Old Compass

Credit : National Heritage Board.

Yes I’m talking about the above old compass and not those when you lost your direction type haha. Saw the above old set during the National Heritage Fair at Suntec City some months back, and I remember I do have a set of that in the past.

My first set of compass was purchased when I was in higher primary level. It was exactly like the one shown above, the pencil was tightened to it. We have to keep those shorter pencil and use it for the compass. The compass, dividers and other instruments were kept together in the metal box. After some time of use, the compass and the metal box will get rusty!

Later in secondary school, the compass set also got upgraded. It got longer and “more professional”. We use pencil leads and need to “sharpen” it using sandpaper. The box containing it were usually plastic instead of the old metal box.

Now the compass set is mainly make of plastic and won’t get rusty. Here is my son’s compass set;

It’s so convenient to use – just put in the 0.5mm pencil lead like those for mechanical pencil. No need to sharpen anymore!

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7 Responses to “Old Compass”


  1. 1 profkingsfield2004 Friday, October 26, 2007 at 11:28 am

    Lao,
    the model in picture seems very “modern” – got plastic casing inside the box. Our time dont have. The brand was OXFORD

  2. 2 profkingsfield2004 Friday, October 26, 2007 at 11:31 am

    i forgotten the name of the instruments inside the box. let me see if i forget any:

    1. the 1/2 circle plastic = protractor?
    2. the triangular plastic = set square
    3. the metal one with 2 legs = divider
    4. The one with a pencil attached to one of its legs = i dunno?????
    5. wooden ruler

  3. 3 laokokok Friday, October 26, 2007 at 11:45 am

    Hi Peter, the top photo was the type I used during my time but some don’t have the plastic mould to hold the instruments in place. The casing was in metal not plastic.

    The item 4 – one with pencil attached to one of its legs is called Compass loh.

    You are right, the brand is Oxford. Thanks for reminding me, really forgotten about the brand and have been trying hard to recall it…

  4. 4 Lam Chun See Friday, October 26, 2007 at 8:56 pm

    I think my children still use Oxford. Anyway, I just got idea for another blog article. Look out for it guys!

  5. 5 Victor Koo Monday, October 29, 2007 at 10:33 am

    The one “with pencil attached to one of its legs” is called “a pair of compasses” not “compass”, unless one of its legs happens to be lost.

    On the other hand, a compass is used when someone is lost, regardless of whether he’s got one or two legs.

    😛

  6. 6 laokokok Monday, October 29, 2007 at 3:39 pm

    You are definitely right Victor. So the above photo with the pencil missing is called “compass” right hehe?

    I always got this compass word confuse when young haha.

    BTW, I don’t see Popular bookshop selling the old OXFORD compass set anymore…


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