Sherman Dry Card Compass

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This compass has a turned wooden bowl gimbal mounted in a wooden box. It probably dates from the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The inscription reads "C. R. SHERMAN & Co. NEW BEDFORD." Charles R. Sherman (fl. 1865-1905) sold instruments and other items for nautical use.
Currently not on view
date made
Sherman, Charles R.
place made
United States: Massachusetts, New Bedford
box: 7 in x 10 in x 10 in; 17.78 cm x 25.4 cm x 25.4 cm
compass bowl: 4 3/8 in x 7 3/4 in; 11.1125 cm x 19.685 cm
compass card: 6 in; x 15.24 cm
overall in box: 6 13/16 in x 10 in x 10 in; 17.30375 cm x 25.4 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History


"I have a similar ( I was told ) lifeboat compass and was wondering if you thought that was its main use , for lifeboats or more likely whaleboats. Mine has a paper label still mostly readable believe it or not and my compass is in a metal case however the compass card says C. R. Sherman"
"Good question, but I've never seen evidence to answer it."

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