C. G. Conn's Wartime Contributions

World War II saw the mobilization of money, people, resources and more for the production of equipment used during the conflict. The Allies outpaced the Axis powers in almost all production categories. So I guess we should not be surprised that a musical instrument company like C. G. Conn Ltd. would divert their product line from saxophones and trumpets to tools useful in a war scenario.

During the war period from 1942 to 1945, Conn ceased all production of musical instruments for civilian use to manufacture brass components for compasses, altimeters, and other military instrumentation. (Wikipedia)

That's why this particular ship compass, made by Conn and discovered in one of our travels through antique hordes is rather interesting. A compass is an instrument used for navigation and orientation that shows direction relative to the geographic "cardinal directions", or "points". Usually, a diagram called a compass rose, shows the directions north, south, east, and west on the compass face as abbreviated initials.

When the compass is used, the rose can be aligned with the corresponding geographic directions, so, for example, the "N" mark on the rose really points to the north. Frequently, in addition to the rose or sometimes instead of it, angle markings in degrees are shown on the compass. North corresponds to zero degrees, and the angles increase clockwise, so east is 90 degrees, south is 180, and west is 270. These numbers allow the compass to show azimuths or bearings, which are commonly stated in this notation.

This particular one is made of brass and has some lovely but functional details. It now sits in the maintenance and shipping room of the Quinn the Eskimo Vintage Horns shops.