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possibly made in Edinburgh

Postcard of Compass.
© National Museums Scotland


This compass dates from around 1830. It belonged to, and was possibly made by, the second son of Edinburgh-based scientific instrument maker Alexander Adie, who was also named Alexander.

The silvered compass rose is inscribed 'A.J. Adie/ Edinburgh' and is contained in a glazed brass case. The dial shows the 4 cardinal points, with the scale marked at 10, 5 and 1 degree intervals. The iron needle pivots on a jewelled bearing.

Alexander Adie (junior) (1808-79) served an apprenticeship with civil engineer James Jardine (1776-1858) and became a respected railway and bridge engineer.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-822-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  T.1984.182
Date: Around 1830
c. 1830
Material: Inscription: A J Adie Edinburgh
Who: A.J. Adie, Edinburgh (Maker)
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh
Description: Compass signed by A.J. Adie of Edinburgh, c. 1830
  • 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 41, 60 
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