Keuffel & Esser Co.

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The Keuffel and Esser Co., also known as K & E, was a drafting instrument and supplies company founded in 1867 by two German immigrants, William J. D. Keuffel and Herman Esser. It was the first American company to specialize in these products.[1]

Keuffel and Esser was acquired by AZON Corp. in 1987.

Keuffel and Esser started in New York, selling drawing materials and drafting supplies. In 1876, K & E started selling surveying instruments. The four-story Keuffel and Esser Manufacturing Complex in Hoboken, New Jersey, was completed four years later. K & E was incorporated in 1889. In 1892, the company commissioned the architecture firm of De Lomos & Cordes to build a showroom and offices at 127 Fulton Street in Manhattan. The firm designed an eight-story brick and terra cotta building in the Renaissance Revival style. The building was completed in 1893, and the company occupied it until 1961. It was designated a New York City landmark in 2005.[1]

In the first decade of the 20th century, Keuffel and Esser introduced a new line of surveying instruments based on the work of John Paoli, an Italian immigrant in Hoboken. A new Keuffel and Esser Manufacturing Complex was built in 1906. The building was converted to housing in 1975 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places on September 12, 1985.[2]

The Leroy K & E Controlled Lettering System uses a pantograph for mechanical technical lettering.

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