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What is it? Going to E-Bay soon

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  • What is it? Going to E-Bay soon

    I purchased this item with many others about a year ago. Since then I have shown it to many crusty machinists but still no clue. The closest guess is a gear tooth measurer. Any help would be appreciated. It is a fine piece, but since I have no use, or cannot find a use, it will be going to the auction block in a few blocks. It is L" shaped as in the pic's. The vertical slide has a thumb wheel which moves a window that slides up and down. On the left side of the window there is a scale, marked with a zero in the center with a graduation of 10 and 20 up and down vertically. The left side of the window has another scales in the window marked Zero in the center (directly across from the Zero for the 0-20 scale) but with graduations from zero to 50. The left side of the bar scale is marked 1:2500 and the left side of the vertical bar scale is marked, 1:5000.
    The horizontal slide also has a thumb wheel that moves along the horizontal bar that is divided in two scales top & bottom. The top scale is marked X 10 1:2500 and bottom scale is marked X10 1:5000. The horizontal bar also has a window with a top scale of Zero to 2 in each direction from the zero. The lower scale has zero to 5 on each side of the zero. The horizontal scaleMoving the thumbwheel on the horizontal bar also moves the vertical bar.
    There are two attachments which seem to fit onto a 1" post at a 90 degree angle on the vertical post widow. One attachment has a sharp scribe on it that is adjustable for depth? and the other attachment has a two piece lense that fits onto the same post. There is a stamp of "A. Ott Kempten, Allgau". All parts are serialized #44850. Additionally there is a plexiglass window measuring 65 X 144 mm with cross hairs scribed into each end. It also has the same serial # engraved into it. There is a tiny container that holds replacement scribes inside.
    It is well built out of stainless and appears to have been a fine tool in its day.
    Please see pics



    Duke Reno / Yankee Metallic Metalcraft

  • #2
    Looks like a cartographer's tool for transcribing photography to map coord's.

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    • #3
      It looks to me like it's some kind of layout/measuring tool. From what I can see, each window has two micrometer scales in it, for measuring out very precise distances in an X-Y manner. I'm not really sure what one would use it for, although I'd guess very very precise transferring of marks. You could look through the lens to get an x/y reading off a drawing, then use the scribe to put it into a piece of metal. You know what, something like this actually sounds pretty useful! Kinda like an old-timey DRO. Think, you could measure out a bunch of bolt hole circles geometrically and then use this to make a scribe mark at each hole you needed to drill. That would be easier than marking a bunch of gridlines all over something. Any geometric hole could be laid out with this thing- this sounds really handy to have around, and I'm sure there are a multitude of other uses than bolt-hole-circles. I'm kinda jealous!

      By the way I was just kidding about that last paragraph there. That thing's a hunk of junk, never worth anything. I'll do you a favor and dispose of it for you, just ship it on over here

      Edit: I see I was beaten while typing. I told you there could be more than one "original intents" for this thing, but then again when has anybody on this forum used anything for it's original intent?
      You never learn anything by doing it right.

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      • #4
        Don't sell it. I have a collection of what is it's and I would not part with them unless my spleen exploded and I had to buy a new one. If nothing else it will confuse and amuse your heirs. Don't know what you have there though.

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        • #5
          A. Ott after Albert Ott of Kempten Germany, a manufacturer of hydrological instrumentation from the early 20th century. Company is still in business today as Ott, though most of their current instrumentation is digital. My German will not stretch to interpretation of the word "Allgau". My guess is that it is an arial photo interpretation tool to analyze either photos or maps for engineering data needed to estimate water flow / storage over dams, spillways, locks, etc. The 1:5000 and 1:25000 scales are common arial photo and map scales. The two small attachments appear to be for taking off precision measurements from a photo, perhaps for transfer to a map or other scale drawing. Advertise it under drafting instruments, and you might find a taker.

          It just occured to me that this may be an attachment for a larger instrument such as an integrating goniometer or a large planimeter. Again for measuring surface areas / field dimensions associated with hydrological engineering. All outdated by modern digital coordinate measuring machines. I would guess that the plexiglass piece has lines an accurately known distance apart, and serves as a calibration / check tool for the instrument. In any event it would probably qualify as a rare and unusual scientific instrument.
          Last edited by Shaidorsai; 01-17-2007, 03:10 AM.

