Compass by Alan Gurney
A Story of Exploration and Innovation

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From the time man first took to the seas until only one thousand years ago, sight and winds were the sailor's only navigational aids. It was not until the development of the compass that maps and charts could be used with any accuracy-even so, it would be hundreds of years and thousands of shipwrecks before the marvellous instrument was perfected. Its history up to modern times is filled with the stories of disasters that befell sailors who misused it. In fascinating detail, Alan Gurney brings to life the story of the perfection of the essential navigational device-the instrument Victor Hugo called "the soul of the ship".

About Alan Gurney

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Alan Gurney is a former yacht designer and photographer living in Suffolk, England. His previous books include Compass and Race to the White Continent.
Published January 1, 2004 by Norton, W.W.. 320 pages
Genres: History, Computers & Technology, Education & Reference, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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In 1901, the magnetic compass was "unseated from its throne" by the gyrocompass, yet Gurney concludes by noting that despite 20th-century technological upgrades, the magnetic compass remains "a fail-safe measure."

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