Azimuth Compass

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“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




The Encyclopedia Britannica, New Warner Edition (New York, NY: The Werner Company, 1893)


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