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Title:Binnacle and Compass
Date Made:ca. 1870
Materials:brass and glass
Place Made:North America; United States; New York
Accession Number:  MH SK L.N.N.02.2
Credit Line:Joseph Allen Skinner Museum, Mount Holyoke College
Museum Collection:  The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College

An old ship's compass and binnacle. The needle consists of four parallel steel bars, magnetized, attached to a half ball, which is marked MERRILL. NEW YORK. This is mounted on a brass pin, the bearing being a tiny piece of agate, and the whole being mounted in a round brass box, the glass of which is rubber washered and the ring, held fast by ten screws, paper gasketed. The bottom of the box is weighted with lead and the needle was floated in alcohol, which was poured in through a small hole at the side, which is closed with a tightly fitting screw plug. The compass is mounted in an all brass binnacle, except for a rubber and wood layer to absorb shocks, with three legs, which screwed to the deck. At each side of the hood is a snugly fitting brass lantern, containing a square kerosene lamp, with 5/8" flat wick. The burner is marked SIMPLEX and the wick wheel E. MILLER & CO MERIDEN CT. MADE IN U.S.A. The lantern is marked PATENT Aug. 24. 69. There is no record of the ship on which this binnacle was used.

Diam. compass: 7 3/16"
Height binnacle: 44 1/8"

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