This mechanical device, designed to solve a problems involving the relative
velocities of two ships at sea, was invented in 1902 by Louis Battenberg in
England. This example was made for the U.S. Navy.
Born in the Prussian province of Hesse-Nassau, Louis Battenberg (1854-1921) became a British citizen in 1868 and a cadet in the Royal Navy. He rose quickly through the ranks, becoming eventually Commander-in-Chief of the Atlantic Fleet, Admiral, and then First Sea Lord. He changed his name to Mountbatten in 1917 and relinquished his German title in favor of a British one.
Ref: Gloria Clifton and Peter Ifland, "A Slice of History: The
Battenberg Course Indicator," Navigation News (December 2000): 14-15.
F. S. Miller and A. F. Everett, Instructions for the Use of Martin’s
Mooring Board and Battenberg’s Course Indicator (Published by Authority of the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty, 1903).