Thaxter Dry Card Compass

Thaxter Dry Card Compass

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
This compass has a brass bowl gimbal mounted in a wooden box. The paper card was made for Robert King (c.1789-1868), a mathematical instrument maker from England who spent most of his career in New York City. The instrument bears two marks, "ROBERT KING NEW YORK" and "S. THAXTER & SON. MAKERS. State Street. BOSTON." The Thaxter inscription appears on a paper disc laid over the center of the card, obscuring the King signature. The instrument was used by Capt. Andrew McWha of St. Stephen, N.B., Canada, and probably dates from the middle decades of the nineteenth century.
Currently not on view
Object Name
nautical compass (dry dard)
date made
ca 1850
S. Thaxter & Son
overall: 6 3/4 in x 10 in x 10 in; 17.145 cm x 25.4 cm x 25.4 cm
overall: 6 3/4 in x 10 in x 10 in; 17.145 cm x 25.4 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Connie Moran
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object