White Surveyor's Compass

Peregrine White (1747–1834), a namesake and direct descendant of the first European child born in Cape Cod Harbor in 1620, was a clockmaker in Woodstock, Connecticut. This compass probably dates from around 1800. Like the Lamb compass in the collection, the vertical sights fold down when not in use. Like the Harland compass, this one has no direction letters and so can be read either clockwise or counterclockwise. There is a level vial on each arm. The face is marked "PEREGRINE WHITE Woodstock."
Ref: Silvio A. Bedini, Early American Scientific Instruments and Their Makers (Washington, D.C., 1964), pp. 47–48.
Currently not on view
Object Name
compass (surveyor's plain)
White, Peregrine
overall length: 12 3/8 in; 31.4325 cm
needle: 4 1/2 in; 11.43 cm
place made
United States: Connecticut, Woodstock
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
catalog number
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Bedini, Silvio A.. Early American Scientific Instruments and Their Makers

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