Thomas Street Theodolite
Thomas Street was listed as an Optician and Mathematical instrument maker operating from 39 Commercial Road, Lambeth around the time period 1830 to 1846 ( Websters Signature Database).
There is little found about Thomas on the internet but records from the Commercial Section of the London Postal Directory of 1841 and an advertisement in the London Morning Chronicle October 14, 1835 verify the dates shown in the Websters Database.
R. W. Street & Co published a price list in 1885 and stated that they had been established for 60 years so the firm started by Thomas Street dated from 1825.
Reference to instruments made by R W Street started about 1860 from the same address so I would be safe in assuming that RW ( Robert) was Thomas' son.
This theodolite is circa 1830 - 1840 with the compass engraving similar to the Abraham Level, Troughton and Simms Level and the very early mining dial compass, in my collection, that date from that time period.
The copper plate engraving on the horizontal circle is exceptional.
The theodolite accesories include a sun filter and a mini tripod/ stand to allow the theolotie to be set up on a fence post.
I searched through dozens of barrel keys that I have collected over the years and found one that fits the box !!
With all of the instruments that I buy very few have a key, so I started buying skeleton barrel keys a few years ago and it is great to get a win like this.
The trade label for T F Weisener on the box is most likely from a repair or service and if you look carefully at the delivery instructions you can see parts of a Trade Label underneath. On careful inspection I believe the label shows parts of the words " Thomas" and I have done extensive research on the net in old newspaper archives for a label that reflects the parts of the label shown, but to no avail as yet.
Weight of the theodolite in the box is 12.2 kgs.
I believe that the tripod is not original to the theodolite as not only does it not have much wear as the mid 1800s tripods in my collection but it is far better constructed as you can see by the photo that shows an additional brass plate support on the inside of the leg.