Production date
Late 18th Century
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Object detail

Round compass with screw top lid, engraved with its history on the top of the lid. Inside the lid, the decorative bearings are printed on card in ink. The lid itself is slightly bent. The compass card in the base of the housing is decorated in a similar fashion to that on the lid, and is attached to a pivot and shadow pin.
CH classification MARITIME TECHNOLOGY Navigational Instruments compass
Production date
Late 18th Century
Base: H27 x Diam 70 mm
Lid: H7 x Diam 70 mm
Media/Materials description
Brass, cardboard
Presented to Jas. Dent, master mariner, by a seaman who carried it with him, while engaged in the service of Captn. Cook during his voyages round the world, presented again by Mrs Dent, relect of the above J. Dent to David J. Christison, Berwick 1840.
History and use
This compass is believed to have belonged to a seaman who accompanied Captain James Cook on his voyages.

Cook made 3 major international voyages, his first taking him up the east coast of Australia, where he made the most extensive European documentation of the country to that date. His ship, the Endeavour, ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland.

Bearing compasses like this were in use from the early 18th century and determined direction in relation to the Earth's magnetic poles.

Uploaded to the Web 27 May 2011.
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