A very good example of a Singer's Patent pocket compass, dating from around 1868. The paper compass card is hand drawn in the classic Singer's design, and marked 'Singer's Patent', although without a serial number, which dates the compass to around the time the patent elapsed in 1868. It has a brass pivot and nickel plated brass case, with a bevelled and slightly domed glass. Although there are no maker's marks, it was probably made by Francis Barker, as the compass card is identical in design to several other compasses I have seen that were made by Barker.
Samuel Berry Singer (1796 - c.1875) was a master mariner from Southampton when he patented his unique design in July 1861. Its high contrast design was intended to be much easier to read in low light than conventional compasses of the time. He did not benefit greatly from his invention, the patent lapsed in 1868, and he ended his days living in poverty in Kincardine on the Firth of Forth.
In good condition and full working order. There is a little dust under the glass and some minor wear to the nickel plating of the case.