Lebanon, New York
"Thomas5, son of Rev.
Thomas4 and Ruth Waters Kendall was born at Foxborough, Massachusetts
August 3, 1786.
He learned the trade of blacksmith and
machinist. He was the proprietor of the Oxford Central Manufacturing
Company at Oxford which failed after a short existence. He then went to
his father's farm at Millbury for recuperation and while there conceived the
idea of making a cheap thermometer. Mr. Kendall invented a machine in
graduated scale of each instrument exactly to match the caliber. At the
time of his death foreign manufacturers were almost out of business. He
did not patent this machine but kept it a secret for many years, in fact until
In Thomas' Massachusetts Spy or Worcester
Gazette of 25 February 1817, the following advertisement appeared:
Kendall, Jr., Millbury Mass., manufactures Thermometers of all kinds
used by gentlemen, distillers, dyers, and those who make use of lead or
oil in tempering steel. Also makes surveying compasses, scale
protectors, spirit levels, and engraved mechanics' tools -- goods
forwarded by Post Riders.
THOMAS KENDALL, JR."
moved from Millbury to New Lebanon in June 1820, taking his father the Rev.
Thomas, whose wife Ruth had died in 1818, Thomas, Jr.'s second wife whom he
married in 1819, seven children, six by his first marriage and one by his second
G. F. Daniels in his history of Oxford states that Thomas, Jr. died 10 December
1831. The history of Millbury states that he died in Albany, N.Y. the same
date and is buried in New Lebanon. To date (1967) his burial place has not
been found by the writer.
the junction of Routes 20 and 22 at New Lebanon is the following marker:
Thermometer made in the United States
KENDALL SHOP was built in 1833. It was continued by John Kendall, (b.
1810) and the family until 1892, the year that John died, when it was
the American Journal of Science and Arts, Vol. XIX -- January 1831, conducted by
Benjamin Silliman, M.D. LLD. was the following article concerning "Notice
of Improvements in the Surveyor's Compass, constructed by Thomas Kendall, of New
ART. XII. -- Notice of
improvements in the Surveyor's Compass, constructed by THOMAS
KENDALL, of New Lebanon, N.Y.
THE object of the artist in the
construction of this instrument has been to simplify and unite in one
instrument, of moderate price, all that is necessary or convenient in
common practice. The improvement, in the form of the needle, has
been before the public more than twenty years, and is approved by all who
have become acquainted with it. By giving it the form represented in
the figure, the advantages of having the points of the needle in a line
with the point of the pivot on which it rests, and of having the center of
gravity very low, are secured; the needle settles with more uniformity,
and the vibrations of the lower part of the needle continue, are plainly
seen some time after the points are apparently at rest, giving the
assurance that the needle is free and has settled correctly.
Contrary to the theories and practice of many, Mr. Kendall has uniformly
made his needles with their weight as far removed from the center as
circumstances would admit, on the principle that attraction is according
to the quantity of matter and acts on the needle as a lever, and
experience has confirmed the correctness of this opinion. Needles on
this plan have been frequently called for by those who were dissatisfied
with their old needles, the weight of which was greater near the centre.
For ascertaining correctly the variations in degrees and minutes, two
limbs are united, one within the other; the outer limb is stationary,
being secured fast to the bar of the compass, with a graduation upon it of
twenty degrees each side of the meridian line; the inner limb, on the
outside of which is a nonius graduation to five minutes, which comes in
contact with the graduation for the needle, the glass covers both limbs,
protecting from the atmosphere and giving the nonius graduation the
advantage of being silvered and retaining its whiteness. In this
construction the advantage is gained of being assured that the centre of
the limbs, centre of motion of the inner limb and needle, and the centre
of the graduations are one and the same**
A level is attached to the
compass, and a graduation fort taking altitudes, by which the
practitioner, when his compass is level and fitted to his course, is
enabled to take the level or angle of ascent or descent of any object in
his course, from his station, without any additional machinery or
adjustment; to effect this, two apertures are made for the eye in one of
the sights, one at the top, for looking down hill, and one at the bottom,
for looking up hill; these apertures are the centre of arches of which the
other sight is a tangent, and there is a graduation on each side next to
the eye to correspond with the degrees of the arches; by looking through
the small aperture, the point of the graduated sight, in a line with the
object, gives the true angle required.
The annexed figure, in
connection with the above description, will sufficiently explain the
instrument. The artist is now making arrangements to be ready to
execute orders at very short notice, for compasses containing all or parts
of the improvements, as may be wanted. Also to graduate the sights
of old compasses for taking altitudes.
The figure represents the
compass as if dissected by a line through a centre. a outer
stationary limb; b inner moveable limb; c needle; d
sights; e bar of the compass; f glass
** With a very little
additional expense and variation, this instrument may be transformed into
a Theodolite having two pairs of sights, one pair attached to the outer
limbs, which is to be moveable and the inner limb stationary.
Charles E. The Makers Of Surveying Instruments In America Since
1700 Troy, New York: Regal Art Press. 1962