Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: K & E Marine Theodolite (ebay)
    From: Jackson McDonald
    Date: 2014 May 1, 14:15 +0000
    Please see attachment for a vintage WWII photo and design drawing of the K&E marine pibal theodolite.

    This theodolite was mounted on a tripod with a gimbal and counterweight to keep it level aboard ship.

    K&E manufactured these in Hoboken, New Jersey.  

    This instrument appears to have been used by USN meteorologists to measure winds aloft by tracking pilot balloons.   It was not used for navigation as far as I can determine.


    From: NoReply_Pennino@fer3.com
    To: jacksonmcdonald@hotmail.com
    Date: Wed, 30 Apr 2014 16:01:46 -0700
    Subject: [NavList] Re: K & E Marine Theodolite (ebay)

    I've never seen a K&E device like this before. It appears to have a gimbaled? base which maybe sits on that flat plate. This would eliminate the need for a tripod .   Obviously it can measure vertical angles; probably a horizontal angle "plate" or scale. The shades (filters) imply bright sky and sun. I think JMcD is correct about use.

     Over the years I've become so impressed with the various specialized surveying apparatus produced in USA. Amazing, this entire industry got left behind with new technology; now the industry is gone. The American transit, sextants, etc  were superb tools.


    On Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 11:01 AM, Jackson McDonald wrote:


    These theodolites were used by USN meteorologists to track weather balloons, also known as pilot balloons, to measure high altitude winds.  This type of theodolite is often referred to as a Pibal (from Pilot Balloon).   As best as I can tell, this type of instrument was not used for navigation, though it does work on the same principles as a sextant.   I would appreciate further information from other members of this group.      



    From: NoReply_Becker@fer3.com
    To: jacksonmcdonald---.com
    Date: Tue, 29 Apr 2014 06:56:22 -0700
    Subject: [NavList] K & E Marine Theodolite (ebay)


    A K & E Marine Theodolite is listed on ebay under the title "USGI WW2 Keuffel & Esser Co. Air Navigation Sextant". Is anyone familiar with this device? I am not a potential bidder, just curious if anyone has used one. Brenner's Pilot Balloon webpage names it K & E Marine Theodolite.
    NavList message boards and member settings: www.fer3.com/NavList
    Members may optionally receive posts by email.
    To cancel email delivery, send a message to NoMail[at]fer3.com

    View and reply to this message: http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=127643
    View and reply to this message: http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=127644
    View and reply to this message: http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=127654


    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site