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    Refilling a compass, was: Compass tilt
    From: Trevor Kenchington
    Date: 2004 Jun 20, 21:25 +0000

    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

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