4” diameter prismatic surveying compass signed on the lid (not shown) F B & S (1932) Ltd with a broad arrow and B 2163. Aluminium compass ring divided to 30 minutes. Case stamped GBO over 1 in a circle. There is a tripod socket under the base. Probably mid-20th century. Possibly made by Francis Barker & Son (1932) Ltd., as the lid is aluminium and the rest is brass so the lid may have been changed.
2.5” diameter compass card, Hutchinson’s improved prismatic compass probably dating from the 19th century. Another surveying compass. These were made by a number of makers from about 1860 to the mid-20th century.
The prismatic compass is similar to the one above but is signed around the centre of the compass card J Hicks 8, 9 & 10 Hatton Garden London. Underneath is the clinometer signed J Hicks maker 8 Hatton Garden London. It is also marked Watkin’s Clinometer patent 217 and No. 7160. The patent was granted in 1884. This example probably dates from the end of the 19th century. This type of clinometer has an internal pendulum and scale which rotate under gravity. When a feature is sighted through the eye hole in the side of the case the angle of inclination or depression can be seen alongside in the reflection from a mirror.
The leather sling case is well worn and missing the sides of the cover, two loops, and the shoulder strap.
Lawrence & Mayo combined prismatic compass and clinometer dating from ca. 1890. Patent No. 1926. Serial No. 4981. The compass is of the Hutchinson’s type. W F Stanley calls this Barker’s Combined Prismatic Compass and Clinometer. When used as a clinometer the weighted clinometer card is released by pulling the knob at the top. Held vertically it is sighted in the same way as when used as a compass and the clinometer card read through the prism, which can be raised to suit. It can also be used to measure the slope of a surface by direct reading through the lower glass. There is a tripod or staff screw under the base plate for when it is used as a compass.
Service pattern clinometer signed Aston & Mander Ld London 2108 with leather sling case stamped ↑ Short & Mason 1903 1745, made in 1903. The mechanism is the same as that of the Watkin’s patent clinometer.
Siemens Bros & Co, London signed service pattern clinometer no. 316, marked with the broad arrow, IV, and dated 1898. Engraved on the back A.D.S. Arbuthnot. Missing the glass from the circular window.
Verner’s pattern Mk VI prismatic compass by Short & Mason ca.1910-14.
A combined Hutchinson’s Improved prismatic compass and Watkin’s patent clinometer.
Mk IX dry card prismatic compass (Verner’s pattern) signed J W Handley Melb. Australia 1941. No. 26249. Stamped with the broad arrow flanked by DD for the Australian Defence Department, and also with 132 under another broad arrow. The card is mother of pearl, the case is brass and it has luminous radium compound markings (radio active!). The large screw locks the rotating bezel. The card is clamped when the lid is closed. There is a small button to damp card rotation for reading. The prism can be moved up and down to focus
Mk III liquid filled prismatic compass signed ‘ckc/C S4375 Mk III’ made by the Canadian Kodak Co under license from Francis Barker (1932) Ltd. World War II vintage. It has possibly been reconditioned and repainted professionally at some time. Mother of pearl compass card. Luminous radium paint markings (orange colour). In excellent working order.
Compass Magnetic Marching Mark 1, B9857, made by the Gramophone Company, London, dating from WWII. The case is Bakelite.
Brunton Pocket Transit (combined compass and clinometer) by E R Watts & Son. The compass and clinometer are in good working order but the aluminium case has lost much of its paint and the lid is missing the mirror with its sight line, I have partially restored it since this photo was taken.
Brunton pocket transit by Kataoka, Japan, late 20th century. The main body material is aluminium. It can be used as surveying compass and a clinometer in a variety of ways. Typically used by geologists and for mine survey. This is a late example of the instrument that was invented by D W Brunton and patented in the USA in 1894. With an accessory that clamped to the side of the instrument it could be mounted on a tripod or staff.
Hunter cased dry card military compass with Dennison dial signed Terrasse W Co VI 86703 1918 and marked with the broad arrow.
Pocket compass signed Newton & Co 3 Fleet St London. The hunter case is missing its lid. Late 19th century.
Elliott Bros, Strand 3” diameter prismatic surveying compass. It has a tripod screw under the base. Closing the forward sight lifts the card off its pivot.Ca. 1860s/1870s. Missing glass since replaced and bezel refitted correct way round (upside down in photo!)
Troye’s Prismatic Theodolite Makers E T Newton & Son Camborne and its leather case (missing sling). This appears to be based on the prismatic compass clinometer with typical aluminium compass ring dial and metal clinometer card. However it differs in two ways and is intended to be used on a tripod for which there is a screw thread in the base. Once mounted and oriented with the compass a screw behind the folding foresight is released and then the sight and prism, mounted on the outer ring can be rotated about the compass. The aluminium azimuth ring is mounted on three studs in the centre of the fixed compass body so that angles to various features can be read with the prism as the sights are rotated.
