Antique L Beckmann Co. Wye Level
"Ludwig or Louis Beckmann was born in Doberon, Mecklenburg, Germany in 1845. He died in Toledo, Ohio in 1914. Mr. Beckmann came to the United States in 1870. He started making transits, levels and surveyor's compasses in 1874.
Mr. Beckmann made three dividing engines. The first was built in 1878 and was hand operated. The second engine was designed in 1900. This machine was automatic in action. His third and last was started in 1912. It took two years to build this dividing engine. Mr. Beckmann stated in his 1914 catalog that the greatest error was two seconds of arc.
After his death in 1914, the business was carried on by his son, Mr. Louis Beckmann, Jr. until 1945 when the actual manufacture of Beckmann instruments was discontinued. Louis Jr. continued the instrument repair service until January 1951, when Mr. R. J. Hoover and Mr. C. G. Anderson acquired the L. Beckmann Company."
Reference: Smart, Charles E. The Makers of Surveying Instruments In America Since 1700, Troy, New York: Regal Art Press. 1962