This website doesn't deal with ancient instruments which are thouroughly described in other excellent virtual museums like EPACT or NMM (see LINKS).

Now that soon most people will only think of GPS when hearing the word orientation, we thought it might be interesting to give an overview of some sorts of (magnetic) compasses that were in use until the recent past (see NOTE below).

The exhibits are allocated to ten different categories (see pictures in the LOBBY): from nautical to aeronautical, marching, wrist, geological and artillery, pocket, religious compasses and, last but not least, to the unclassifiable ones like jewelry and other objects for everyday use. Most pictures can be enlarged by a simple click on them. You can compare two different objects if you leave the windows open ... but don't forget to close the windows afterwards.

Many manufacturers could be identified. They are listed in the menu point SEARCH and at the beginning of some categories and are linked to their products. Other compasses still lack identification. You will discover them while browsing around.

Because of the enormous number of manufacturers who participated in the development of these instruments, this modest museum cannot describe all of them. Some companies are only represented by a picture of a typical product sent by a visitor. For more information, we direct you to some good addresses (see LINKS).

The LOBBY button leads to the museum's entrance where the visit can begin after a category has been selected. This is done by clicking on the relevant picture.

We wish you a pleasant visit.

NOTE: You can help the museum to fill the gaps. Each contribution is welcome and valuable. Write an e-mail to the Compass Museum's curator (CONTACT), if you can deliver a missing information or if you have noticed a mistake.