Merrill Dry Card Azimuth Compass

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
Object Name
dry card azimuth compass
date made
ca 1860
Robert Merrill
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
place made
United States: New York, New York
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Measuring & Mapping
Civil War
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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