A very fine example of a 1915 WW1 J. H. Steward Military Compass Clinometer, also known as an 'Angle of Sight Instrument'. This instrument was patented jointly by J. C. Asten and Francis Barker & Son Ltd in 1909 as the 'Patent Combined Altitude Instrument and Prismatic Compass'. (Barker had previously patented a similar prismatic compass and clinometer instrument in 1881). Dating from 1915, this compass is in museum condition, featuring a blackened or oxidised finish brass case with green compass card and white clinometer scale card. The compass case is signed by J. H. Steward, although it was very probably made by Francis Barker & Son, and retailed by Steward. The case is also marked 'Angle of Sight Instrument', serial No. 119, and has the British War Office 'broad arrow' stamp, denoting that it was official military issue, rather than an officer's private purchase item. During WW1 and WW2 this type of compass was used for artillery work. Further information can be found at trademarklondon.com (p.125 of the online edition of Trade Mark London) and at compassmuseum.com.
J. H. Steward Ltd: James Henry Steward (1817-1896) established his business in London in 1852 as a maker and retailer of optical, scientific, military and surveying instruments. J.H. Steward was the head optician of the company and had businesses at 406 Strand, 457 West Strand and 54 Cornhill in London. In the mid 1800s he became the optician to Her Majesty's Government and the National Rifle, and National Artillery Associations. James Henry Steward died in 1896. J. H. Steward Ltd was incorporated in 1912 and continued in business in London until 1973. The main London office was sold in 1971, and from 1971-1973 the company rented premises in Catherine Street. All the remaining stock and long serving staff member George Goble (c.1916-1975) were moved to Catherine Street. The business finally moved to 154a Church Road, Hove, Sussex in 1973, before finally ceasing trading in 1975.
The compass is in excellent, near mint condition, full working order and finds North very well. The clinometer is in full working order. The original blackened finish of the case is in excellent condition. The glass windows, prism, sights, and both compass and clinometer cards are in excellent condition.
Dimensions : 75mm diameter (100mm inc. prism), 20mm depth