Giant
Ships Threaded Compass
Ca 1920

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KELVIN, BOTTOMLEY & BARD –
SIR
WILLIAM THOMSON

GIANT SHIPS THREADED COMPASS ~ Ca 1920

Guaranteed “ Extra Fine”


Your chance to get a very rare piece
of maritime history with a pedigreed history
of historic men and companies

PRESENTED IS A VERY
IMPORTANT ENGLISH DRY CARD
COMPASS made by Kelvin, Bottomley & Bard. It
is based on a design of a light weight dry compass card invented by Sir William Thomson, later Lord Kelvin of Largs. The threaded
compass were originally made when he was in partnership with James White who produced many of his instruments. James White
was Kelvin’s original partner from the time he began his first experiments with the magnetic compass which made him famous.
See the history below. In 1913, Kelvin & James White Ltd became Kelvin Bottomley & Baird Ltd, a name under which
they operated until 1947. This example is mounted in a contemporary Cherry display stand.

The huge compass is housed in a large tub with bronze bezel, brass upper structure and brass lower section
with a mechanical expansion bellows.

Few of these threaded compasses have survived, and
the later versions with the mechanical bellows where quickly made obsolete when World War One loomed on the horizon. The
design of this compass of Kelvin, Bottomley & Bard dates back to about 1903, and was likely made around 1920 well before
Kelvin- Hughes was formally merged into Henry Hughes & Sons in 1947, and much later into Smith Industries. (See company’s
history below)

This compass is a larger version
of the one that was from the Clipper Ship Flying Cloud that was offered at auction by Bonham’s Nautical Auction in 2004 for
$8000.00

 

 

 


THE
CARD:
The card is made from beautifully engraved paper engraved with an elaborate Fleur
des Lis at the North point with the number 958 on its side. The paper is cut, approximately every 20 degrees to allow for
it to be suspended from the center pivot point by silk threads which are attached to six magnetized needles.

The compass rose shows the
eight cardinal points and is further divided to 1/16 points and then to 32. On the outer perimeter are degrees that are graduated
from 0 to 90 degrees for each quadrant. It measures 6 inches in diameter and has a finely made brass center cap.

This complex arrangement
was supposed to reduce drag and make the compass less sensitive to the pitching, rolling and course variations of a ship. 


 



There is a lubber’s line with
arrow that marks the course to which the ship’s head is pointing.
There
is a bronze bezel with two holders that accept the pinions of the compass bowl and serve as the means of attaching it to the
display stand. There is no box with this compass.

CONDITION:
The compass card, bowl, and bezel are in excellent working
condition, but some of the threads have stretched so that the card bows down on the North and South axis toward the
edge. This does not affect its operation or accuracy. There are some faded white marks of paint or prehaps oxidation on the
gimbals and tub.


DIMENSIONS:

Diameter of bowl
11 1/4″ Diameter of card
10″
Depth of
bowl
7″


BASE: 14 1/2” L x 11 1/4” W x 3/4”
T Weight complete 18.5 Lbs

Fleur des Lis North pointer and card size
Maker’s name, address and SN 2766
View showing gimbals
Card is bowed towards the N & S edge

This important compass
should appeal to a collector seeking only the most unusual and best for a world class collection.

BRIEF HISTORY
OF INVENTOR:
William Thomson (1824-1907), Lord Kelvin of Largs

William Thomson was a mathematical physicist, engineer in the physical sciences of the
19th century. He did work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and thermodynamics, and did much to unify the emerging
discipline of physics in its modern form. He is widely known for developing the Kelvin scale of absolute temperature measurement.
In 1892, the title Baron Kelvin was given in honour of his achievements, and named after the River Kelvin, which flowed past
his university in Glasgow, Scotland.

He also enjoyed a second career as a telegraph engineer and inventor, a career that propelled
him into the public eye and ensured his wealth, and, fame and is widely known in the marine industry for his work on the magnetic
compass.

MARINE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
& COMPANY HISTORY:
Thomson was an enthusiastic yachtsman, his interest in all things relating to the sea.

Thomson introduced a method of deep-sea sounding, in which a steel piano wire replaces
the ordinary land line. The wire glides so easily to the bottom that “flying soundings” can be taken while the ship is going
at full speed. A pressure gauge to register the depth of the sinker was added by Thomson.

About the same time he revived the Sumner method of finding a ship’s place at sea, and
calculated a set of tables for its ready application. He also developed a tide predicting machine.

