105 items

Telegraph Recorder

This telegraph recorder used tape to record dots and dashes. It is missing its stylus.

Early Transistor

Sent to Grant Gale at Grinnell by John Bardeen at Bell Telephone Labs in 1950


(No Name)

Leitz Microscope No. 42935

Has a rotary stage, no eyepieces, and 3 objectives but is one missing.

Surveyor’s Transit Serial No. 7969

A surveyor’s transit is used to measure horizontal and vertical angles (The Surveyor’s Basic Tools). It was invented in 1831 by William J. Young. Designs varied throughout the 1800s, but were generally standardized by 1885. The transit was a highly versatile tool and with modifications was used not only for surveying, but also for astronomy, mining, and tunneling (Beeks). Young & Sons made this specific surveyor’s transit in the United States sometime between 1906 and 1908 (Miller). It likely came to Grinnell to be used in the class “Surveying and Plotting”, offered from 1905 to 1909, and then in the class simply titled “Surveying” from 1910 to 1923 after which the class was no longer offered. The transit was likely used directly by students and not just professors for demonstration as the course description says it is about “the theory of different instruments and practice in their use” as well as that students should expect to perform six hours of field work each week. Some of the earlier descriptions of the course explicitly mentioning using the transit during the first half of the course, and although the transit is no longer explicitly mentioned in some of the later course descriptions it is still likely that it was included in the instruments used for field work (Grinnell College Catalogs). -Andrew Lieman (2019) Probably used between 1906 and 1908 References Beeks, D. Evolution of the Transit. Retrieved from Grinnell College Catalogs from 1905 to 1923. Miller, R. How Old is my Young & Sons?. Retrieved from The Surveyor’s Basic Tools. Retrieved from

Microscope No. 53724

This microscope has 3 objectives. It belonged to Dr. O.F. Parish.

4-inch Section Trans-Continental Cable

Transcontinental telephone cable containing 560 copper wires.This aerial cable required an attached steel cable for support.

Intel paper tape reader for Intellec 8

Gift from Robert Noyce at Intel to Grinnell College Physics Department. Paper-tape reader for Intellec 8 8080-development system.

Intel Intellec 8 8080-Development System

Gift from Robert Noyce at Intel to Grinnell College Physics Department