Leader Board Ad

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Does your compass point North? 'Cause mine just goes around in a circle.

A few weeks ago I was writing about "Tales from the sticky drawer". There's something about desk drawers that I find interesting. Maybe it is because they are a microcosm of a tag sale.  They are the perfect mini catch-all. The older the desk, the better. Another example is the junk drawer in the kitchen, com'on, you gotta have one!  It's that drawer you turn to for the tape, scissors, odd nail or screw, lonely AAA battery, and that  assortment of misfit tools that always seems to be missing the one you need.  You don't often get to rummage through someone's junk drawer, but the desk drawer is different.  I guess if you had to compare the desk drawer contents with the junk drawer contents it would be a kind of "White Collar" vs. "Blue Collar" battle. Desk drawers tend to have classier items and they are often in better condition.  Also, desk drawers can hold more (because there is more of them).
The above item was in such a desk drawer,  I actually found it inside another box with an assortment of items, most of which seemed to be for sewing. Pencils are a friend to me mainly because I am somewhat of a doodler: Here a sorta-self portrait of the me the Blogger:

My first thought was that this was some sort of folding pencil, maybe for a writing kit. Thanks to the label, I quickly discovered that this was no ordinary pencil.

This was a compass. It took a little more fiddling before I could make it look like a compass.  The eraser unlocks from the shaft and the other end has a good point.

This may seem like a lot of fuss over a compass, but I really am looking for the origin of things.  Who used this, and for what purpose? Was it dress making as the contents of the box indicates? As a compass it seems to lack the proper tension to complete a circle without coming apart.  Although, maybe I'm being a little hard on this simple gadget.  Turns out it was older than I thought:

This is something else I now need to research. As a result of the patent process we have all come across items that say, "PAT Pend" (Patent Pending), or something similar to the line in the image above.  O.K., so it was patented 122 years ago - Is that how old it is, or am I looking at an invention from the 20's or 30's trying to protect the inventor's ability to profit off his idea? I could go around in circles trying to figure this out, so I'll just be happy believing it's at least 120 years old.

Coming Soon: A box of junk!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Found something unique? See something here you want to know more about? Start the discussion - I'll respond. Really!