This Buff mini is a neat little transit. Mini transits are great to display. When you see a full sized dog next to a cute little puppy, which one are you going to look at? Same thing applies when you put a full-sized transit next to a mini transit.
I believe that mini transits are worth about 2x to 3x the value of a full-size transit made by the same maker. And that's just because mini transits, like puppies, are so cute to look at.
The Buff mini offered here includes a Gradienter, which is a device that allowed a surveyor to surveyors to measure horizontal distances with a transit. This might be the first mini transit Ive seen that comes with a Gradienter.
I was surprised to see a surveying instrument owned by the Department of Agriculture, so I researched the ownership a bit. Department of Agriculture acquired this instrument in 1915 or 1916. At that time, the U. Was just starting to build roads in a major way. The National Government was building roads to all the National Parks, for example.Ag Dept controlled the National Parks, so was heavily involved in the roadbuilding design. I suspect that the mini transit was used for recon surveys for roads going to the National Parks. I put a few screenshots of what I came across below. I think you could dig a lot deeper into how and where this Buff mini transit was used. The transit is in good shape, and includes its original box.
The bottom of the box originally had four small pads that support the box - one of the pads is missing. The optics are in decent shape, and everything seems to work ok. The Buff needle is approximately 3.5 inches long. Everything I have related to this mini transit is shown in the pics.
I have a much larger 360 degree view of this instrument posted on my website at. I also have some great background info on vintage surveying instruments in general posted on my website.
(Keywords - Gurley, Buff, Berger, Heller, Dietzgen, Draper, antique, vintage, survey instrument, surveyor, surveying). The item "1916 Buff Miniature Transit US Dept of Agriculture Transit Road Surveys" is in sale since Friday, December 11, 2020.This item is in the category "Collectibles\Science & Medicine (1930-Now)\Engineering\Surveying Equipment". The seller is "kingtiger-" and is located in Stinson Beach, California. This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, Ukraine, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Jamaica, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Ecuador, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Cayman islands, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Peru, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Viet nam, Uruguay.