During the late 1870’s, Thomson worked to perfect the adjustable compass in order to correct
errors arising from magnetic deviation owing to the increasing use of iron in naval architecture. Thomson’s design was a great
improvement on the older instruments, being steadier and less hampered by friction, the deviation due to the ship’s own magnetism
being corrected by movable masses of iron at the binnacle. Thomson’s innovations involved much detailed work to develop principles
already identified by George Biddell Airy and others but contributed little in terms of novel physical thinking. His energetic
lobbying and networking proved effective in gaining acceptance of his instrument by The Admiralty.

The origins of this compass lie in the highly
successful, but informal, relationship between William Thomson (1824-1907), Professor of Natural Philosophy at Glasgow University
from 1846-1899 and James White, a Glasgow optical maker. James White (1824-1884) founded the firm of his name, in Glasgow
in 1850. White was involved in supplying and repairing apparatus for Thomson’s university laboratory and working with him
on experimental models. Thompson had a long association with James White.

From 1876, White was producing compasses
for metal ships to Thomson’s design. White was also involved in the production of Thomson’s other designs for laying cables
at sea. White’s association with Thomson continued until he died, and their company continued as Kelvin-White.

In
1884 Kelvin raised most of the capital needed to construct and equip new workshops in Cambridge Street, Glasgow. At the Cambridge
Street premises, the company continued to make the compass Thomson had designed during the 1870s and to supply it in some
quantity, especially to the Admiralty. At the same time, the firm became increasingly involved in the design, production and
sale of electrical apparatus.
In 1899, Lord Kelvin resigned
from his University chair and became, in 1900, a director in the newly formed company, Kelvin & James White Ltd which
incorporated the business of James White. At the same time, Kelvin’s nephew, James Thomson Bottomley (1845-1926), joined the
firm.


Kelvin
& James White Ltd underwent a further change of name in 1913, becoming Kelvin Bottomley & Baird Ltd. Following the
formal amalgamation of In 1947, Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird Ltd and Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd combined to form Kelvin
& Hughes Ltd., and in 1964 became a part of Smith’s Industries Ltd.

Some
marine historians portray Thomson as a man of undoubted talent and enthusiasm, with some genuine knowledge of the sea, who
managed to parlay a handful of modest ideas in compass design into a commercial monopoly for his own manufacturing concern,
using his exulted personal reputation to repel even small claims of originality from others, and persuading the Admiralty
and the law to overlook both the deficiencies of his own design and the virtues of his competitors.
Edited
and corrected from Wkiipedia and other sources.


BRIEF HISTORY OF HENRY HUGHES & SONS: Henry
Hughes & Sons was founded in 1838 in London as a maker of chronographic and scientific instruments. The firm was incorporated
as Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd in 1903 and in 1923, the company produced its first recording echo sounder. In 1935, a controlling
interest in the company was acquired by S. Smith & Son Ltd resulting in the development of marine and aircraft instruments.
Following the London office’s destruction in the Blitz of 1941, a collaboration was entered into with Kelvin, Bottomley &
Baird Ltd, resulting in the establishing of Marine Instruments Ltd. Following the formal amalgamation of Kelvin, Bottomley
& Baird Ltd and Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd in 1947 to form Kelvin & Hughes Ltd, Marine Instruments Ltd acted as regional
agents in the UK for Kelvin & Hughes Ltd who were essentially now a part of Smith’s Industries Ltd founded in 1944 as
the successors of S. Smith & Son Ltd. The
well known “HUSUN” trademark was in use starting in the
1920s.


OUR UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE:
If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its
original condition and packaging. Returns must be insured for their full value. All that is required is a prior email authorization
by us for the return. Unfortunately, no refund can be made for the cost of shipping, packaging and handling unless we are
at fault.


International buyers welcome
, but inquire first. We have satisfied
customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China, Czech Republic,
Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia,
Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Nova
Scotia, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland, Singapore, South Africa,
Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern Caribbean.

SHIPPING & PACKING: The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance
to your destination, is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our very special packing and shipping
honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

ACCEPTED FORMS OF PAYMENT
are Bank wire transfer, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared.
No checks from overseas buyers, no credit cards or PayPal accepted on this item.

“>

“>

Buy this very special pedigreed relic of maritime history Now! What a great find
for that special person who can appreciate only the best!

Copyright
2012 by Land And Sea Collection™, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To view our current inventory of antique and vintage dry card compasses, click here!

This Fine Display Compass Has Been Sold. Thank you!

