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Antique Hydrostatic Leveling Instrument (water Level) RARE "PAT" 1882 For Sale

Antique Hydrostatic Leveling Instrument (water Level) RARE

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Antique Hydrostatic Leveling Instrument (water Level) RARE "PAT" 1882:

Hydrostatic Leveling Instrument ((Water Level) RARE! “Pat 1882

This rare antique Leveling instrument was patented by James Macdonald in 1882 and has survived for almost 140 years in fairly good condition. It is an excellent example of the innovations made in leveling instruments during the last part of the 19th century. This particular instrument design was first patented on June 13, 1882 and an improved version was patented again Oct 6, 1885 by Macdonald. As stated in the patent itself the invention relates to instruments for leveling long reaches of shafting, and in general, to ascertain the deviation, if any in altitude from the same horizontal plane of any two points situated at such a distant apart as to preclude the use of an ordinary level. I believe this to be a great find for any serious collector of instruments or tools.

The instrument condition appears to be consistent with its age and use. It does show signs of use and age such as scratches, mars, some plating loss and some brass showing through what I’m assuming is nickel plating or chrome on top of a brass base. It is advisable to use the pictures to make your own determination as to condition as they are part of the description. If you need any additional pictures that would aid in making your own determination as to condition please let me know and I will do my best to accommodate. The instrument has two glass tubes situated inside the graduated portable stands which appear to be original to the instrument. One of the glass tubes is broken at the bottom (see pictures) and in addition I believe the glass tube washers that would seal the liquid in the tubes have deteriorated and or missing. This would conclude that this instrument is not functional in its current condition and that repair would be necessary not limited to the washers to possibly bring it to a working instrument. Therefor it is being sold as a display item and not functional. I am including two plastic tubes that I found with the instrument that appear to fit in the stand. These are not original to the unit but appear to fit however they are slightly tight. The shut off cock valves do turn and appear to operate. The stand measure approximately 9” in height, tube is approximately 7/8” in diameter and the base is approximately 2 ¾” in diameter. Included are also what appear to be the original hose and original tubes, cleaning brush and a wood storage box. The hose appears to be on the stiff side although somewhat flexible. The wood box appears to be oak measuring 8” X 8” X 10” H. I am not aware if the storage box is original to the instrument. A copy of both on line patents will also be included. This instrument has not been tested and is being SOLD as a display item and not for use it is being Sold USED AS/IS. Please e-mail with any questions before purchasing.

I make an attempt to describe each item accurately. I am not an expert on items I list and at times am not familiar with them. I am not a grading expert and condition estimates if mentioned in the description refer to cosmetic appearance and can be subjective. The listings contain pictures and they should be referenced for you to evaluate condition. If you have any questions that are not answered by the description or pictures please e-mail these questions before offerding. I’d rather you had the information you want now than be unhappy later.


I do not accept returns. All items are sold USED AS/IS and unless the item is grossly misrepresented they are not returnable. Shipping costs on any acceptable return is the buyer’s responsibility.

Local Pick Up

Any items listed and sold for local pick up are required to be picked up within 7days of purchase unless other prior arrangement are made and approved.


Items will usually ship out in within 3 business days after confirmed payment (MON-FRI). I do not always have access to the internet and at times work long hours and am not able to ship immediately. I use FedEx UPS USPS which is normally indicated in the description. I reserve the right to choose the method of shipping. Shipping rates are only for residential or commercial destinations in the contiguous United States. I ship only to Pay Pal verified address that is sent to us at time of checkout. Please verify the correct shipping address in your pay pal account before making your payment. This is where your order will be shipped to. I DO NOT SHIP TO PO BOXES. At times I may offer international shipments. Any brokerage fees, customs and duty fees associated with international shipments are the customer’s responsibility and are not included in our shipping charges.


Positive response is always appreciated. If you feel the item is not as described in the listing please e-mail me so that we may pursue a possible remedy before leaving negative response. I will leave response for those who take the time to leave me response.


I normally respond to e-mails within 24 hours. If I can respond sooner with the answer to your questions I will certainly attempt to do so.

0 response buyers

Zero response buyers must e-mail us before offerding or their offer will be canceled.


We accept Pay Pal. Payment must be made within 24 hours of sale end.

We reserve the right to end the sale at any time. Some items may be shipped with tamper labels to prevent part swapping, tampering or switch-r-ooos.

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