Merrill Dry Card Azimuth Compass

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This compass may have been used during the Civil War. It has a bright green card, a pair of vertical sights that can be aligned with astronomical (or true) north, and a mechanism that lifts the compass card off the pin. The inscription reads "U.S. NAVY / 21 ROBERT MERRILL / NEW YORK. XXI XXII." Robert Merrill (fl. 1838-1864) was the leading nautical instrument maker in the U.S. during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. The firm became Robert Merrill & Sons in 1865, and continued under similar names until 1923.
Currently not on view
date made
ca 1860
Robert Merrill
place made
United States: New York, New York
overall: 24 cm x 28.7 cm x 28.8 cm; 9 7/16 in x 11 5/16 in x 11 5/16 in
overall: 9 1/2 in x 11 5/16 in x 11 5/16 in; 24.13 cm x 28.73375 cm x 28.73375 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Civil War
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Data Source
National Museum of American History