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Postcard of Compass.
© National Museums Scotland


This brass marine compass dates from around 1910. It was retailed by Whyte, Thomson & Co, scientific instrument makers based in Glasgow.

The compass has a jewelled bearing and broad iron needle. The printed 64-point compass rose is inscribed around the centre 'WHYTE, THOMSON & Co /GLASGOW'. The brass gimbals in which the compass is mounted prevent it from breaking in stormy seas.

Whyte, Thomson & Co., like other Clydeside makers had a branch at another major shipbuilding centre. Theirs was opened in South Shields in 1902 and lasted until 1916.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-775-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1980.198
Date: Around 1910
c. 1910
Material: Brass bowl. Inscription: WHYTE, THOMSON & Co. / GLASGOW.
Dimensions: 147 mm D
What: Compass, marine / box
Who: Arthur Frank Collection of Scottish Scientific Instruments
Whyte, Thomson and Co., Glasgow (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Lanarkshire, Glasgow
Description: 5 1/2" dry card compass in glazed brass bowl, gimbal mounted in a wooden case with sliding lid, signed by Whyte, Thomson and Co. of Glasgow, c. 1910
  • Clarke, T.N., Morrison-Low, A.D. & Simpson, A.D.C. Brass & glass scientific instrument making workshops in Scotland as illustrated by instruments from the Arthur Frank Collection at the Royal Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh: NMS, 1989. pp 281,283,286 
  • T.N. Clarke, A.D. Morrison-Low and A.D.C. Simpson (1989): "Brass and Glass 
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