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Curved dividers belonging to Francis Bayldon

Date: Pre 1948
Overall: 125 x 60 mm, 0.05 kg
Medium: Metal
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Mary Bayldon
Classification:Tools and equipment
Object Name: Dividers
Object No: 00014500

User Terms

    A pair of curved dividers, used for measuring distances on a globe, originally belonging to Francis Joseph Bayldon who was a master mariner and nautical instructor.
    Bayldon worked predominately in Pacific and Australian waters throughout his career and in addition to carrying out extensive hydrographical surveys used by the Admiralty, he established the Nautical School in Sydney, later the basis of navigation studies at the Sydney Technical College.

    SignificanceFrancis Bayldon became known as 'the doyen of Australian seafarers' and was awarded an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 1938.

    HistoryCaptain Francis Joseph Bayldon was born in 1872 in Lincolnshire, England. He went to sea as a cadet in 1887 aboard the Devitt and Moore Australian clipper ship RODNEY. He secured his first mates certificate in London in 1894 and in 1897 Bayldon joined the Canadian Australian RMS AORANGI as second officer and remained with her and the WARRIMOO until 1901. Bayldon then joined Burns Philip Island Line as first mate aboard the MORESBY and from 1902 - 1910 served as Master of the TAMBO, TITUS, MALAITA, INDUNA and MORESBY. During this time Bayldon also carried out a considerable amount of hydrographical surveying which was incorporated in Admiralty charts and sailing directions. The Bayldon Shoals, which he located near Tulagi (Solomon Islands), were named after him in 1912.
    Bayldon received the thanks of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty in 1907 with a special promotion from Sub-Lieutenant to Lieutenant RNR and to Retired Commander in 1913. Many of his observations of the Zodiacal light were published by the Lick Observatory (California, USA) and by the British Astronomical Association. He was also the author of 'Handling Steamships during Hurricanes on the East Coast of Queensland’ (1913) and articles for the Royal Australian Historical Society and on Australian shipwrecks in the Australian Encyclopaedia.
    Bayldon was a member of various organisations including a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Geographical Society of New South Wales, Royal Australian Historical Society, League of Ancient Mariners, awarded the HM King George VI Coronation Medal and in 1938 was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
    In 1910 Bayldon started a school of navigation in Sydney which catered for all types of nautical certificates and later for Civil Aviation licences as well. The Nautical School, as it was originally called settled into the Royal Exchange Building in 1916. It was later sold in 1947 to and it ultimately became the formed the foundation of navigation studies at the Sydney Technical College.
    Captain Bayldon died in 1948 and his ashes were scattered over the Bayldon Shoals. It is said he was the inspiration for Captain Dobbin in the poem of the same name by Kenneth Slessor and in all respects it seems Bayldon, aside from his impressive professional achievements, was widely well regarded and 'remarkable in that day and trade for his erudition and gentility'.

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