 

KELVIN, BOTTOMLEY & BAIRD –
SIR WILLIAM THOMSON

GIANT SHIPS THREADED
COMPASS ~ Ca 1900

Guaranteed “ Extra Fine”

Your chance to get a very rare piece of maritime history with a pedigreed
history
of historic men and companies

PRESENTED IS A VERY IMPORTANT ENGLISH DRY CARD COMPASS made by
Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird. It is based on a design of a light weight dry compass card invented by Sir William Thomson,
later Lord Kelvin of Largs. The huge compass is housed in a large bowl with bronze bezel, brass upper structure and lead crystal
lower containment which holds oil as a ballast to keep the compass card level. The crystal is acid etched with the original
maker’s name, Kelvin & James White. The later was Kelvin’s original partner from the time he began his first experiments
with the magnetic compass which made him famous. See the history below.

This compass is a larger version of the one that was from the Clipper Ship Flying Cloud that
was offered at auction by Bonham’s Nautical Auction in 2004 for $8000.00
It is the only the second compass of this type that we have ever seen that was made to the Thomson
design by anyone other than James White of Kelvin-White or Henry Hughes & Company which was the last Kelvin organization
before it became Kevin-Hughes. However, the design of this compass of Kelvin, Bottomley & Bard dates back to about 1903,
and was likely made around 1913 well before Kelvin- Hughes was formally merged into Henry Hughes & Sons in 1947, and much
later into Smith Industries. We suggest that it was made in 1913. (See company’s history below)

 

 


THE CARD:
The card is made from beautifully engraved
paper engraved with an elaborate Fleur des Lis at the North point with the number 958 on its side. The paper is cut, approximately
every 20 degrees to allow for it to be suspended from the center pivot point by silk thread which are attached to six magnetized
needles.
The compass rose shows the eight cardinal points and is further divided to 1/16 points and then
to 32. On the outer perimeter are degrees that are graduated fro 0 to 90 degrees for each quadrant. It measures 6 inches in
diameter and has a finely made aluminum center cap which was a very expensive metal at that time.
This complex arrangement was supposed to reduce drag and make the compass less sensitive to the
pitching, rolling and course variations of a ship.

COMPASS BOWL: The bowl is made from a bronze containment
at the top with a lead crystal bowl below. It is mounted to a contemporary Mahogany display stand.

There is a lubber’s line with arrow that marks the course to which the ship’s head is pointing.
There is a bronze bezel with two holders that accept the pinions of the compass bowl and serve as the means of attaching it
to the display stand. There is no box with this compass.


CONDITION:
The compass card, bowl, bezel
and compass card are in exceptionally condition. The compass operates accurately.

DIMENSIONS:

Diameter of bowl
11 1/4″ Diameter
of card
10″
Depth of bowl 7″

BASE: 14” L x 10” W x 3/4” T Weight complete 18.5 Lbs

Fleur des Lis North pointer and card size
Maker’s name and address
View showing lead balance weight top center
Side view on stand

This important
compass should appeal to a collector seeking only the most unusual and best for a world class collection.

BRIEF HISTORY OF INVENTOR:
William Thomson (1824-1907), Lord Kelvin of Largs

William Thomson was a mathematical
physicist, engineer in the physical sciences of the 19th century. He did work in the mathematical analysis of electricity
and thermodynamics, and did much to unify the emerging discipline of physics in its modern form. He is widely known for developing
the Kelvin scale of absolute temperature measurement. In 1892, the title Baron Kelvin was given in honour of his achievements,
and named after the River Kelvin, which flowed past his university in Glasgow, Scotland.

He also enjoyed a second career
as a telegraph engineer and inventor, a career that propelled him into the public eye and ensured his wealth, and, fame and
is widely known in the marine industry for his work on the magnetic compass.

MARINE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
& COMPANY HISTORY:
Thomson was an enthusiastic yachtsman, his interest in all things relating to the sea.

Thomson introduced a method of deep-sea
sounding, in which a steel piano wire replaces the ordinary land line. The wire glides so easily to the bottom that “flying
soundings” can be taken while the ship is going at full speed. A pressure gauge to register the depth of the sinker was added
by Thomson.

About the same time he revived the
Sumner method of finding a ship’s place at sea, and calculated a set of tables for its ready application. He also developed
a tide predicting machine.

During the late 1870’s, Thomson
worked to perfect the adjustable compass in order to correct errors arising from magnetic deviation owing to the increasing
use of iron in naval architecture. Thomson’s design was a great improvement on the older instruments, being steadier and less
hampered by friction, the deviation due to the ship’s own magnetism being corrected by movable masses of iron at the binnacle.
Thomson’s innovations involved much detailed work to develop principles already identified by George Biddell Airy and others
but contributed little in terms of novel physical thinking. His energetic lobbying and networking proved effective in gaining
acceptance of his instrument by The Admiralty.

