Antique Dietzgen Survey Level Gadget Cane | Rare Early 1900s
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Here we have a very rare Dietzgen system cane with a brass survey level acting as the cane handle. First off, this thing is crazy cool, and second, I can't find another one anywhere online or in the wild. I mean you have to be serious surveyor to need a level on your walking stick. Overkill never felt so good. And for that antique system cane collector out there? Well, you know the deal. The "Where did you find that?" effect. Who needs to straighten up when you got this beauty helping you down the street? Unreal, unconventional, and totally underground. It'll look great leaning against your industrial drafting table.
The collection containing this rare walking cane was created by a couple who traveled to Europe to find the rarest system canes. Interestingly, Dietzgen was an American company in Chicago, and the Dietzgen tag states "Made in the USA." They either found this over in Europe, or made an exception because it was so wicked. I'm guessing the walking cane was made in the 1910's but it might be even earlier.
Here's a business bio for Eugene Dietzgen:
In Chicago, Dietzgen started the Eugene Dietzgen Drafting Company, which operates today as Dietzgen Corporation, a privately held company.
Dietzgen, heavily influenced by his father, one of Karl Marx's favorite philosophers, provided his factory workers with many amenities not often found in the 19th century. These included separate bathrooms for men and women, open windowsills with flowers decorating the air, and a general atmosphere of a healthy working community. The original building still stands at 218 East 23rd Street, Chicago. By 1906, Dietzgen had two manufacturing plants. The company still exists, and its second building remains as a part of DePaul University, at the corner of Fullerton Avenue and Sheffield, in Chicago's once heavily German neighborhood of Lincoln Park.
The company was noted for its production of slide rules, which Dietzgen started in 1898 after acquiring a patent from John Givan Davis Mack (1867–1924). His company's Mack Improved Mannheim Simplex Slide Rule sold from 1902 to 1912 for $4.50.
The unique system cane stands just over 36" tall. The brass level handle measures 6" long. The survey level still works as intended. There is perfect patina throughout the brass and wood. I can't find any cracks in the glass on the survey level. When I acquired the walking stick, there were a few loose pieces in the scope. See the pic of the pieces, which will be sent with the cane. I'm not sure how to put the pieces back in the level, so I'll leave that up to you. Please see all pics as they are part of the description.
I ship FedEx to street addresses in the continental USA only (no PO boxes please). Free shipping on this rare gadget walking stick.
Get on the level. This thing is straight up underground industrial sweetness of the rarest kind.