Skip navigation

Object Name: Protractor
Date: ca. 1900
Related People:
Medium: Brass
Dimensions: Overall: 2 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (5.7 x 10.8 cm)
Description: Brass protractor with engraved numbers
Credit Line: Gift of Gloria von Hagen
Object Number: 2010.32.1
Send to a Friend

Gallery Label:

This protractor was among the tools used by Harry E. Champoli (1872-1935), an Italian immigrant mason who owned a Bronx construction company during the 1920s. Champoli was born in San Vito Chietino, in the Abruzzo region of Italy and came to the U.S. around the 1890s. According to his granddaughter, he learned the mason's trade in Italy, and probably came to New York to take advantage of the opportunities in the expanding metropolis. He reportedly worked on many prominent buildings, including Grand Central Station and the Plaza Hotel. He also donated his services for the Casa Italiana at Columbia University, a McKim, Mead, and White building in the Florentine Reniassance style built in 1927 as a gift of the Italian American community. For his contributions, Champoli was awarded a bronze medal by Mayor La Guardia and a gold medal by Benito Mussolini. Around 1930, he travled to Italy for the official opening of a brick factory that he donated to his native town of San Vito Chietino.