Dry Card Compass

Dry Card Compass

<< >>
Usage conditions apply
The compass has a brass bowl gimbal mounted in a wooden box with a paper card made for Robert Ludlow Shaw. The inscription in the center of the card reads "R. L. SHAW * 222 WATER ST NEW-YORK*."
The box is marked "J. BELL’S PATENT JANY 25, 1853." This refers to John Bell of New York City who designed a method of joining the corners of wooden boxes.
Ref: John Bell, "Method of Joining Corners of Boxes, &c." U.S. Patent #9,552 (1853).
Currently not on view
Object Name
Nautical Compass (Dry Card)
date made
after 1853
Shaw, Robert Ludlow
place made
United States: New York, New York
compass: 7 1/4 in; 18.415 cm
box: 10 in x 10 in; 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
Rutgers University
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