Object Record

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Title Paragon drawing instrument set, no set number, similiar to 568, sold by Keuffel & Esser Co., N.Y., n.d., ca. 1892-1894.
Object Name Set, Drafting
Catalog Number 2009.006.0231
Collection Keuffel & Esser Company Collection
Credit Museum Collections. Gift of a friend of the Museum.
Description Paragon drawing instrument set, no set number, similiar to 568, sold by Keuffel & Esser Co., New York, no date, circa 1892-1894. Morroco black leather covered wood pocket case with bar lock, 9-1/2" wide x 5-1/2" deep x 7/8" thick; fitted interior line in dark green velvet; blind ruled frame decorated top with "Keuffel & Esser Co., | New-York" (sic) below frame at lower left. Contents: 11 pieces, 4 with ivory handles. Engraved metal manufacturer's plate: Keuffel & Esser Co. | New York & Chicago.

Lacking three pieces: no. 426 drawing pen with ivory handle; 401 small dividers; 470 small bowspring pencil (compass); also lacking but not typically listed in contents: screwdriver.

Also present, but not considered as original to the set: penknife, 4-3/4" long; fancy turned ivory handle; no maker's mark. No corresponding catalog item found for this item. Not a steel or ink eraser. Unknown if this was a K&E product.

Several instruments are stamped Paragon and Keuffel & Esser. Reference for this period is unavailable at this time; comparison to offerings in reprint of 1900 (30th edition) catalog shows a similiar set, no 568, on page 78. While arranged differently in the depiction (which is not uncommon), it is the closest to the items found in the set here.

Note that in the set here the larger dividers and compass as well as the 4" compass with pen and the 4" compass with pencil have the Esser Patent Swivel Joint with the two smaller items having the additional Patent Locking Device. The Esser joint was patented March 14 and 28th, 1893 and the locking device, March 6, 1894. (Information from text in reprint of 1900 catalog mentioned above.) Items do not have patent numbers on them.

Lead box (tube) with screw cap.

K&E opened the Chicago office in 1892 and a St. Louis branch office in 1894. Since only the Chicago name is on the inside plate, it is likely, but not definite, that it was issued in 1894 or earlier.

K & E had their main office in New York (or New-York as they stated on case top) until 1907. Their factories were in Hoboken in this period. Items are not marked as made in Germany, but the company was a major importer of this type of goods and other sets are known to have been imported.

Date 1892-1894
Year Range from 1892
Year Range to 1894
Search Terms K & E
Keuffel & Esser Co.
Caption top and bottom of case with detail of K&E top mark, lower left corner
Imagefile 071\20090060231.TIF
Classification Manufacturing
Business & Commerce