The origins of this compass
lie in the highly successful, but informal, relationship between William Thomson (1824-1907), Professor of Natural Philosophy
at Glasgow University from 1846-1899 and James White, a Glasgow optical maker. James White (1824-1884) founded the firm of
his name, in Glasgow in 1850. White was involved in supplying and repairing apparatus for Thomson’s university laboratory
and working with him on experimental models. Thompson had a long association with James White.

From 1876, White was producing compasses for metal ships to Thomson’s design.
White was also involved in the production of Thomson’s other designs for laying cables at sea. White’s association with Thomson
continued until he died, and their company continued as Kelvin-White.

In 1884 Kelvin raised most of the capital needed to construct and
equip new workshops in Cambridge Street, Glasgow. At the Cambridge Street premises, the company continued to make the compass
Thomson had designed during the 1870s and to supply it in some quantity, especially to the Admiralty. At the same time, the
firm became increasingly involved in the design, production and sale of electrical apparatus.
In 1899, Lord Kelvin resigned from his University chair and became, in
1900, a director in the newly formed company, Kelvin & James White Ltd which incorporated the business of James White.
At the same time, Kelvin’s nephew, James Thomson Bottomley (1845-1926), joined the firm.


Kelvin & James White Ltd underwent a further change of name in
1913, becoming Kelvin Bottomley & Baird Ltd. Following the formal amalgamation of In 1947, Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird
Ltd and Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd combined to form Kelvin & Hughes Ltd., and in 1964 became a part of Smith’s Industries
Ltd.

Some marine historians portray Thomson as a man of undoubted
talent and enthusiasm, with some genuine knowledge of the sea, who managed to parlay a handful of modest ideas in compass
design into a commercial monopoly for his own manufacturing concern, using his exulted personal reputation to repel even small
claims of originality from others, and persuading the Admiralty and the law to overlook both the deficiencies of his own design
and the virtues of his competitors.
Edited
and corrected from Wkiipedia and other sources.


BRIEF HISTORY OF HENRY HUGHES & SONS:
Henry Hughes & Sons was founded in 1838 in London as a maker of chronographic and scientific instruments. The firm was
incorporated as Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd in 1903 and in 1923, the company produced its first recording echo sounder. In
1935, a controlling interest in the company was acquired by S. Smith & Son Ltd resulting in the development of marine
and aircraft instruments. Following the London office’s destruction in the Blitz of 1941, a collaboration was entered into
with Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird Ltd, resulting in the establishing of Marine Instruments Ltd. Following the formal amalgamation
of Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird Ltd and Henry Hughes & Sons Ltd in 1947 to form Kelvin & Hughes Ltd, Marine Instruments
Ltd acted as regional agents in the UK for Kelvin & Hughes Ltd who were essentially now a part of Smith’s Industries Ltd
founded in 1944 as the successors of S. Smith & Son Ltd. The well known
“HUSUN”
trademark was in use starting in the 1920s.

OUR UNCONDITIONAL GUARANTEE:
If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its
original condition and packaging. Returns must be insured for their full value. All that is required is a prior email authorization
by us for the return. Unfortunately, no refund can be made for the cost of shipping, packaging and handling unless we are
at fault.


International
buyers welcome
, but inquire first.
We have satisfied customers in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Chile, China,
Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Denmark, Estonia, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Hungary,
Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Martinique, Mexico, New Zealand,
Nigeria, Norway, Nova Scotia, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scotland,
Singapore, South Africa, Spain, St. Maarten, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, USVI and the Eastern
Caribbean.

SHIPPING & PACKING:
The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, is an additional charge. You may email us to get
these costs. We price our very special packing and shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost
of packaging materials and handling.

divisor line
Shipping & Packaging

The cost of shipping, packing, handling, and insurance to your destination, will be calculated point to point and is an additional charge. You may email us to get these costs. We price our shipping honestly, but we expect to be reimbursed for the nominal cost of packaging materials and handling.

Our Unconditional 'No Nonsense' Guarantee

If not completely satisfied with your purchase it may be returned, if without damage, within three days of receipt in its original packaging. Return items must be insured for their full value. Only a prior email authorization by us for the return is required. Shipping charges are refundable if due to our error within the continental United States.

International buyers welcome, but inquire first. We have satisfied customers worldwide.

Standard Forms of Payment

Bank wire transfer, cashier’s check, money order, or personal check in which case the item will be held until cleared. Our prices are quoted net to us so that the use of credit cards or PayPal incur extra charges. Terms on overseas sales are different.

Established in 2003

Celebrating 18 Years of Exellence in Nautical Antiques