Navigation Equipment


Read the chapters below on navigation equipment like the Sextant and Compass from John Favill’s Primer of Celestial Navigation (New York: Cornell Maritime Press, 1943):

 

Below are videos on navigating and how to use a sextant:

Have a closer look at navigational tools from the Posner Maritime Art Collection:

Ship’s Compass
E.S. Ritchie & Sons, Boston, MA
Brass, Glass, Wood

Brass ship’s compass, Victorian, cylindrical form, mounted on triple stepped mahogany wooden platform above a high ebonized wooden base.

Navigation Equipment

 

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Polaris
By Lionel, NY, USA
Bell Metal, Brass

Bell metal and brass polaris, ship’s navigational instrument.

Navigation Equipment

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Compass
Maker unknown
Brass, glass

Small hand-held compass, brass fitting.

 

Navigation Equipment

 

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Portable Ship’s Compass
Thaxter & Son

Portable ship’s compass, Victorian, mahogany case with hinged canted lid and glass brass bezel. This lifts to reveal compass within. Brass fittings, hinges, and bale handle.

Navigation Equipment

 

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All images from the Posner Collection.

Questions for Further Thought

  1. What are some ways people navigated their ships before GPS?
  2. How did the Vikings know if land was near?