Compass and navigational instrument making
The manufacture of handmade compasses and other navigational instruments.
|Historic area of significance||UK|
|Area currently practised||Hull|
|Origin in the UK|
|Current no. of professionals (main income)||1|
|Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
|Current no. of trainees||1|
|Current total no. serious amateur makers
|Current total no. of leisure makers
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required|
The magnetic compass, in navigation or surveying, is an instrument for determining direction on the surface of Earth by means of a magnetic pointer that aligns itself with Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic compass is the oldest and most familiar type of compass and is used in different forms in aircraft, ships, and land vehicles and by surveyors.
Over the centuries a number of technical improvements have been made in the magnetic compass. Many of these were pioneered by the English, whose large empire was kept together by naval power and who hence relied heavily upon navigational devices.
Compasses are often contained with a binnacle, a waist-high case or stand on the deck of a ship which protect the instruments.
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
Craftspeople currently known
- Brian Walker – at B Cooke & Sons
Sylvester Perera – apprentice to Brian Walker at B Cooke & Sons
Note: Francis Barker & Son were notable as a supplier of precision equipment to allied forces in Europe during the Great War and Second World War, particularly compasses and sextants. Francis Barker & Son is now a trademark of Pyser Optics who specialise in precision military grade instruments.