Stories Organisations Projects About Login

Plane Compass

From the Collection of Flagstaff Hill Maritime Village 89 Merri Street Warrnambool Victoria

A plane table compass, sometimes referred to as a trough compass, used by surveyors and artillery crew to accurately establish magnetic north.
The compass is precision machined of brass material with a long needle to ensure accuracy. The compass scale is marked with a centre zero (for magnetic north) and graduations indicating plus and minus five degrees. The compass is housed in a protective wooden case with a sliding lid. The lid has a brass slide which locks the compass needle during periods when the compass is not in use.
Weight with box:  315 grams
Object Registration
flagstaff hill, warrnambool, shipwrecked-coast, flagstaff-hill, flagstaff-hill-maritime-museum, maritime-museum, shipwreck-coast, flagstaff-hill-maritime-village, trough compass, navigation instrument, surveyor's instrument, j w handley, artillery, australian army, trough, plane compass, world war 2
Historical information
This compass is the type used by an artillery unit of the Australian Military Forces during World War 2 and made by J W Handley. Although having owned the factory site since 1935 at 657 Victoria St J W Handley began to produce various items for the Australian Military forces after purchasing and expanding the factory to 655 Victoria St. It appears that he, or some one else may already have been occupying the site for industrial purposes, such as (Manufacturing, Foundry and Electroplating) since at least 1929. J W Handley Pty Ltd was actively producing items for the Military during the war years, a newspaper article from 1939 shows the factory in production and employing 420 people during 1939. J W Handley after the war moved into producing other non military items including a range of fishing reels. The company ceased trading in 1987 and was deregistered as J W Handley Pty Ltd in 1990.
When Made
Made By
J. W. Handley (Maker)
The item demonstrates the industrial capability of Australia at the start of World War 2. This item is actively sort by collectors of Australian Military memorabilia and represents a time in Australian history when the country was at war and the general population was concerned about an invasion from Japanese forces. It also therefor is of social significance as many Australians served in the Military forces at that time and the item is complete and in very good condition.
Inscriptions & Markings
J.W.H./V Mark 11 D↑D. Made by J W Handley Richmond Melbourne, Victoria. Serial number 1279
Last updated
26 Aug 2019 at 3:47PM