The History of the Compass

Timeline created by slauer
In History
  • Jan 1, 1040

    "Iron Fish"

    There are some vague descriptions in an ancient Chinese text of an "iron fish" suspended in water that point south. Probably a magnetized metal of some sort.
  • Jan 1, 1088

    Chinese writing describes the process of magnetizing a needle to point south

    Chinese writing describes the process of magnetizing a needle to point south
  • Jan 1, 1232

    Earliest reference to a compass in Persia

  • Jan 1, 1300

    Dry compass invented in Europe

    Dry compass invented in Europe
  • Jan 1, 1492

    Christopher Columbus notes odd behavior of his compass during his voyage

    Christopher Columbus notes odd behavior of his compass during his voyage
  • Italian geographers note that the Earth has two magnetic poles

    Italian geographers note that the Earth has two magnetic poles
  • Edmund Halley shows the variation between magnetic and true north in the Atlantic Ocean.

    1701, Edmund Halley produced the world’s first isogonic chart, which shows how the angle between magnetic north and true north varies at different points in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Bearing compass referenced in "Cyclopaedia"

    Used for map making
  • Liquid-filled Magnetic compass developed

    Liquid-filled Magnetic compass developed
    Developed in the early 20th century
  • GPS first used by the military

    GPS first used by the military
  • GPS use made availabe to USA public

  • Period:
    Jan 1, 1040
    to
    Jan 1, 1044

    Earliest reference to a magnetic direction-finding device for land navigation is recorded in a Song Dynasty book

  • Period:
    Jan 1, 1187
    to
    Jan 1, 1202

    First recorded use of compass In Europe