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- S -


Former German retailer of stationary articles located in Nuremberg. This special issue for the years 1914/15 comprises compasses from several famous compass makers (Busch, Muller & Vaucher, C. Stockert, ZIKO). 


Click on image for enlarged view of page 1
Example : pages 10-11

Bottom right: a compass from the Swiss maker Muller & Vaucher

Click on image for enlarged view
Technical data
- Dim. : 297 x 225mm
- 16 pages

The image on the cover represents a dispatch rider (Meldereiter) delivering a message to an officer. This new unit had been created in 1895.


The name M. SCHLAGINTWEIT is printed on this compass. It is called in German Routenkompass but this special designation was not successful. Such instruments are usualy called Marsch- or Wanderkompass. The peculiar design was no success either: the marching course arrow is engraved and divisions (every 5°) are only given for a quadrant (90°) on either side of it. If Magnetic North is located in this area, its relative position to the user and the desired course is clear but otherwise one has to calculate its position on the base of the needle's south end which is really not practical. However, the needle's cap features two winglets marked W and O (West and East) so as to find out which end of the needle points north. Moreover, the south end features a counterweight pin. On the reverse, probably an owner engraved his name and a date: J. M. 1914/15.
Techn. Data: Diam.: 2" / 50mm. No luminous paint but a highly reflective metallic coating (link to pic.) of the course arrow. Manufacturer (s. name in dial centre): Johannes Greiner1 - München (Munich). The abbr. D.R.G.M. means that the compass was designed after 1st Oct.1891.
Concerning the inventor: There were three brothers, Hermann, Adolf and Robert Schlagintweit (link to portraits © DAV) were researchers living in Munich, Germany. Influenced by Alexander von Humboldt, they went on an expedition in the Himalaya and the Karakorum mountains in 1854 and were the first to bring back information about Cashmere, Ladakh, Sikkim and Kumaon. The German alpine climbers club (DAV) dedicated to them an exhibition in 2015. They were not married and had no children. Possibly, the compass designer's first name (M.) was that of Max August Schlagintweit (b. 13 Oct.1849 - d. 1935) Premierlieutnant in Munich, later Artillery Major, a half-brother born in the 3rd marriage of their father, the ophtalmologist August Schlagintweit.

(1) The Deutsche Museum in Munich possesses a company's news letter published by Johannes Greiner München. The company itself is still listed in the city's addresses book for 1900: Johannes Greiner, Präcisions-Glasinstrumente-Fabrik (proprietor Fritz Greiner), Müllerstr. 8, München, shop in the Neuhauserstr. 49.
Source: German DAV Alpine Museum:
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This instrument called Waldbussole (forest compass) was made in 1911 by GOERZ. Function similar to KRÖPLIN and A. & N. AUX. One must take the needle and pointer assembly out of the capsule and set the marching course angle on the map (see user instructions at right).
User instructions by courtesy of SWGR-O.P.Lang  


Former U.S. company (for more information click HERE).

Click on the picture for an enlarged view
(Picture Wayne SVDP/Tacoma)
Technical Data
- Diameter: ... mm
- Depth: ... mm
- Weight: ... gr
- Markings: dots of Radium-compound paint by E, S & W cardinals, a triangle by North, and on both ends of the needle (longer by North).
- Manufactured approx. WWII


Youth organisations like Girl and Boy Scouts have always been a good market for compass manufacturers which designed especially for them simple instruments although some reach the same precision level than military marching compasses. The manufacturers represented in this museum are Barker, SILVA, TaylorKröplin, Collignon-Houlliot (s. a. Mle 1922), Busch, U.S. Gauge.
A special mention should be made of the Trail-Blazer dubbed wrist compass, the Pathfinder and the sun watches.

Picture at r.: Pocket compass made by Collignon-Houlliot especially for the Jamboree in 1947 (click for enlarged view).

Pic at left : Pocket watch with a tiny compass on the reverse and German the words Pfadfinder Allzeit bereit i.e. Scouts Be Prepared (Swiss patent no. 61471 by Schlenker & Kienzle, 1912 for a watch and compass with luminous markings).

