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Azimuth compass

Date: 1844 - 1865
85 x 160 mm (6.29 in)
Medium: Wood, metal, paper, ink, glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Compass
Object No: 00040567

User Terms

    This surveyor's compass was used to take angular bearings of conspicuous landmarks such as mountains and headlands. Rotating the outer ring until both sights were aligned on the landmark, the angle was then read off relative to magnetic north. It was manufactured by instrument maker Charles Suffell of London in about 1850 .

    SignificanceThe azimuth compass is a type used in the survey of the Australian coastline during the 19th century. The instrument facilitated the mapping of the Australian coast, providing the essential data to produce accurate charts.
    HistorySometimes called a circumferentor, the instrument was used for taking bearings on prominent points during survey work. Relatively little is known about Charles Suffell but he was listed as a general salesman at 132 Long Acre in London Directories from 1839 to 1843; then as a Mathematical Instrument Maker at the same address from 1844 to 1865. From 1866 to 1877 he was at 122 Long Acre.

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