The Compasses ClipArt gallery offers 30 illustrations of this essential navigational device. Compasses are used to show magnetic north, south, east, and west, and are often used by ship captains, hikers, and travelers.

"At sea the declination is generally observed by means of an azimuth compass invented by Kater. It consists of a magnet with a graduated compass card attached to it. At the side of the instrument opposite the eye there is a frame which projects upwards from the plane of the instrument in a nearly vertical direction, and this frame contains a wide rectangular slit cut into two parts by a wire extending lengthwise. The eye-piece is opposite this frame, and the observer is supposed to point the instrument in such a manner that the wire above mentioned shall bisect the sun's visible disk. There is a totally reflecting glass prism which throws into the eye-piece an image of the scale of the graduated card, so that the observer, having first bisected the sun's disk by the wire, must next read the division of the scale which is in the middle of the field of view." —The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1903

Azimuth Compass

"At sea the declination is generally observed by means of an azimuth compass invented by Kater. It consists…

The four cardinal directions or cardinal points are north, south, east, and west.

Cardinal Directions

The four cardinal directions or cardinal points are north, south, east, and west.

A instrument used for navigation. The needle is magnetic and always points to the north pole.

Compass

A instrument used for navigation. The needle is magnetic and always points to the north pole.

A magnetic compass.

Compass

A magnetic compass.

A tool to know your direction.

Compass

A tool to know your direction.

A compass that tells direction.

Compass

A compass that tells direction.

An early compass.

Compass

An early compass.

"Compass, Mariner's, is the name given to the instrument by which sailors are enabled to steer their course on the ocean out of sight of land, and when neither sun nor stars are visible. the ancients, to whom it was unknown, could seldom venture to lose sight of the coast. The direct power of the magnet seems to have been unknown in Europe till late in the 12th century." — Chambers' Encyclopedia, 1875

Compass

"Compass, Mariner's, is the name given to the instrument by which sailors are enabled to steer their…

A tool used to tell direction.

Compass

A tool used to tell direction.

Compass card, part of ship's compass.

Compass Card

Compass card, part of ship's compass.

"Three principal parts, the card, the needle on its lower suface, and the case. The whole is enclosed in the compass-box, or binnacle. the term compass is said to have been applied to the instrument because the card involves or compasses the whole plane of the horizon, or because the needle indicates the whole circle of possible variations of direction. The surface of the card is divided by radiating lines into 32 parts, each containing 11 degrees." — Encyclopedia Britannica, 1893

Compass Card

"Three principal parts, the card, the needle on its lower suface, and the case. The whole is enclosed…

"Plan and Transverse Section of Sir William Thomson's Compass-card. B, Corrector for quadrantal error; C, Box for corrector; a, Aluminium boss; b, Central cap of sapphire; c, Cords connecting rim and boss; d, Magnets; e, Threads connecting magnets; f, Aluminium rim; f, Cords supporting magnets; g,g', Knife edges for gimbals." — Encyclopedia Britannica, 1893

Compass Card

"Plan and Transverse Section of Sir William Thomson's Compass-card. B, Corrector for quadrantal error;…

Diagram of points on a compass.

Compass Points

Diagram of points on a compass.

An illustration of a compass rose.

Compass Rose

An illustration of a compass rose.

The North Star (Polaris) varies so slightly from the true north that we may, for practical purposes, consider it true north. The North Star is easily identified by the pointers of the "Big Dipper."

Astronomical Compass

The North Star (Polaris) varies so slightly from the true north that we may, for practical purposes,…

A compass placed in some convenient part of a ship on the midship line and provided with vanes, screws, and other apparatus for observing the bearings of heavenly and terrestrial objects.

