This Buff & Buff solar transit is in exceptional condition.
From the serial #28294 we can surmise this solar transit was manufactured in the 1920's - 1930's. Co was formed after the breakup of the Buff and Berger company back near the turn of the century.
I heard one could take a course in using this sort of thing at Trump University but they are now closed, or at PT Barnum's continuing education site if you can find it. On a more serious note though there are current day versions of these offered today for the incredible price of over 2K and a 3K model that has the added feature of a small wire antenna to further enhance power tubes ability. Here is the address to view that versions are offered on e Bay for somewhat less for the bargain treasure hunters out there. Included is a beam compass, rolling ruler / section liner, proportional dividers, line counters in both corners, ink tools, dividers, compasses, numerous auxiliary tips, and more. It is a tapered 6 or 8 sided pole with a tapered tip waiting to be sized to fit your compass or other surveying instrument. On the right is a round pole marked Dietzgen with a decorative tapered top mount that has never been sized and is waiting for that instrument you have to be fitted to it. There is some tarnish as it is beginning to develop a patina. It is near mint with nearly all its original finish.
The top of the box has a removable plaque with a lucky fellows name on it. Either of these would be the perfect piece for historical reenactments or similar uses.
Saegmuller Solar Attachments were a top mounted scope. 50.00 Order Now This Buff & Buff solar transit is in exceptional condition. Magnetic deviations would adversely affect magnetic compasses and so were not an accurate means to determine ones location in many areas.
A past owner / user made a replacement pair of handles that look good and work just as well. The mahogany wooden box measures 18" across the front. It still has nearly all of its original finish and has just minor scuffs from storage. On the left is a marked K & E / Keuffel & Esser # 6487 internal reel plumb bob.
The author was John Love and this edition was published in New York by Samuel Campbell.
The following is a write-up by Bud Uzes an old time collector that I found online.
Instructions are given in use of a Gunter chain and measuring angles with the circumferentor, plane table, and semicircle. It is not just a dowsing rod for water as is normally thought of, this version is a near magical POWER model if you believe the hype.
There are also directions for taking field notes and measuring and calculating the acreage for plots of land. It is similar in concept to a Gold or Treasure seekers Spanish dip Compass that also have a power tube filled with magic nuggets to help in the search for treasures.