Great-Britain (pic. at r.) - Pocket compass of the British Boy Scouts Association available in the Scout Shop of the Imperial Headquarters (link to pic. of box). Technical Data: Dia.: 1 inch, luminous points (low level Radium-compound paint) on the dial and the disc-shaped magnetic needle. Other Girl Guides & Boy Scouts comp.: go to BARKER.

U.S.A. - In addition to the instruments made by U.S. Gauge, Taylor and Silva, a specific COMPASS GAME was also created to learn how to use the instrument and later modernized by SILVA.

Table below: Examples of merit badges for orienteering and knowledge of map and compass handling (compare with the TOURIST badges and medals in the former communist countries):

Orienteering Merit Badge (U.S. Boy Scouts)

Map and Compass Belt Loop (U.S. Cub Scouts)

(Depicts a compass rose with a boy standing with a map in his hands in the center)

France (surveyor 1)

France (surveyor 2)

France (cubs)

The museum's creator as a cub scout in Marseilles (at r. in 1957) together with members of his patrol

- Wandervögel
(German Empire 1896-1935)
This hikers organisation (see Wikipedia) chose in the late 1920's the compass type ORION made by KRÖPLIN.

- Young Pioneers (Communist East-Germany)
Special issue about "hiking with compass and map" of the Official booklets for school boys and girls and for the youth organisation Junge Pioniere (young pioneers*) in the former German Democratic Republic, GDR). The title printed in red Fröhlich sein und Singen means 'Being happy and sing'. The compass model featured in the document is the early marching compass made by FPM called Handkompass. Note the girl standing behind the three boys, as if purposely kept off the orienteering task.

* Characteristic: blue scout scarf. See also Tourist
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SEL (Signalling Equipment Ltd) was (with Merit) one the trading names of J & L Randall Ltd. a British toy manufacturer, based in Potters Bar, which was in Middlesex until 1965 and then in Hertfordshire. The company flourished in the 1950s and 1960s and placed regular advertisements in Meccano Magazine.
(Source: Wikipedia)

(Pictures by courtesy of eBay seller fzibuffy)

(Click on picture for enlarged view)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 38mm
- Depth: 16mm
- Weight: 17gr
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Selsi Company, Inc. is a U.S. importer and retailer of instruments. More info click HERE. See also Wrist Compasses.

(Click on the pictures for enlarged view)
Simple pocket compass probably made in the 50's or 60's.

Composed view of the compass catalogue
Technical Data
- Diameter: 1-3/4" ( 45mm)
- Depth: 11mm
- Transit lock: the screw's end depresses the lever when tightening
- Markings: SELSI USA.
SELSI imported the compasses from France (manufacturers: Houlliot and S-L)

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Former British manufacturer (for more information click HERE). Short & Mason produced in the early 1900s some of the compasses better known through their later TAYLOR versions (more infos in the book Compass Chronicles - see LINKS)

MARK V pattern

(Click on picture for enlarged view)
The compass capsule is attached to the casing by two screws accessible from the rear side (picture below)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 45mm
- Depth: 15mm
- Weight: 50gr
- Card: aluminium, Singer's pattern

Markings on the lid:

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SIMMS, J. & G.

James and George SIMMS were English compass makers. J & G Simms (1820 – 1855) had premises at 4 Broadway, Blackfriars, and at 9 Greville Street, Hatton Garden in London. Francis Barker learnt his trade there and was the compass maker for J & G Simms in 1842 when this compass was made. Francis Barker eventually bought the company in 1855 after both brothers had died. This item was made for C. W. DIXEY, Opticians to the Queen.

