Historical information

John Bliss (1795-1857) was born in Norwich Connecticut, trained as a silversmith and clockmaker in Vermont, and began in business as a jeweller in New York around 1830. In 1834, now trading as Bliss & Creighton, he made and marketed a range of nautical instruments. The business subsequently became John Bliss & Son in 1855 and John Bliss & Co. in 1857. It remained in business until 1957 when it was acquired by West Marine. The Bliss company used to make a range of instruments supplied to a variety of customers including the US Navy.


An object made as an aid for marine navigation, to plot a course on a nautical map for a vessel to follow. The item was made by a well known American maker of nautical instruments and is significant in regards to it's provenience and history of the maker and his family who over the years had been innovators and makers of various types of nautical instruments since 1795.

Physical description

Parallel map ruler.

Inscriptions & markings

Bliss of New York & Nautical instruments engraved on face of ruler, ruler divided into degrees for use on nautical maps