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Brunton Pocket Transit Compass | F. Barker & Son (1932)

Brunton Pocket Transit Compass | F. Barker (1932)

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A very rare Brunton Pocket Transit Compass, made by F. Barker & Son (1932) c.1932 -1940. The Brunton featured in several Barker catalogues, being described in the 1919 and 1926 editions as 'Invaluable to mining and civil engineers, surveyors, & c.'. In 1926 the Brunton was priced at £6. Unlike most modern compasses, the Brunton Pocket Transit utilizes magnetic induction damping rather than fluid to damp needle oscillation. It is a specialized instrument used widely by those needing to make accurate navigational and slope-angle measurements in the field. Used by geologists, archeologists, environmental engineers, mining engineers, and surveyors. The US Army adopted the Pocket Transit as the M2 Compass for use by field artillery. Modern versions, made by the Brunton company in the USA, are still in production and now sell for around £400.

Current Manufacturer's Description: "In 1894, D.W. Brunton, a Canadian-born geologist and mining engineer, commissioned a skilled watch repairman in Denver, Colorado to manufacture his invention—the Pocket Transit Compass. The precision instrument became world-famous and freed outdoorsmen of the bulky equipment of that time. Often simply called a "Brunton", the Brunton Transit compass remains the Gold Standard in areas from Geology to Forestry, Engineering and by other professionals who demand functionality, craftsmanship and durability."

Further details of the Brunton Compass can be found at and at the Brunton website, An almost identical F. Barker Brunton can be seen in the 1926 Barker catalogue entry reproduced on p.477 of Paul Crespel's definitive work on all things Barker, Trade Mark London, which can be viewed at

(Please Note: this compass is not available for shipping to the USA)


The compass is in good condition, in good working order, and finds North very well. There is some wear to the original paint finish of the case, and some wear and marks to the mirror in the lid. There is a little dust under the glass. The needle, jewelled pivot, transit lock, sights and levels are all in good condition and working well. The lid is a tight fit, closing very well, but requiring a bit of force to open once fully closed. With the maker's details 'F. Barker & Son (1932), London' engraved on the lid.

Dimensions : 80mm x 70mm x 30mm
Weight: 300g