Click on picture above for enlarged view
Photographs courtesy Trademarklondon.com

Hallmarks and signature: JS and GS

Technical Data
Long-neck compass type
- Diameter: ... mm
- Depth: ... mm
- Weight: ... gr
- Dial material: enamel

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James A. SINCLAIR & Co. Ltd (pic. Graces Guide) was a British manufacturer of photographical equipment (model Tropical Una) and a well-known photographer and the author of a manual. He was a retailer for scientific instruments (signed SINCLAIR HAYMARKET LONDON). He died 1940.
Picture at right: SINCLAIR-signed compass


Samuel Berry SINGER was a Master Mariner. He invented the compass rose design which was named after him (more information HERE). The most luxurious pocket compass we know of and featuring this card design was manufactured by Walter Thornhill.

Picture courtesy of J. Armstrong - Rare design, see Patent fig. 2, Ø 2 9/16 "


Joseph SINGER & Söhne (located in Villingen in the Black Forest) was a German manufacturer of precision instruments. The company was created in 1893 and compass production ceased in 1945. During WWII, they also built marching compasses for the Wehrmacht soldiers (see letter below). Their civilian compasses were offered in the catalogues of C. Stockert & Sohn and of Eschenbach.

Technical data
Dia.: 2 in. / 50mm

The small declination arrow points towards 340° (i.e. 20° west) but this value was correct c. 100 years earlier! Another model (link to pic) features luminous Radium paint markings and an updated declination value of only 10° west.

Pic. by courtesy of F. Liebau

Drawing of the compass on a letter sent to C. Stockert & Sohn (click on the image for full view of content) Document reproduced by courtesy of Frank LIEBAU, visit his web site Die Kompassmacher

Click on images for enlarged views

Technical Data
- Dia.: 43mm
- Height: 14mm
- Poids : 40g
- Cardinals in German
- Upper crystal: magnifying glass

The bearing pointer is a metallic tab connected to the bezel

Transparent map compass featuring the company's logo above the north N. © J. Grobovsek

S-L (Société des Lunetiers)

Former French company (for more information click HERE). See also SURVEY COMPASSES.

360 degrees version:
- Luminous paint
- Made in France indication (by 70 deg)

See also ballooning

400 grades version:
- Additional red line on back plate turned by 90 deg. against the arrow
- Formerly self luminescent radium paint compound (now turned orange)

Comparison of the casings: black or chromium-plated. The chromium-plated items with 400 grades division feature two transparent back plates, each with two engraved diameters (eight radii together).
Technical Data
- Diameter: 54mm
- Depth: 12mm
- Weight: 54gr
- Case: brass, blackened or chromium-plated
- Crown: aluminium or brass, chromium-plated

(Click on the pictures for enlarged views - excepted side views)

Original box with the company's logo : the letters S and L on both sides of a symbolized candelabra, white on green background (for more details, see this company's profile).
The models above can be seen on a postcard used to order items (on reverse) together with a wrist compass and a Muller & Vaucher pocket compass (top, centre).

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The French Colonel SOUCHIER*, in command of the 103rd Rgt. d'Infanterie in Paris, invented a marching compass (boussole militaire directrice) which appears under his name in the 1907 issue of the most important French retailer for metallic products (armes et cycles / fire arms and bikes) MANUFRANCE. He had an agreement with Henri Houlliot for manufacturing and selling his compass. They planned to build two versions: "one  with a rotating base plate so that it could be used as a marching compass, and one without". This instrument is designated boussole directrice (marching compass) but we decided to present it in this section (pocket compasses) because of its shape.

* He is also known for having invented a range finder (télémètre).

Sighting via the prism
Left: Prototypes in steel and brass casing of various diameter. One modell features in addition to the transit lock a tube the function of which is unknown.
Below: marching course arrow on the base plate and lateral transit lock.

Manufrance catalogue (1907)

1st page of the Souchier- Houlliot agreement (1906)
Description of the compass in the agreement (excerpt)

"M. Souchier entitles M. Houlliot to manufacture and sell the compass invented by himself and consisting of a rotating divided circle upon which a crystal lid is attached.
The crystal features:
1st: a 45° inclined surface working as a mirror and
2nd: opposite to this mirror a magnifying glass glued onto a flat portion of the crystal: this crystal has the same function as the prism in the KATTER [sic] compass."
Technical Data
- Gradation: 400 French degr.
- Diam.: 48mm
- Weight: 85g

Description and user instruction (copies avialable).

