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Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses?

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Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses? Empty Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses?

Post  Guest Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:07 pm

Just got back from detecting today and used my Compass, GPS and Backtracker many times as we all do...so it occurs to me did the 1850's Diggers have any form of compass...never seen an old one dug up from the fields, so how did they determine direction underground with digging, <no stars to follow> ...and I can only marvel how they got from one place to another and even find their own tent in the forrests after going on panning expeditions...the average digger must have been at a huge disadvantage....unlike navigating ships in those days with maps and quadrants and the stars to follow...the Chinese originally invented the compass way back when...so did their chinese digger counterparts carry any form of compass?....they walked from Robe in S.A. to Victoria to avoid the Ten pound Tax so how did they all find their way from Robe to the Golden Triangle and beyond?...as an aside..consider what the average digger actually had available to dig those huge mullock heaps and holes we all see out in the fields....today was quite hot..so I had my car fridge stacked with cold drinks and water plus cold sandwiches,my comfortable chair to sit on while I ate..not some tree root sticking up my derriere.... my GPS, Compass, Backtracker, Camelbac with cold water on my back...a pick that is indestructable <almost>.shoes that did not have those tacks sticking into my soles and feet <the ones we all find now>.and of course my 5000....look what I had, and what they had....and they got all that gold...unbloodybelieveable methinks......Hoo Roo

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Post  Wombat Tue Mar 13, 2012 9:04 am

Yes mate they did I found on not long ago in an old mullick heap. It is pretty well knocked around with the glass broken. I think this is why it may have been thrown away. You can still see the degreese on the paper at the bottom of the compass base.
Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses? DSC01696

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Post  Guest Tue Mar 13, 2012 11:59 am

Most interesting Wombat, I wonder if anyone could date that <approx> for you...would it still look like that if it came from 1930's crop of prospectors that revisited the field during those Depression years...still the Yanks turn up Civil War relics all the time so may well be possible it is from the early diggers era. <Just look how many Civil War swords and knives are sold on Fleabay that were supposedly found still sticking out of a tree>....!
We can only marvel at what the early diggers had to put up with and still dig those holes sustained with meagre rations and warm water...Hoo Roo

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Post  Wombat Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:25 pm

The age is a good question. It may have been able to tell you the date on the paper part but as you can see what condition it is now. But I can tell you that the compass came from private land and that has been private since 1890's.
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Post  hemi Sun May 13, 2012 4:32 pm

I too have found a compass,don't know the age but.It was found in an old tobacco tin in a pile of backfill in a tunnel that i know dates to the 1860's.
Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses? 002-2
Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses? 004-1
Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses? 003-2
The compass was intact and is roughly the size of a round 50c . Smile Smile Smile
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Post  Guest Sun May 13, 2012 6:37 pm

Great find Hemi......will it open if rust buffed off?........wish I could find something like that....recently I did find at about 2' down under a big tree root which I had to use a crowbar on and about 2 1/2 hours...a bloody teaspoon from the 1850's...! with silver hallmark on back of handle to date it.......gave too good a signal not to dig....want to swap??.....Hoo Roo

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Post  hemi Sun May 13, 2012 7:05 pm

G,day Larry303,nah it doesn't open,its a sealed unit if thats the right phrase.Dont know about the rust bit tho,the main body is brass.Also found heaps of other stuff over the years,British,Aust and Chinese coins,buckles and brooches.All still in my possession. Smile
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Post  Guest Tue Feb 05, 2013 4:52 pm

hemi wrote:I too have found a compass,don't know the age but.It was found in an old tobacco tin in a pile of backfill in a tunnel that i know dates to the 1860's.
Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses? 002-2
Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses? 004-1
Did the 1850's Australian Diggers have compasses? 003-2
The compass was intact and is roughly the size of a round 50c . Smile Smile Smile

Good find mate. cheers

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