Transit w/ Saegmuller Solar Attachment  This K & E 5076 Solar Transit an early, rare, and desirable American Surveying  Instrument.   The superb condition and completeness of this  wonderful K & E transit w/ its Saegmuller solar attachment is second to none. Note all the accessories inside the door are present, including the magnifier, brush, plumb bob, adjusters,  and even the oil can, which you never see.  It also has 2 sunshades, and the right angle aux eyepiece for the main scope. 

Keuffel & Esser or K & E began operations in the mid 1870's as a partnership between 2 brothers. The company was founded in NJ and were quite well known for both their surveying instruments as well as their line of drafting supplies and slide rules.  There is a short and interesting bio on the firm, and the introduction of this style of transit with its distinctive twisted leg standard at the Smithsonian site.

 This transit has an 9" scope and is designated as a Light Mountain model.  Only the Expedition model transit with its 6' scope is smaller. This particular example dates from the early 1900's has a serial # of 11287.  The number on the box tag matches.  It is factory fitted with a mount on the top of the scope to accept the #5090 solar attachment.  There is a dedicated mount on the wooden board to accept the # 5090 solar attachment that K & E manufactured when not in use or for storage and transport.  Solar attachments gave the user a very exact way to determine their exact location using the sun and the horizon.  They were especially useful here in the west or places where large deposits of ore could affect the magnetic compass allowing for mistakes in the work being performed.

The Smithsonian has a near identical solar transit in their collection, and that example can be viewed there along with the write-up they have for it.  

It is a wonder that something that was made with the intention to be used in the field could be in such exceptional condition nearly 100 years later. This transit came out of a foothill community here in northern CA and was obviously stored in a dry and clean environment for the last 100 years. The box shows just a few minor scuffs from storage. The clear green lacquer finish on the transit is near perfect. All motions are free and turn as they should. The optics are perfect and exhibit no cloudiness or other problems. The crosshairs 1 vertical, 3 horizontal, and 2 crossed in the middle are present. It will be a long time before another example in as nice condition appears if ever.

The tripod size is 3 1/2 x 8.  A very nice and proper tripod is available separately for $200.


Excellent . . . . . . .$2995.00         SOLD!



K & E / Keuffel & Esser Twisted Frame TransitK & E / Keuffel & Esser Twisted Frame Transit   K & E offered this design transit with its distinctive design standards back in the teens.  It gives the instrument a great look, but was expensive to produced and it was a short lived idea that disappeared by the 1920's.  

Good + . . . . .$995.00         SOLD!






K & E / Keuffel & Esser Transit1950's K & E / Keuffel & Esser 5081 Transit  This surveying instrument with a serial # of 134928 dates from 1955 according to available dating charts. After comparing features in a 1950's catalog I believe the model # is 5081 Engineer's Mountain & Mining Transit.  The box seen in the first pic is a custom made metal affair that was well done and thought out.  It has heavy foam padding inside to help protect the instrument during transport.  The tray the instrument is attached to is fitted like a typical wooden box the way it slides in.   The metal box about doubles the weight as it weighs over 40 lbs. when in the box.

The scope is 10"  long and the optics are crisp and clear.  There is one vertical cross hair, and one horizontal, not in the middle.  It appears 2 horizontal crosshairs are missing.  All of the level vials are full and appear to be original.  The compass with it 3" gold plated needle operates properly.  All motions are free and nice.  It will need some work done in order to be a user, but will display nicely as is. 

Good . . . . . . $245.00     SOLD!!




K & E / Keuffel & Esser AlidadeK & E / Keuffel & Esser #5093 Alidade   This dates from the 60's or 70's and saw little use in the field.  It was purchased at a time of changing technologies and priorities and spent most of its like sitting on a shelf rather than being used.  The optics are crystal clear, and the striding level is nice.  No issues or problems   Use it or display it, it is a nice piece.

Please note, I also have several Johnson Head Tripods and Plane tables listed on another page if  you are looking for those. 

Fine . . . . .$395.00         SOLD!


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This is just a sample of the many antiques & collectibles we have sold.
Click link to see other
Sales Archive Pages on this Site.

We can help you sell quality Surveying Related Antiques  Contact Us.

For further info on consigning / selling your antiques with us please see our FAQ page, the Appraisal / Selling Page and the Selling Your Collection Pages.

Our current offering of Antiques for sale are at our sister Website Patented-Antiques.com.


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(1998 - 2015)
Larry & Carole Meeker