All documents communicated by M. Michel Collignon.


Mathematical Instruments maker and Optician - 1791 - 1814 at 29 Capel Street, Dublin and also 27 and 35 College Green, Dublin

Technical Data
- Diameter: ... mm
- Depth: ... mm
- Weight: ... gr
- Compass rose: enamel

(Click on the picture for enlarged view
Picture sent by a visitor)
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see (top of page) Schwab & Wuischpard


J. H. Steward Ltd was a British manufacturer (more information HERE). See also Wrist, Marching, Survey and Nautical compasses.
Early Version of the famous VERNER's pattern compass.

Picture by courtesy of Doug Carter
Click on the image for an enlarged view 
Technical Data
- Diameter: 45mm
- Thickness: 18mm
- Compass card: Balmain paper (see menue Miscell. / Terminology)
- Manufacturer's data printed on the card:
    J.H. Steward, 406 Strand, London
    Col. Verner's Sergeant's Compass

Pictures by courtesy of Cl. Seldon

Click on the images for enlarged views 

Click on ithe mage for a view of both sides 
Type designation

Technical Data

- Diameter: ... mm
- Thickness: ... mm
- Case background illumination: Balmain paper (see Terminology) made luminous by the stripe of luminous paper in the lid.
- Manufacturer's data engraved on case bottom
    J.H. Steward, 406 & 407 Strand, London  
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STOCKERT (C. Stockert & Sohn)

C. Stockert & Sohn was a German manufacturer (more information HERE and on this company's website stockert-sohn). In the 1960's, there was a tight cooperation with the other two compass manufacturers located of the vicinity (in the cities of Fürth and Nuremberg) and the catalogues of C. Stockert, PASTO and Wilkie weren similar in respect to form and content.
See also Marching Compasses Stockert  ("S") and antique Sundials.
The following items are only a few examples from the vast 1910 catalogue (photocopies available).

Pic at right: 1910 catalogue, page 8, left side    

Technical Data
- Dia.: 52mm
- Thickness: 12mm
- Weight: 50gr
The marching direction arrow located under the crystal could be set via the knob on top.  This type appears in the 1938 catalogue (item no. 607 below) and in a 1956 dictionary (top r.).

This instrument is also a small marching compass: The arrow can be set via a tiny five-branch-star-shaped wheel. The luminous markings are made of tiny pieces of special  Balmain paper.

Technical Data
- Dia.: 46mm
- Thickness: 14mm
- Weight: 38gr

Catalogue in three languages* (DE, EN, SP) dated 1910

The wrist compass above contains a pocket compass featuring the same design as the one in cell 1 at left.

* A fourth one (French, w/o pics, 4 p.) also exists as well as the relevant Price list (for pic: click on image below):

"Map compass" (see Price list. no. 8).
Description: click on image at right.
See also transparent "Glass" compasses.

Engraving on the rear side of the S (South): DRGM (see Miscellaneous/ Terminology/ Abbrev.).
The needle's transit lock is an Exzenter actuated via the knob in the loop. The German catalogue used French names and this knob was called in the Price list remontoir (crown) like for a watch.
The needle's pivot is located in the centre of a wheel-shaped structure on which the cardinals and the graduation are engraved. Compare with the BUSCH model no. 3362 on which they are printed on the glass bottom.
Browse through the catalogue:

P. 2-3, p. 4-5, p. 6-7, p. 8-9, p. 10-11,
Additional pages (w/o description).

Note about p. 10, item no. 821, replaced image: This compass called in French  "boussole directrice" was manufactured and supplied by HOULLIOT. See also the 1930 LUFFT catalogue (no. 1745).
Box compass

No. 620 and foll. in the catalogue

- Descr. in German, English and Spanish: click on image at left
- Descr. in French HERE
Technical Data
- Dia.: 45mm
- Height (with lid): 12mm

