David White Geologist's or Forester's Compass

This is an aluminum compass with brass sights. The raised rim and beveled outer ring are graduated every degree and numbered every 10 degrees in quadrants from north and south. The southeast quadrant of the face has a variation scale that extends 25 degrees one way and 45 degrees the other, that is graduated to degrees, and that reads by folded vernier to 5 minutes. The western half of the face is graduated to degrees, and equipped with a pendulum clinometer pivoted at the center. There are level vials on the SE and SW corners of the plate. The four beveled edges of the plate are graduated, one to inches and tenths, one to inches and eighths, and two as protractors. The back of the plate has a diagram showing the arrangement of township numbering. David White Co. termed it an improved geologist's or forester's compass as designed for the U. S. Forest Service. This example belonged to the University of Missouri at Columbia. New, it cost $45. The "David White Co. Milwaukee, Wis." signature refers to a firm that was established in 1895, and renamed the David White Instrument Co. in 1956.
Ref: David White Co., Catalog and Price List, 7th edition (Denver, about 1935), p. 37.
Currently not on view
Object Name
compass (pocket with folding sights)
David White Co.
overall: 4 in x 4 in; 10.16 cm x 10.16 cm
place made
United States: Wisconsin, Milwaukee
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Surveying and Geodesy
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center


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