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Thread: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

  1. #1
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    Default a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    So if you were messing about with sailing canoes at the close of the 19th century, with your tweeds, and waistcoat, and derby, and pocketwatch... what sort of compass would you have used? Would it have just been a pocket 'hunter' compass or would you have had a little box compass on board? Any examples?

    Apologies if this is too geeky, I thought perhaps someone here might know..

  2. #2
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    I'd be quite surprised if there were a compass on board. They were day trippers, after all.

    Just searched a Nathaniel Bishop text, this about doing the US East coast. He mentions a prismatic compass. But he was exceptional, of course.
    -Dave

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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?











    Last edited by Thorne; 02-02-2019 at 12:55 AM.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    My guess would be a pocket compass, similar to what Eric Sevareid carried on his 2250 mile canoe trip from Minneaolis to York Factory in 1930. I imagine a compass would come in handy during longer portages.

    Sevareid compass.jpg

    FMI: Canoeing with the Cree

    Not sure when the box compasses (dory compass) came about but Wilcox & Crittenden made some nice ones.

    IMG_0205.jpg

    A good source for pocket compasses is to search for US Combat Engineer compasses from WWI.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    Sweet...are those yours Thorne??

    Also thanks for the 'dory compass' term, I didn't know that's what they were called... i see they would have been period and probably readily available, a bit big but maybe used for a more serious undertaking.

    I suspect probably just a pocket compass...but unless you're on the beach the dry ones seem to have limited utility, but that might very well be how they rolled.

    I can imagine this quite easily turning into a 'collection' unless one restrained oneself.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Murray Campbell View Post

    I can imagine this quite easily turning into a 'collection' unless one restrained oneself.
    I was just thinking the same thing.
    Steve

    Boats, like whiskey, are all good.
    R.D Culler

  7. #7
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    Under what title would I google for more info in Sevaried's voyage? After the film about Edward R Murrow came out I asked my father, a lifelong journalist for the AP and several midwestern newspapers, what he thought of ERM. He thought a short while, then replied, "Eric Sevareid was pretty good".

    Quote Originally Posted by signalcharlie View Post
    My guess would be a pocket compass, similar to what Eric Sevareid carried on his 2250 mile canoe trip from Minneaolis to York Factory in 1930. I imagine a compass would come in handy during longer portages.

    Sevareid compass.jpg

    FMI: Canoeing with the Cree

    Not sure when the box compasses (dory compass) came about but Wilcox & Crittenden made some nice ones.

    IMG_0205.jpg

    A good source for pocket compasses is to search for US Combat Engineer compasses from WWI.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?


  9. #9
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    My guess is an ex military prismatic compass.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

  10. #10
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    You generally don't need a prismatic for open water, but inland waters or close to coast probably.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: a Victorian gentleman's compass for a sailing canoe trip?

    Quote Originally Posted by Murray Campbell View Post
    Sweet...are those yours Thorne?? ..
    GOOD HEAVENS, NO !! I squander all my money on boats and tow vehicles, got nothing left over for collecting compasses.
    "The enemies of reason have a certain blind look."
    Doctor Jacquin to Lieutenant D'Hubert, in Ridley Scott's first major film _The Duellists_.

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