Six dia. were available: 25 - 50mm

Compass with transparent bottom.
Item belonging to numbers range 57x.
Collection of the company C. Stockert & Sohn
Items no. 6 and 7 (catalogue 1910)

Pictures courtesy Frank Liebau (www.die-kompassmacher.de)
Description no. 6 and 7

Picture courtesy of S. Beck
View of the 1910 catalogue

(enlarged view: descr. in 3 languages)
Model versions 812-817
- compass Ø : 30 mm
- mahogany box: 80 x 75 x 25 mm


George James Symons of Camden Square in the county of Middlesex filed a patent in 1875 for a compass the magnetic needle of which could be adapted to different values of the local declination. It was implemented in a pocket compass made among others by CASELLA and called TRUE NORTH. A lapel compass was produced under the name Tru Nord by Marble's. A True North pocket compass was also signed by Lennie.
Pic. at right : fig. in Symons' patent no. 3293 ("a": position of the magnetic needle under the compass card)
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- T -


Due to the large range of its production, a specific chapter was created for this manufacturer.

Tell-tale compass

Tell-tale compasses can be read upside down. They are described in the section Nautical Compasses but this system has also been applied in at least one beautiful instrument. The needle has two pivots and the caps are in the base and on the cross bar (under the crystal). This feature is similar to the compasses with glass on both sides, where an indentation on each glass acts as a cap (compare with charm compasses in the SHOP and a Japanese transparent compass).

Pictures courtesy M. Chambers
(Click on the images for enlarged views)
Technical Data
- Diameter: ?
- Divisions: quadrants
- North symbol: fleur de lys
- Bar needle with two pivots, caps in the base and in a cross bar.

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Terrasse W. Co. was together with Barker and Dennison an important British compass maker during WW I.
Mark VI Pocket compass. The reference book THE PRISMATIC COMPASS describes this instrument as follows:
"This compass is of the watch type (...) and has recently been improved. It differs from the Mark V in that the dial is graduated every five degrees instead of points of compass and figured every 20 degrees. Also the North point is marked with a radium-painted luminous arrow, the E. W. and S. points by luminous dots. Instead of the lubber mark, a black hair line is drawn across the glass, near the ends of which are radio-luminous marks, one end being arrow-shaped."

(For more details click on the picture)
Mark VI compass

Technical Data

- Diameter: 43mm (1 932")
- Depth: 11mm
- Weight: 28gr

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TfA - Technische Fabrik für Armaturen

Former German company created in 1964 by Heinz  DOSTMANN, located in 6984, Reichsholzeim / Tauber.
They retailed compasses made by WILKIE and also imported from France (see letter to Houlliot below). Products: cheap low-tech compasses.

The abbrev. TfA appears on the english-printed side of the box while the German face refers to DOMATIC. The rose-of-the-winds-shaped logo is obviously WILKIE's.
Technical Data
- Dia.: 38mm
- Height: 11mm
Brief von TfA an Houlliot:

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THALSON was a San Francisco-based U.S. retailer of small firearms and other outdoor gear. This instrument was manufactured by an unknown Japanese compass maker and it appears in a TOKYO COMPASS MFG. Co. Ltd. catalogue (no. 325 in the Camping Equipment section).  Anothervery simple one was made in Germany, probably by PASTO.

(Click on the pictures for enlarged views )
Technical Data
- Diameter: 47mm 
- Depth: 11mm

Picture courtesy M. Vera
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This item was manufactured by Walter Thornhill, a manufacturer to the Royal Family. This luxurious pocket compass was offered as a Chistmas gift to Edmund Clerihew BENTLEY in 1878.

Click on pictures for enlarged views

Pictures and information courtesy P.C. / trademarklondon.com

Technical Data
Case material: 18ct yellow gold, made in London 1878, marked: W.T. (click HERE for pictures of W. Thornhill's hallmarks)
Monogram on the lid: 3 initials, E. C. B.
Diameter: 55mm
Weight: 95g
Spring lid, flush hinge
Card: mother of pearl Singer’s patent. Inscribed inside the lid:  XMAS 1878 (Xmas abbreviation was in use from the 1500s).
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- U -

U.S. Gauge Co.

