Stereo Plotter for Fairchild Corporation

A Stereo Photo Reconnaissance Mapping Instrument
designed and manufactured by Boller and Chivens.

Pairs of aerial photos are placed, one of each at the top of the instrument, on the top left and right plate holders of optical lens projection systems.
Images of the photos are projected down to blank paper flattened on a flat surface plate.
The two projectors are positioned such that each of their projected photo images are separated for stereopticon viewing through an eyepiece-holding device.
The eyepiece device slides over the flat paper focusing on the projected stereopticon images.
The eyepiece device is connected with two rods, one to each of the cameras.
When the eyepiece device is moved about the surface plate, the two projector systems remain pointing directly at the eyepiece device area by the pair of alignment rods.
With practice the projected terrain images can be viewed in real-time stereo.

Remote Weather Station Air Anemometer

A Boller and Chivens limited product line. An anemometer is a device for measuring wind speed.

Pass-point Measuring Instrument

Boller and Chivens designed and manufactured this product.

Multiband Camera for the U.S. Army

The multiband camera was made for the  U.S. Engineering Topographical Laboratory at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. It took four pictures having four different wavelengths including infra-red using a single shutter. This camera was flown on the U2 aircraft. An article describing the Multi-band camera appears in PERKIN ELMER TECHNICAL NEWS VOL.1 NO 6 DATED July – August 1972

Bill Willis of Boller and Chivens working with the multiband camera

The Film Transport

Spectra Comparator


The Spectra Comparator is a dual macroscope with separate zoom lenses to permit laying side by side the images of two spectra on glass plates. Measurements can be made using the fine translation adjustment and dial indicator. Boller and Chivens made more than twenty of these units. A more complete description can be found under Publications Advertisements.

Marvin Heilig, a Boller and Chivens Engineer

Click for the specifications of a Spectra Comparator


In May of 1973, the Boller and Chivens division of the Perkin Elmer Corporation purchased the Microdensitometer product line from Photometric Data Systems Corporation.
The instruments produced were numbered in the 30’s.
One application was that all photos transmitted from space could be scanned and converted into images where colors and densities could be altered for better identification.
This ability became very useful in a number of different types of applications. Eastman Kodak was a major purchaser of these instruments.

For more information about Microdensitometers, visit:


Al Chapman: Boller and Chivens, Forman of Instrument Machine shop demonstrating a completely universal Microphotometer test instrument.

Visit the Virtual Museum of Measuring Engines for more information:

And also visit the Hall of Precision Astronomy to see their exhibit on Microphotometers.

Three Axis Positioning Machine

Designed and manufactured by Boller and Chivens

A work platform at the top of the machine could be positioned in X-X and Y-Y positions.
The assembly’s height could be raised or lowered, be rotated or tilted in angles to any desired condition.
Motors, operated by a remote control paddle would activate all moving positions.

Schlieren Viewing System for Wind Tunnel, Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA

Pictured: Don Winans of Boller and Chivens, on right
A Boller and Chivens instrument for viewing the Schlieren Effect during wind tunnel tests of various objects or assemblies such as models of air craft. This allows studying how shock waves are formed, which in turn can lead to more efficient designs. Schlieren (plural for the German word “schliere”) are optical inhomogeneities in transparent materials. In supersonic flow, air experiences large changes in density and therefore its index of refraction. Changes in index of refraction essentially turn the shock waves into lenses, bending the light. Toepler’s (1864) Schlieren “system” separates the light bent by the shock waves from the background light, allowing the shockwaves to be viewed as a combination of bright and dark areas.

Calibration Instrument for Wind Tunnel Strain Gauge Devices NACA at Moffett Field, CA

Strain Gauge Balance units that will measure the six different components forces in a wind tunnel that are installed into wind tunnel models are calibrated with the Calibration Rig assembly.

The cabinet assembly is like a large six unit platform scale.  One balance scale unit for each individual force.

A Strain Gauge Balance unit is lowered vertically into the center of the Calibration Rig.

A selection of calibrated weights are placed on each of the six round platforms creating a simulation of the six different wind force components into the Strain Gauge Balance unit being tested.

Measured are the three forces for drag, lift, and side and the three of moments of pitch, roll and yaw.

Boller and Chivens constructed the 9-ton instrument and installed it in one of the Moffett Field wind tunnel buildings. The assembled Calibration Rig was so large the front window Boller & Chivens building had to be removed in order to put it on a truck and trailer unit.

The assembled Calibration Rig was installed at NASA Ames Research Center Moffett Field, California.

Don Winans of Boller and Chivens assembled the Calibration Instrument and he also supervised the installation and the initial testing of the Calibration Rig at Moffett Field in California.

Calibration Instrument with front covers and counter top removed.