Negus, T.S and J.D.

1886

19th Century Printers Plate for a Course Protractor

19th Century Printers Plate for a Course Protractor

DESCRIPTION: Extremely rare copper relief-method printing plate for a 19th century Course Protractor (Patent applied for) sold by T.S. and J.D. Negus. Dated within to Aug. 31, 1886.

The plate contains a fancy fleur-de-lis at north and three levels of markings for courses comprising the full 32 point of the compass for example (moving clockwise from North) : "NbE" (North by East), "NNE" (North North East), "NEbN" (North East by North), "NE" (North East), "NEbE" (North East by East), and so on around the compass finishing with "NbW". "Boxing the Compass" was a basic skill of any sailor, being the ability to repeat all 32 points of the mariner's compass.

Negus' catalog described the purpose of their Course Protractor:
  • 1st. Instead of Parallel Rulers to find on charts courses and bearings and positions from cross bearings.
  • 2nd. As an inspection table, to turn compass courses into true courses and vice versa.
The Negus firm's 1899 illustrated catalog and price list advertises their trade as "Chronometer Manufacturers, Compass Adjusters and Navigation Warehouse. 140 Water Street, New York." Negus' catalog contains a compass-like "Improved Transparent Course Protractor".

This antique copper plate plate would have been used to print 360 degrees of marks unto the paper or isinglass substrate used for the main body of the protractor. Isinglass is a kind of gelatin obtained from the air bladders of fish, especially sturgeon.

Plate 6.5" square with 6" diameter circle. The copper plate is mounted to several wooden blocks for use in a printing press. (Online p. 83)

Call for additional 19th century Negus compass-card printing plate sizes, pricing and availability.

CREATOR: Negus, T.S and J.D.

PUBLICATION DATE: 1886

GEOGRAPHIC AREA: United States

BODY OF WATER: N/A

CONDITION: Good.  No major issues. Small amount of corrosion at the edges as shown in photograph.

COLORING: None

ENGRAVER: 

SIZE: 6 " x 6 "

ITEM PHYSICAL LOCATION: 0

PRICE: $550


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