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and the extent of our care of them marks the
extent of our civilization." Arthur Doughty.

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San Juan Islands, Washington State, United States
A society formed in 2009 for the purpose of collecting, preserving, celebrating, and disseminating the maritime history of the San Juan Islands and northern Puget Sound area. Check this log for tales from out-of-print publications as well as from members and friends. There are circa 500, often long entries, on a broad range of maritime topics; there are search aids at the bottom of the log. Please ask for permission to use any photo posted on this site. Thank you.

31 December 2014


Viking Tell-Tale Compass
Manufactured circa 1760 by
Iver Jensen Borger, founder of the
Iver C. Weilbach & Co Ltd.
1955 brochure from the archives of the S.P.H.S 

"Manufactured by Iver Jensen Borger, founder of Iver C. Weilbach & Co Limited, Copenhagen, the oldest company specializing in making magnetic compasses in Scandinavia, if not Europe.
      With permission of the authorities, a Compass Bowl was designed as a replica of the Danish Royal Crown, this operative instrument was normally sited and slung on the skylights in the saloons of vessels belonging to the Danish Navy and East Asiatic Companies.
      The Compass Card is illustrated with very interesting and unique features, and picturesque yet meaningful symbols. The magnetic north is indicated by the well known "Fleur de Lys" pattern, supposedly originating from Portugal, home of famous early navigators, but considered by some to have East Indian influences.
      The remaining cardinal and inter cardinal points are decorated with figures from mythology, symbolizing the seven days of the week by representation of:

      The Sun for Sunday (South)       
      Luna for Monday (NE)
      Mars for Tuesday (SW)                
      Mercury for Wednesday (E)
      Jupiter for Thursday (W)
      Venus for Friday (SE)                   
      Saturn for Saturday (NW)
      The east point is prominently marked representing the direction towards Jerusalem in the Mediterranean, reminiscent from the time of the Crusaders.
      The centre of the Compass Card is embellished with a picture of the goddess "Fortuna" leaning up against the "Anchor of Hope" and holding the "Parrot of Good Fortune" in her left hand. Behind are seen vessels of the period, and the maker's name, Iver Jensen Borger, Copenhagen, is conspicuously printed round the picture. The card being graduated into points and degrees 0˚––90˚––0˚.
      The limited reproduction of this Tell-tale Compass, identical to the original compass in our possession, was made on the occasion of our bicentenary, 24 November 1955, with all the skill and pride of our craftsmen."
Graphics and text from the above listed brochure.

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