Marine Compass Co. Dry Card Compass

This compass has a metal bowl gimbal mounted in a wooden box. It was used on a lifeboat of the SS Alcoa Mariner, an American freighter torpedoed by a German submarine in September 1942. Frank B. Hodges, a sailor on the Alcoa Mariner, gave it to the Smithsonian. The inscriptions read "M. C. CO." and "ALCOA MARINER." The former refers to the Marine Compass Company, a firm that was established in Hanover, Massachusetts, in 1910. The owners of this firm purchased E. S. Ritchie & Son in 1951.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1940
Marine Compass Company
box: 8.5 cm x 11.5 cm x 11.5 cm; 3 11/32 in x 4 17/32 in x 4 17/32 in
place made
United States: Massachusetts, Hanover
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Measuring & Mapping
World War II
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Frank B. Hodges
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

9/22/2016 10:30:04 AM
Janet Scott
Hi I have the same compass. Did this particular compass have radium paint on the card?
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