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    Re: Refilling a compass, was: Compass tilt
    From: N S Gurnell
    Date: 2004 Jun 21, 09:23 -0700

    Re change from quadrantal to 360 degree compass cards. -
    I remember being on my first British ship in convoy from Liverpool to West
    Africa early in September 1939 and the compasses were marked in quadrants. Then
    early in 1940 they were in the 360 notation.  My guess was that the change was
    made to avoid mistakes when complying with courses ordered by the Commodore of
    the convoy.  Does anyone have any other ideas? n.s. gurnell
    --- "Trevor J. Kenchington"  wrote:
    > Jared wrote, in response to George:
    > > 
    > >
    > > Johnson's confirm this to be simple mineral oil, with fragrence added.
    > > Generic mineral oil from the pharmacy is sold unscented, typically at less
    > > than half the cost. Of course, then the compass might not smell as
    > sweet.
    > I have a rather nice older, brass box-compass, less its box, picked up
    > for next to nothing at a flea market years ago. However, its fluid had
    > been drained off, making its card very unstable and the compass quite
    > useless as anything but decoration. Can anyone suggest how I should
    > determine whether it should be refilled with oil (Johnson's or
    > otherwise) or spirit?
    > I figure that getting a new box made would easy enough if I could refill
    > the compass itself. Maybe I would also need to restore the seals to keep
    > the fluid in. Still, the result should be prettier, better quality and
    > likely cheaper than buying a new compass of the same type.
    > This compass is identified as "Ritchie, Boston". It is marked in quarter
    > points but also in degrees, from 0 to 360. I assume that the latter
    > (rather than markings of 0 to 90 in each of four quadrants) dates the
    > instrument to post-1920 but perhaps American practice turned to the
    > 360-degree notation before the British did (and/or perhaps my memory of
    > when the Royal Navy abandoned quadrantal notation is wrong).
    > Trevor Kenchington
    > --
    > Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         Gadus@iStar.ca
    > Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
    > R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
    > Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555
    >                      Science Serving the Fisheries
    >                       http://home.istar.ca/~gadus
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