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Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

Surveyor's Compass - click to enlarge

Click photos to enlarge.

Surveyor's Compass

Catalogue number:
1983.0146.01

Inscriptions:
"Made by Thomas Harland Norwich"

Dimensions:
length 9.875 inches; needle 4 inches

Discussion:

Thomas Harland (1735-1807) was an English clockmaker who settled in Norwich, Connecticut, in 1773. Benjamin Hanks was one of his first apprentices. By 1790 Harland had a dozen or so apprentices and was producing some 40 clocks and 200 watches a year. An advertisement in the Norwich Courier of February 10, 1802, notes that Harland made and sold "Surveyors' Compasses, with agate centre needles."

The bottom of this compass is marked "I.W.B. 1800." With its narrow bar holding the vertical sights, however, it resembles an English instrument of much earlier date. Since the face of the compass has no direction letters, it could be read either clockwise or counterclockwise.

Ref: Silvio A. Bedini, "Thomas Harland of Norwich, Connecticut," Professional Surveyor (July/August 1991): 60, 67.

Further Information:

Surveyor's Compass
Hanks

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