Name this tool/device


I inherited (from a building contractor buddy) a small tool/device. I can't post a photo here, but the visually imaginative readers can picture what I mean from the following description.
It is cylindrically shaped, about 1.5" diameter, 6" long, in a metal case. Lens at each end. Acts as a low-power telescope. The top of the device has a bubble level, with optics such that when standing on one side of a room, and looking across it, one can not only see the other side of the room but also the bubble level and a horizontal marker. One can raise and lower the angle of the device so as to get the bubble in the center of the markings, and that allows the user to see, on the far wall, what is exactly at eye level.
I don't know what building or other application would call for such information, but that appears to me to be what the device is designed for.
My question is: What is this called in the trade? In what trade would that be? Surveying? Plumbing?
Corrections to my understanding, and other comments welcome.
--
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CWLee
Former slayer of dragons; practice now limited to sacred
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Just post it to a binary and tell us where.
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On Fri, 23 Apr 2010 23:57:07 -0700, "CWLee"

I need one of those. For semi-surveying, especially height. The underbrush has probably grown up already, but in the winter I want to go to the street 250 feet behind my home, and look back to some mark or a lamp in the window on my house to see which is higher, the bottom of my house or the street I refer to. There is a stream in between which floods, and I was told that the lump of dirt my house and my townhouse neibhors' house sit on was made high enough that the stream will flood the road before it reaches my house. I'd like to know for sure.
I was going to to out with a level and sight along the top of the level. I'd have to bring sandbags or a clamp to keep the level level, when doing the sighting, but with your device I could see the levelity (?), levelness, at the same time I had a magnified view of my house. Sounds perfect. If you live near DC or Baltimore, maybe I could borrow it. :)
The stream is normally 8 feet wide and 8 inches deep, and so far, the most the water has risen has been to about 50 feet wide and 10 feet deep, (plus the current is much faster then) which is about 3 inches below the my lawn, about 20 feet from the house. Plus it would have to rise another 4 inches to get to the house and another 6 inches to get in the basment window. So the newly enlarged "river bed" gets a 20 feet wider on my side of the stream if not on the other side. So I'm 99% sure it will never get to the house, but I'd still like to do that height measurement. Especially since every year one sees about flooding somewhere. This year it was Rhode Island.

I'd like to know those things too. Surveying maybe. I called a surveyor about 4 in the afternoon once, by accident, but he talked to me for over 30 minutes. I think he was waiting for 5PM to go home. So that might be a good time to visit.

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Charlie
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That's the term I was looking for when I first saw the post.
Don't they usually have a means of mounting them on a tripod?
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I'm guessing these guys don't see my post!
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Google is your friend "hand held optical level" (Amazon.com product link shortened) bob
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There are numerous sites where you can post photos, free of charge. Try flickr or photobucket -- or if you have a Facebook or Myspace page, you can post there too.

Sounds like you're describing a surveyor's level of some sort. You might find this interesting: http://www.surveyhistory.org/the_surveyor%27s_basic_tools.htm

Surveying, clearly.
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Search Google images for builders transit.
This link should work with Firefox: http://images.google.com/images?q=builders+transit&btnG=Search&um=1&hl=en&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=2&start=0
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As the OP, it appears to me that "Bob Villa" had the best answer. His link to a "6-Inch Hand Held Optical Level" brought up a photo of a device pretty much the same as what I have. That link was to Amazon, and the particular brand shown there is priced at about $40. Another link took me to a similar version by Stanley at about half the price.
Now I know what it is called. Any other information about common applications and uses would be appreciated.
Thanks everyone.
============================

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On 4/24/2010 12:46 PM, CWLee wrote:

The application would be to find a rough estimation of the elevation of two objects relative to your line of sight, or to set a rough elevation (say along a wall) relative to your line of sight. The device works similar to a surveyor's elevation transit, without the bells and whistles, and is as accurate as the talent of the user.
Generally the instrument requires two people. One to look through the device and one to hold a measuring stick of some sort. If used for gauging elevations you only need yourself if there is not a need for measuring an actual elevation i.e. look at something with the bubble at level and note its position (above/below) the horizontal line in the scope, then look at something else, without moving your position, with the bubble at level and note the difference in elevation from the first item you looked at.
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This sounds like a small telescope, not necessarily designed to mount on a tripod for establishing rough grade. These were meant to sit on something like a fence post and function a bit like a builder's level.
I can't find a current example as you can buy accurate instruments for much less today. These were a "poor boy" tool back when.
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CWLee wrote the following:

Maybe it's just an early surveyors scope without the cradle.
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Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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SJF
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As the OP, it appears to me that "Bob Villa" had the best answer. His link to a "6-Inch Hand Held Optical Level" brought up a photo of a device pretty much the same as what I have. That link was to Amazon, and the particular brand shown there is priced at about $40. Another link took me to a similar version by Stanley at about half the price.
Now I know what it is called. Any other information about common applications and uses would be appreciated.
Thanks everyone.
============================

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