3 1/2” prismatic surveying compass by an unknown British maker. It is missing the filters that attach to the prism housing.
Combined compass and clinometer signed “Charles Chevalier Ingenieur Palais Royal 158 Paris”. Charles Chevalier died in 1859 and was succeeded by his son, Arthur.
Inside are rotating compass and clinometer dials that are viewed through the lens below the back sight and read with the instrument horizontal or on its side respectively, the feature of interest being lined up through the folding sights. Ca.1850.
The instrument was proposed in 1833 by Capitaine Burnier, a French artillery captain. It is described in Chevalier’s catalogue of around 1850 as “Boussole du Capitaine Burnier”. They were also made by other French makers until about 1930. It has a threaded socket in the base for a staff mount.
W S Darley & Co, Chicago, USA dipping needle (dip compass), typically used by geologists and in mines to locate metallic ores. In use it is suspended vertically in the magnetic meridian plane, holding it by the big, brass loop. The magnetic meridian can first be found by using it horizontally when it functions as an ordinary magnetic compass. The dial ring is graduated on both sides. Invented in the USA in 1866.
Six inch Government Pattern Trough Compass by Cooke, Troughton & Simms for use on a plane table. Probably dates from the second quarter of the twentieth century.
Small mahogany cased compass, 31 mm diameter, dating from ca. 1900
Mahogany cased compass, made in France, it has ‘O’ for ‘Ouest’, French for West. Probably late 19th century. The case is approximately 3 inches square. The printed dial is graduated every two degrees and numbered every twenty.
W F Stanley apomecometer dating from ca. 1900. It has a leather case. Used to determine the height of buildings and trees.
Brooks, Ludgate St, London clinometer/slope level dating from 1849-59. It can be used to find the angle of slope of a surface, such as a road, and can also be used, if mounted on a horizontal surface such as a plane table, as a sighting clinometer to measure the angle of elevation to a feature and hence determine its height relative to the sighting station.
Clinometer rule signed Herbert & Co Bombay. It has bubble levels in both arms and a magnetic compass as well as fold out sights. On the compass side there is a table of lengths in inches for a one inch rise against degrees. On the reverse is a table of rise in inches per yard against degrees, and a scale of inches x tenths. On the bottom edge is a scale of inches x eighths. The hinge arc is graduated in degrees and there is an adjacent gradient scale. The rule is made of boxwood and brass and has a leather case. Overall length folded = 6 in.
India pattern clinometer made by UIC for the British Government (probably the War Department). It was used to measure the elevation or declination of buildings and topographical features, mounted on a plane table and levelled using the screw behind the back sight. The aperture in the foresight can be raised or lowered with the thumb wheel until the cross wire coincides with the top of the feature being measured. There are a degree scale (to the left) and a tangent scale (to the right) on the front sight which enable the height to be calculated or found from tables if the horizontal distance is known.
This one probably dates from the 1950s. The case is marked MkVI F.Ltd and numbered 115 under the broad arrow. The instrument is stamped with the UIC trade mark, B 8300 (probably a catalogue number) and the broad arrow. This type of clinometer was originally designed for the survey of India in the 19th century, hence its name.
De Lisle reflecting clinometer. In use it is held at arms length using the thumb loop so that it can pivot freely. The weight on the swinging arm is moved to the end of the arm and the arm is unclamped. The mirror has to be rotated through a right angle for use, in one direction for looking up slope and in the other for down slope. The arm will show the amount of inclination when the reflection of the centre of the pupil of the eye coincides with the object being observed. It was made by Palmer for the British government and has a leather sling case marked F Ltd with the broad arrow.
It can be used as both a clinometer and as a reflecting level, in which case the arm is clamped horizontal.
This clinometer is signed Short & Mason London and probably dates from about 1900. The arc is similar to that on an Abney level but somewhat larger. The two screw holes in the base suggest it was meant to be screwed to another piece of equipment and I have seen one screwed to a wooden beam. It has a fitted mahogany box.
Clinometer Field Mark III ↑ by J Pitkin & Co No 237 dated 1905. These were used by the military for measuring/setting the elevation of gun barrels prior to the introduction of specialist sight clinometers. The arc is graduated in degrees and the level moves on a finely curved cross member giving a reading to one minute of arc. The end of the cross member is sprung so that it can be disengaged from the rack inside the arc for moving. In America these are known as gunner’s quadrants. Prior to the use of the field clinometer a Watkin Clinometer was used for measuring/setting the quadrant elevation.