Azimuth Compass

A compass placed in some convenient part of a ship on the midship line and provided with vanes, screws,…

"Direction by Azimuth Method." -Finch, 1920

Azimuth Compass

"Direction by Azimuth Method." -Finch, 1920

"It has four cardinal points, N, E, S, and W marked, as well as a circle graduated in degrees from sero to 360 degrees, clockwise around the circle." — Moss, 1914

Box compass

"It has four cardinal points, N, E, S, and W marked, as well as a circle graduated in degrees from sero…

An instrument consisting essentially of a dipping needle, a verticle graduated circle whose center coincides with the axis of the needle, and a graduated horizontal circle, the whole being supported by a tripod. Also called an inclinometer.

Dipping Compass

An instrument consisting essentially of a dipping needle, a verticle graduated circle whose center coincides…

The Mariner's Compass shows all of the points.

Mariner's Compass

The Mariner's Compass shows all of the points.

"The mariner's compass is used on board ship; it consists of several magnetic needles arranged parallel to one another and attached to a card, which is mounted at its center upon the end of an upright steel pivot." -Foster, 1921

Mariner's Compass

"The mariner's compass is used on board ship; it consists of several magnetic needles arranged parallel…

A device used to determine geographic direction, usually consisting of a magnetic needle or needles horizontally mounted or suspended and free to pivot until aligned with the earth's magnetic field.

Route Compass

A device used to determine geographic direction, usually consisting of a magnetic needle or needles…

Diagram of a ship's compass.

Compass, Ship's

Diagram of a ship's compass.

This small compass was carried by Mohammedans (Muslims) in Indian when traveling. It is made out of bronze and inlaid with silver. The compass has an inscription and is in the shape of a flying bird. The head of the bird is pointed towards Mecca, where a Muslim should pray towards.

Small Compass

This small compass was carried by Mohammedans (Muslims) in Indian when traveling. It is made out of…

Compass used by surveyors.

Surveyor's Compass

Compass used by surveyors.

A gimbals is a contrivance designed to keep a marine compass, chronometer, lamp, or other instrument in the horizontal position on board ship, notwithstanding the rolling and pitching of the vessel. The instrument is suspended in the diametral axis of a ring, which is again suspended in the diametral axis of another ring, the two axes being at right angles to one another.

Gimbals

A gimbals is a contrivance designed to keep a marine compass, chronometer, lamp, or other instrument…

A gimbals is a contrivance designed to keep a marine compass, chronometer, lamp, or other instrument in the horizontal position on board ship, notwithstanding the rolling and pitching of the vessel. The instrument is suspended in the diametral axis of a ring, which is again suspended in the diametral axis of another ring, the two axes being at right angles to one another.

This illustration shows a diagram of a gimbals, showing the angle of the ship (A), the perpendicular axes of the rings, and the compass suspended horizontally in the gimbals (B).

Gimbals (Diagram)

A gimbals is a contrivance designed to keep a marine compass, chronometer, lamp, or other instrument…

A gimbals is a contrivance designed to keep a marine compass, chronometer, lamp, or other instrument in the horizontal position on board ship, notwithstanding the rolling and pitching of the vessel. The instrument is suspended in the diametral axis of a ring, which is again suspended in the diametral axis of another ring, the two axes being at right angles to one another.
This illustration shows a gimbal joint.

Gimbals (Joint)

A gimbals is a contrivance designed to keep a marine compass, chronometer, lamp, or other instrument…

An illustration of a liquid compass. "A, Bowl, partly in section; B, Expansion chamber; D, The glass; G, Gimbal ring; L, Nut to expand chamber when filling bowl; M, Screw connector; N, Hole for filling; O, Magnetic needle; P, Buoyant chamber; Q, Iridium pivot; R, Sapphire cap; S, Mica card." -Britannica, 1910

Liquid Compass

An illustration of a liquid compass. "A, Bowl, partly in section; B, Expansion chamber; D, The glass;…

"A slender length of brass resting in a small brass button and designed to stand vertically on the center of a compass glass. From the shadow cast by it the sun's bearing is determined. It may also be used to take compass bearings of other objects." -Whitney, 1911

Shadow Pin

"A slender length of brass resting in a small brass button and designed to stand vertically on the center…