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Lens attachment for sextant

Date: 1925
Overall: 5 × 22 × 22 mm, 9 g
Medium: Bronze, glass
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Isabel McBryde
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Lens
Object No: 00054740
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Lawrence and Mayo, while originally London based, had a major involvement in south Asia, with production increasingly based in India (and wholly so from 1967). The sextant may have been used by Capt McBryde during his work with the Straits Steamship Company and then the Federated States of Malaya Customs Service from 1924 to 1927, and later in the 1920s in Western Australia.
    SignificanceThis sextant is significant as an example of an instrument acquired by a merchant officer in the 1920s which remained his primary navigation tool until his retirement in 1963. Its extended use underlines the relatively slow progress in the development of navigation technology in the 19th and 20th centuries.
    HistoryThis White Pattern pattern sextant relates to the career of John Smyth McBryde (1896 - 1987) who, after serving an apprenticeship in sail, served on active service during both the First and Second World Wars, returning to the merchant service after 1945. The sextant was possibly acquired by McBryde during his work with the Straits Steamship Company and later the Federated States of Malaya Customs Service in the 1920s.

    McBryde served as Fourth Officer on KANIMBLA as a merchant vessel, then later as 1st Lieutenant when the vessel was requisitioned into the Royal Navy (1939-43). After WW II McBryde was Chief Officer of the KANIMBLA 1950-57 and then Master 1957- 61. He retired in 1963.

    Originally based in London, instrument makers Lawrence and Mayo opened offices in Egypt, Spain, Portugal, India, Ceylon [Sri Lanka] and Singapore during the 19th century. The company opened its first Indian office in Calcutta in 1877. The company became wholly Indian owned in 1967.

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