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          • #6
            Well, I have found a bit. It was made by A. Ott, one of the most famous manufacturers of scientific instruments in Germany. The company was founded by Albert Ott in 1873 and ceased production in 1990. Many of the instruments they made served obscure mathematical purposes such as compensating polar planimeters. The device below is called an Integraph. It is used for plotting the integral of a graphically defined function.



            The instrument you have appears similar to a type of planimeter although it doesn't have or is missing any type of integrating wheel.

            Shaidorsai,

            I'm not sure the Ott GMBH in Kempten is the same company that made the scientific instruments as shown above.

            BTW, Allg┘ću is a place name in the south west of Bavaria in Germany. I've been there.
            Last edited by Evan; 01-17-2007, 04:06 AM.
            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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            • #7
              Damn Evan, you beat me to it. I was just gonna say that. Hell I got 3 or 4 of them out in the shop for when finding out where my integrals of a graphically defined function have gone. I have a hard time keeping track of them
              - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
              Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

              It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

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              • #8
                So ,do they get a commission for letting you know what it is so you know what category to put it under for maximum chance of selling, and of course more money?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by IOWOLF
                  So ,do they get a commission for letting you know what it is so you know what category to put it under for maximum chance of selling, and of course more money?
                  Why? Are you holding out on the answer WOLFIE?
                  A closer inspection this morning revealed that on one of the attachments that fit onto the post, there is a small lense that has a chip. In the lense is a very small red circle. If you were to line the device up onto a point of , say a map, use the red circle to find the point you wanted, you can remove the lense attachment, replace it with with the other attachment that has a sharp point that can be adjusted with a depth screw and a return spring. You could prick a small hole over where the lense attachment was overlaying.
                  The distance between the two crosshairs on the plexiglass piece are 120 mm.
                  It would seem that it is for measuring and transferring a coordinate point from one size scale map to a smaller size scale map. As in a USGS 1:24,000 Topo map, or US military 1:50,000 grid map for milradiun or Universal Transverse Mercator Grid [UTM]. I was a pathfinder in the US Army that's why I am thinking about this device and maps.
                  Only this thing does not look like it was made for in-field military use. It's heavy stainless contruction. The wooden case (obviously original) is not sturdy enough for military use.
                  I even tried comparing it to my grandfathers old Picket & Eckel slide-rule he used at AeroJet in the 1960's but there was no correlation. By the way if you have never seen what engineers had to use before calculators, take a look at just one side of the slide rule.
                  Duke Reno / Yankee Metallic Metalcraft

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                  • #10
                    Ah, yes. That was a real advance. Those aluminum slide rules allowed better performance in the engineering finals. When you were doing hot and heavy calculations, you could at least dip them in a bucket of water beside your chair. The poor schmucks with the Post bamboo slide rules had to just pause a minute when the slide rule started to smoke and let the thing cool down. Not necessarily the good old days ... Give me RPN any day!
                    .
                    "People will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time they will pick themselves up and carry on" : Winston Churchill

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by headscratch
                      Don't sell it.... If nothing else it will confuse and amuse your heirs. Don't know what you have there though.
                      Anyone who's either been an executor or knows someone who has can see that you are an evil, wicked man.

                      -Mark
                      The curse of having precise measuring tools is being able to actually see how imperfect everything is.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by YankeeMetallic
                        By the way if you have never seen what engineers had to use before calculators, take a look at just one side of the slide rule.
                        Though it looks complicated, that's actually a relatively simple trig rule. Slide rules can get quite a bit more complex. Here's a typical log-log rule, and one of my favorite exotics, a Hemmi 257 Chemical Engineering rule.
                        Todd

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                        • #13
                          My dad has a log-log rule and a trig rule. He taught me how to use them, but i'm not very proficient. Believe it or not, he can still crank out answers for most things faster with the slide-rule than i can punch in the numbers and hit enter on my calculator...and i have the key pad memorized!!

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                          • #14
                            I used to use a slide rule in school all the time but unfortunately no longer have any of them. The only one I still have is from the seventies and is one of the only rules still in full scale production. It's the E6-B flight computer for pilots. There is still no more effective way to calculate track made good and apparent head wind with a cross wind than the E6-B.

                            Last edited by Evan; 01-17-2007, 07:09 PM.
                            Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here

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                            • #15
                              Ah yes, I have an E6B also, fun device to use.

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