Dietzgen Master-Pro Drafting Instrument Set



Dietzgen Master-Pro Drafting Instrument Set


Drafting; Engineering; Architecture; Cartography


Physical Description: The drafting set is stored in a simple grey case with a red felt interior. The case only has three words on the outside cover: “Made in Germany”. The only markings on the inside of the case are the letters “DS” written in marker on the felt; presumably the initials of the original owner. Though the case is plain and simple, the drafting tools contained inside are intricate and precise. The set includes a large and small compass, a beam compass (with an extension), attachments for the compasses, both a ruling and technical pen, a pair of dividers, and a screwdriver. With these tools come replacement parts carried in capsules. The replacement parts consist of screws and heads for the compasses and ruling pen.

Functional Description: The purpose of drafting tools is to create precise diagrams which convey how something functions or should be constructed. Drafting plays an important role in manufacturing, engineering, architecture, and cartography.

The function of the case is simply to store and protect the drafting tools, and keep them neat and organized. The interior of the case has slots fitted to the tools so that there is minimal movement when the case is carried. The dividers are used to quickly compare and transfer measurements, and to divide lines into segments. The compasses are used for drawing circles and arcs, and come in a variety of sizes to allow the drawing of very small circles in the case of the small compass, and very large circles in the case of the beam compass. The technical pen is used in order to draw lines of a fixed width, where as the ruling pen allows for the width of lines to be varied. There are a number of attachments that can used with the ruling pen and compasses in order to change between writing in ink and lead. Typically the initial revisions of a draft are done with lead, and then the pens are used later to create the final draft.


Andrew Brusso, Rachel Fernstrum, Jacob Hedman, Nathan Regan, Zac Taylor


c. 1930




physical object



Physical Dimensions

Numbers correspond to Figure 2.
1. Extension for Beam Compass: 230 mm x 5 mm
2. Beam Compass: Sliding parts 70 mm x 20 mm, Guiding bar 230 mm x 5 mm
3. Screwdriver: 17.5 mm x 5 mm
4. Pen Attachment: 67 mm x 6 mm
5. Large Compass: Max angle 80 degrees, Arms 160 mm x 6 mm
6. Pen attachment: 68 mm x 5 mm
7. Lead Capsule: 8 mm x 6 mm
8. Replacement Parts Capsule: 50 mm x 11 mm
9. Pen Attachment: 38 mm x 5 mm
10. Divider: 150 mm x 5 mm
11. Small Compass: Max angle 80 degrees, 112.5 mm x 6 mm
12. Ruling Pen: 140 mm x 8 mm
13. Technical Pen: 130 mm x 14 mm


Case: steel, felt, leather
Instruments: stainless steel, plastic


Eugene Dietzgen Company, Chicago


Case Front: DIETZGEN | MASTER-PRO | 1213PJ

History of the Object

Dietzgen engineering supply company was founded in 1885 in Chicago by the German immigrant Eugene Dietzgen. The first manufacturing facility opened in 1893, producing T-squares, drawing boards, surveying instruments, drafting instruments, and other engineering supplies.  High quality and craftsmanship of the tools made Dietzgen sets highly sought after.

The specific set of drafting equipment that is in the Alumni House is a Dietzgen Master - Pro 1213PJ.  Sets such as this were produced throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s.  The set that resides on the campus was produced within the 1930s, having a unique configuration within the box that is much more rare than the later versions from the 1950s. These tools were likely used for surveying and architectural drawings throughout its time at Michigan Technological University. The time of arrival at the university is unknown.


Display case on first floor of Alumni House.


"DIETZGEN MEDIA." DIETZGEN MEDIA. Accessed March 03, 2017.

Geisecke, Fredrick E., Alva Mitchell, and Henry Spencer. Technical Drawing. 1st ed. The Macmillan Company, 1933.

Monge, Gaspard. Géométrie descriptive. Leçons données aux Écoles normales, l'an 3 de la République; Par Gaspard Monge, de l'Institut national. Paris: Baudouin, 1798.

Morris, Harold Marcuse Joshua. "Vera Dietzgen Feldmann on Josef Dietzgen (1828-1888) and the Dietzgen Family." Dietzgen Family History Page. Accessed March 03, 2017.

Social Bookmarking



Andrew Brusso, Rachel Fernstrum, Jacob Hedman, Nathan Regan, Zac Taylor, “Dietzgen Master-Pro Drafting Instrument Set,” Michigan Tech Inventory of Historic Scientific Instruments, accessed April 17, 2021,