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Detail of level showing Rittenhouse's inscription
 

Surveyor's Level
1780s

Among the earliest levels in America
George Gilpin of Alexandria, VA, probably used this level when he surveyed the Potowmack Canal in the mid-1780s. One of the earliest levels made in America, it was manufactured by Benjamin Rittenhouse of Pennsylvania, who specialized in surveyor's compasses. The instrument is evidence of the spirit of industrialization that began to attract Americans towards the end of the 1700s and the enthusiasm for canals that would facilitate communication and expedite transportation between communities.

Notes
Benjamin Rittenhouse (1740-1825)
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