Tekniska Museet
100 Innovations - Tekniska museet

An exhibition at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Stockholm, 2012 – 2018

The compass

The compass

Ingress för att beskriva innovationen

The compass

This mining compass was used by miners when looking for magnetic iron ore in Dannemora mine in Sweden. TM7126. Photo: Ellinor Algin.

The compass

Sun watch with a magnetic needle. TM4909:A. Photo: Anna Gerdén.

Kort fakta om innovationen

Kort fakta (2) om innovationen

Rubrik för små genier


The compass

The people who first used compass-like objects were the Chinese mystics. The compass points out directions with the aid of the Earth´s magnetic field. The Chinese scientist, Shen Kuo, described the function of the compass as early as the 1,000s.

At the end of the 1100s the compass was used for navigation in Europe. Sea charts and maps began to improve dramatically. By using the compass seafarers ventured further away from the coasts and onto the open seas. In 1492 European seafarers reached America and at the same time realised that the compass pointed towards the magnetic North Pole. And not the geographical one.

During the 1800s the compass was disturbed if a ship had an iron hull. The solution was a sea compass with magnetic bars or pieces which compensated for the influence of the ship.

Rubrik för nördar



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