‘Stanley’ Pocket Reflecting Level # 8101


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ITEM 8101

‘Stanley’ Pocket Reflecting Level # 8101

This curious little level is marked “STANLEY, LONDON” and corresponds almost exactly with an illustration in the 1909 W.F. Stanley & Co. catalogue of an item available for £2 10 0 and described as follows:

“Stanley’s Pocket Telescopic Reflecting Level”

“The bubble is reflected by a silver reflector to the diaphragm where the image from the object glass is formed, and when the bubble is adjusted by the milled head under the stage to the centre of its run, the object which coincides with the bubble is in a level line with the line of collimation of the instrument.... The socket is made to fit a stick or Jacob’s staff.”

Not visible in the photos is the slot on top of the barrel through which an image of the bubbles position may be seen by the observer, reflected in a 45-degree reflector which occupies half of the telescope viewing area. However, considering the tiny bubble tube is less than 1½ inches long it is hardly likely to give any form of serious accuracy, and we can scarcely conceive of any situation where an Abney level would not be more useful. One can only guess how the observer was meant to hold the instrument steady on top of a “stick” while painstakingly adjusting the bubble and keeping the object in view. It appears to be one of those inventions for which W.F. Stanley was prone to, sometimes succeeding and sometimes not! Still it is an interesting example of a breed of less orthodox instruments with which the history of instrument making is littered, happily adding variety to the collector’s scope! This example is unfortunately lacking the lens from the eyepiece, and has some numbers scratched on the top of the mounting base but otherwise appears to be in good condition.

Approximate Dimensions

Instrument; 172 mm long x 138 mm high

Approximate Weights

Instrument; 0.4 kg


NZD    290      Instrument only

Freight is extra.

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