U.S. Manufacturer created in 1904 in Sellersville (Pennsylvania), later located in New York, now part of AMETEK.  See also category Wrist compasses.

(Click on image for detailed view)

Inside the box, instruction concerning the transit lock.

(Click on the links to see the pictures)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 2" / 50mm
- Thickness: 10mm
- Weight: 45gr
- Divisions : 360°, clockwise
- Inscription in a Malta cross, on the face's south side:
U.S. Gauge Co. N.Y.

Girl and Boy Scout official compasses

(Click on the images for detailed view)
Box of the Boy Scout official compass

See also TAYLOR (above) and SILVA
Technical Data
- Diameter: 2" / 50mm, thickness: 10mm
- Weight: 1½ oz. / 45gr
- Divisions : 360°, clockwise
- Inscription hidden below the case rim:
AD - 5246 - Made in U.S.A. by U.S. Gauge Co. N.Y.

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- V -


PROFILE - Former French manufacturer, successor of Guyomard created in 1890, located 14, rue de la Corderie (Paris 3e).
Verpiot supplied other manufacturers like Houlliot (see below: Houlliot's request for Verpiot's price about item 100 for exporting to USA & Canada) and retailers.

Technical Data
- Dia. : 40mm
- Height : 12 mm
Catalogue for the 1930's (10 p.)

Houlliot's request & Verpiot's answer (1938)


Jacques VONIN was a small French company (located 254, Boulevard St. Germain Paris - agent for CHARRON Ltd and DARRACQ cars).
The Online Compass Museum was given a complete technical-commercial study* drawn up in 1915 and covering the design and manufacture of a pocket compass with Radium paint markings. The instrument described therein has some similarities with the compass model used by the infantry men in the trenchies during WW1. This study was apparently not followed by a series production, but some samples were sent to potential partners in Italy (Milan and Turin). Furthermore, advertisements were printed in Paris newspapers in March 1915
(see picture), then in Italy (June 1915).
It is therefore possible that some items may still exist today. A user's instructions note was also printed bearing a much simpler design than the original project and design eventually chosen by the French War Ministry (no marching course setting arrow; compare with the instruments displayed in the article on
MORIN). The aim was to manufacture a cheaper instrument than the Bézard-type compass sold in France during the same period by Auricoste. Since this item is now completely forgotten, the story must have ended abruptly: in a letter, M. Vonin is summoned to accept a delivery and to pay for a "great quantity of ordered compasses"…

Technical Data 
Four different models were planned: A/AL and B/BL (L = lumineuse, i.e. with several Radium paint marks) from the totally simple one without loop, transit lock, Radium markings and with a cheap brass needle cap, to the full model with all features plus an agate cap and a lacquered case.
Common features: paper dial, 30mm diameter, bevelled crystal. A leather strap was also offered for wearing as a wrist compass.

* Contributed by Mr François-Xavier Bernard who wrote a comprehensive ar
ticle (in Italian language) in the review MILITES, issue no. 35  of Mai/June 2009 (pdf copy available on request).
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Former (unidentified) Czechoslovakian manufacturer. On the reverse side: the abbreviation TEL (Telegrafní vojsko = Army Telegraph) and the figure 37 on either side of a heraldic lion, the coat of arms of the Czechoslovakian Army, which also appears drawn within a lozenge (see Cardinal points / Czech).

