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Who Invented The Compass?

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The compass is a tool used to help aid in finding direction, but do you know who first invented the device? You may be surprised to learn that the first compass was invented to help practitioners tap into the source of the Earth’s power, and to align with it. It would be years later that the compass would be redeveloped for use in finding direction. Whatever the compass is used for, the compass is a practical and helpful device that has a long history. Below you will find some history on the invention of the compass.

Model of a Han Dynasty compassModel of a Han Dynasty compass, south-indicating ladle or sinan.

Ancient China

The first compass was invented in Ancient China, during the Han Dynasty between the 2nd century BC and 1st century AD and they developed it in order to help with the Feng Shui practice. This practice involved aligning one’s self and others with the earth. The Ancient Chinese used the compass to help direct them towards a life of balance and oneness with the earth. It was used in military navigation by 1040 to 1044 and for maritime navigation by 1111 to 1117, during the Song Dynasty. Around 1300 in medieval Europe, the dry compass was invented and by the early 20th century, liquid-filled magnetic compass was invented.

Other uses for the compass

The compass was redeveloped and began to be used the way that it is commonly employed today. Compasses offer direction for travelers, and people who travel by land, sea, or sky most often use them. The compass is a navigational tool, and it indicates, for travelers, the direction in which they are traveling in. The inner dial of the compass taps into the magnetic frequencies from the earth, and points in the direction in which a traveler is going.

More History

William Sturgeon invented the modern compass, which is still used today. The compass came to be after Sturgeon discovered electromagnet. After his discovery, Sturgeon was then put into a compass and those involved with the creation discovered the power the compass had. Without Sturgeon’s discovery, the modern compass would not have its key element.

Electric compasses and more

Since Sturgeon’s discovery, others have worked to continue developing the compass. Work with electromagnetism and electromagnetic fields have made the compass even stronger. Others have worked on creating electronic compasses that are often included in the GPS systems.

More on compass

  1. Facts about magnets
  2. Who discovered magnets?