View Full Version : Shanghai 1907 - What is in the window?
20th August 2007, 01:44
In a photograph that I have of the Shanghai Tramway Office,
to the left are the premises of R B Austin, Chronometer and Watchmaker.
The objects in his window were rather large to be watches, so just
what were they?
Best Wishes, Raymond
20th August 2007, 02:50
My guess is a binnacle and a couple of different mechanical sounding apparatus.
20th August 2007, 07:57
See previous post for the correct answers.
20th August 2007, 14:22
Thanks ... so then the questions arise ...
This looks a small shop to be producing such equipment.
I take it there would be a factory somewhere.
Did a shipowner/shipbuilder just walk along the street and
look in the window, and say to himself, "must get one of
those for my ship"?
How does the mechanical sounding device work? The two
seem to be quite different. I see a long vertical horn on the
left hand side.
Obviously the binnacle contained a compass and chronometer,
but what are the two globes on wither side?
In the window opposite to this one he had photographic
equipment, seemed have many options for business open;
early example of diversification.
20th August 2007, 14:27
Binnacle has a compass and NO chronometer! The spheres are Lord Kelvin's balls. Yes really. When you're a bit older somebody will tell you what they are for.....
20th August 2007, 15:46
I'd agree; standard compass binnacle, a couple of sounding machines and, in the bottom left corner, a Norwegian foghorn?
20th August 2007, 16:21
The Binnacle contains a magnetic compass (which complements the ships Gyro) allowing the ship to be navigated in the event of a Gyro compass failure, Lord Kelvin's balls, that Chouan refers to are iron, on trunnions, they negate the effects of the magnetic anomoly created by a few thousand tons of steel ship that the compass is sat upon!
20th August 2007, 16:36
On occasion a compass adjuster, at great cost, will visit a ship and will swing the compass, ie measure the error of the magnetic compass and adjust the position of the "soft iron" balls to negate the error of the compass caused by the mass of the vessel, as Tomvart suggests. That deals with the Deviation, the inherent error of the compass caused by the ship.
Lord Kelvin will welcome his balls being adjusted as this will prove his theories correct.
20th August 2007, 17:35
So that was Lord Kelvin's binnacle of achievement.
Thanks for answers so far - this is not something I
had considered until I saw these in that window.
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