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date: 30 November 2020

compass. 

Source:
The Oxford Dictionary of the Renaissance
Author(s):

Gordon Campbell

The simplest form of compass was a magnetized needle lodged in a straw or piece of cork and floating in a basin of water. From the twelfth century compass needles were placed on a pivot above a card on which the compass points were marked. In the late fifteenth century mariners discovered that the compass needle did not point to true astronomical north. The problem of compensating for varying magnetic declination was addressed with the azimuth compass, which was first described in ... ...

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