Technical Data
- Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 7mm
- Weight: 34gr
- Divisions: 360°, clockwise
- Marking on the dial:  VTD, Vojenské Telegrafní Dílny i.e. Military Telegraph Office
- Radium paint markings: on the needle's Northern end and above the letter S (sever = North)
- Leather pouch (link to picture)

(Click on the pictures for detail views)

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- W -


US watch manufacturer. See also category Wrist-top compasses

Technical Data
- Diameter: 45mm
- Depth: 13mm
- Weight: 28gr
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WILKIE (Wilhelm Kienzler)

Former German company (for more information click HERE). In the 1960's, there was a tight cooperation with the other two compass manufacturers of the vicinity (Fürth and Nuremberg) and the catalogues of C. Stockert, PASTO and Wilkie were similar in respect to form and content.
Export versions of some models had a designation like WANDERER or HUNTER (see below).
See also the categories marching, nautical, wrist and geological compasses.

Early model with transparent fluid capsule
(Pic at left)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 42mm
- Depth: 15mm
- Weight: 32gr

(Click on images for enlarged views)

Above: transparent map comoass with direction arrow
catalog no.  F45 CTM (1975)

USA catalog

At right: Model displayed in the 1975 catalog, identical to a former PASTO product

(In addition in the enlarged view a compass called RANGER)

Early model D45 (c. 1960's).
The grey colour is due to the decaying luminous paint

(Click on the pictures to view details)

Model D45 - cat. no. 1234 C, 1970's
Technical Data
- Diameter: 45mm
- Depth: 13mm
- Weight: 39gr

These compasses are only a few examples of a vast catalog. The reference numbers refer to the German catalog. Compare with the catalog above for US numbers.
Model SMD45/Fwith course marking pointer. It could be set from above through the crystal. Export version: red needle and pointer. Inscriptions, on face: HUNTER EDGE; on lid: "Liquid filled" (1960)

Model SDM45, 1970s. An export version (USA) was called WANDERER. The early version had a hole in the lid for the protruding knob.
See pic. at right - courtesy Steve Bell

(Click on the pictures to view details)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 45mm
- Height: 13mm
- Weight (dry): 37gr
- Weight (fluid): 50gr
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Pocket compass designed by Wilkinson-East (?) and made by Elliott Brothers., London approximately at the very beginning of the 20th c. (link to pic of inscription on the bottom dated 1903).  The compass can be carried in a casing featuring a black line on the bottom. Either side of the compass can be placed on top.

Pictures courtesy Mark
(Click on images for enlarged views)
Technical Data
- Dia.: 38mm
- Depth: 14mm
- Divisions: 360 degrees on one face, only cardinals on the other
- Link to a view of the instrument dismantled


U.S. watch maker who produced compasses in cooperation with the famous Swiss watch maker Longines.  Wittnauer was Longines agent during WW ! The Longines Wittnauer Watch Company (LWW Co.) was created in 1936.  More information HERE.

The standard Army model. There was also a version with radium paint markings
(click to enlarge)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 45mm
- Depth: 12mm
- Weight: 50gr
- Manufacturer: Longines-Wittnauer
(see box - top right, click to enlarge)
Below: Case reverse side 

(MFR'S = Manufacturer's)

WOODMAN's compass

Large compass with no manufacturer's name. The arrow with the fancy feathers is painted under the crystal and cannot be rotated to indicate a marching course. It always points to the zero marking (North). In the advertisement it is called a Woodman's compass. The cylindrical pendant features two serrated rings. This is the only compass we know of with this feature.

Pictures by courtesy of C. Forsythe
Click on the images for enlarged views

Pic. courtesy K. Takacs / Compass Chronicles

Ad published in 1902
Technical Data
- Dia.: 2.75"/ 70mm
- Weight: 9 ozs. / 250gr
- Somes items are marked "France" (link to pic.), not "Made in France"). This model may have been produced by Houlliot and exported to the U.S.A.

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Wotton & Sherry of Gwelo, Rhodesia (Now Zimbabwe) – Rhodesian retailer that had compasses made by Barker in London around 1870s. Their shop was much-used by British explorers who were starting to colonise Rhodesia.

(Picture by courtesy of Trademarklondon.com - click to enlarge)
Technical Data
- Diameter: mm
- Depth: mm
- Weight: gr
- Manufacturer: F. Barker & Son (triangular logo punched in case)
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X - Y


We display here several compasses without manufacturer's name and coming from different countries.

