A Hunter cased, nickel-plated brass, Short & Mason pocket compass, dating from c.1900-1920. The compass has no maker's marks, but this is a well-known Short & Mason compass card design. The compass features an aluminium compass card with the characteristic Short & Mason Fleur-de-Lys design, a jewelled pivot, and transit lock operated when the lid is closed. The lid opens by means of a push button at the bow.
Short & Mason: were founded in 1864 by Thomas Watling Short and William James Mason in London. They were makers of precision measuring instruments including barometers, anemometers and compasses. They became leaders in the design of barographs. The business was located at 40 Hatton Garden, London. The Partnership was dissolved c.1901, and the company was acquired by the Taylor Instrument Company. In 1904 the company patented a barograph, called a Cyclo-stormograph. In 1910 the company moved from Hatton Garden to Macdonald Road in Walthamstow. Around the time of the First World War Short & Mason supplied military compasses, including 'The Magnapole', and they were known as a retailer of scientific instruments. In 1921 They pioneered the theory that a storm forecast could be made from just observing the air pressure and whether it was rising or falling. Short & Mason obtained a copyright for this forecast in 1921.
The compass is in very good condition and points strongly to North. The nickel plated brass case is in very good condition. The lid opens and closes well, and the nickel finish on the interior of the lid is excellent. The aluminium compass card and original bevelled glass are in very good condition. The transit lock is working well.