(Click on image for enlarged view)

(Pictures courtesy TradeMarkLondon.com)
This sort of pocket compass is usually  called  Long neck because of its ring attachment.
This one is particularly rare because it features a floating card consisting of a thin mica sheet between two sheets of paper. The whole is glued onto a magnetic needle. It is balanced by means of wax applied on the underside with the finger (compare with ADAMS, SIMMS, SPEAR above and MISCELLANEOUS / Cardinal points).
Technical Data
- Diameter: 40mm
- Length: 60mm
- Date: c. 1840 ?

(Click on image for enlarged view)
Floating skeleton-style compass card
(compare with F. Barker & Son)
(Picture courtesy TradeMarkLondon)

Technical Data
- Diameter: ... mm
- Depth: ... mm
- Material (casing): silver
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China or Japan, early 20th c.
Explanation of cardinal points:

(Click on image for enlarged view)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 38mm
- Height: 8mm
- Weight: 18gr

Technical Data
- Diameter: 44mm
- Depth: 10mm
- Weight: 40gr

Image above and at left:
Denmark or Norway, early 20th c.
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Germany, early 20th c.
Technical Data
- Diameter: 40mm
- Depth: 10mm

Probably a HOULLIOT-made export version (featuring cardinals in Russian language)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 40mm
- Depth: 12mm
- Weight: 25gr

Probably a LUFFT Export version
(featuring cardinals in Czech language)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 40mm
- Depth: 10mm
- Weight: 23gr

Highly probable maker: F. Barker & Son
Technical Data
Dia.: 37mm / Height: 12mm
Weight: 30gr / Divisions : card. in German
Case silver-plated inside and around the capsule. SINGER-type face, in addition, letter N with red paint. Another red mark across the figure 6 in 360.
Bar needle with counterweight.

(Click for enlarged view)
(Pocket compasses)
Pocket compass with snap-on lid
France or Belgium, early 20th c.

Lid engraving:
(Department of War)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 54mm
- Depth: 17mm
- Weight: 110gr
- Cardinal points : French

The marching course arrow can be rotated by means of the serrated disc  at the rear face.

Germany, early 20th c.
The southern cardinal points are displayed in red.
The needle pivot cap is made of a hollowed natural pearl. The box outer surface is chrome plated.
The rear face features a mirror (see also the opera glasses in the category OTHER COMPASSES).

(Click on the picture for an enlarged view)
Technical Data
- Diameter: 40mm
- Depth: 12mm
- Weight: 18gr
- Rose: cardboard

England, late 19th c.
The North mark typically was a heraldic lily.
The cardinal points read as follows:
NEbE = North-East by East

(Click on the picture for an enlarged view)

Technical Data
- Diameter: 35mm
- Depth: 12mm
- Weight: 12gr
- Rose: cardboard
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- Z -


PROFILE - The logo of this famous German camera appears on these compasses which were in reality made by HOULLLIOT (source: company's archives). This compass (without attachment ring) was maybe meant to be carried in a wrist band (see this category) or fixed inside a large device.

Logo and side view. The needle's transit lock mechanism is actuated by turning the lid against the casing by a 1/8th of a turn.

Technical Data
Brass, ebonised, approx. 1920
- Diameter: 37 mm
- Depth: 11 mm
- Weight: 28 gr

Picture at right courtesy M. Collignon
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- Z -

Z.U.P. (ЗУП in cyrillic letters)

PROFILE - Abbreviation of the manufacturer's name Zavod Uchebnikh Priborov (Factory for Educational Instruments, in the former USSR)
During the Soviet era this USSR company also built compasses for the RED ARMY (AURKKA).
See also Wrist compasses.

(Pics sent by visitors)
Two comparable items made by other manufacturers
Technical Data
- Diam.: 45 mm
- Height: 14 mm
- Divisions: 360°, s.also MISCELLANEOUS/ Cardinals / Russia
- Date (on face): 1940
- Material: bakelite