The Compass as an Accessory for Miners
By: The Working Man
When underground you are not usually able to distinguish
direction. A good way to stay on track not get lost and is to
have a compass with you so that you always know where north is.
And will be able to determine which direction you are going. This
is an invaluable tool so that you can get where you need to go
down in the mine without much trouble even when there are no
Compasses come in many styles. You can have a digital compass
that is a part of your watch. You can have a survival compass
that goes around your neck. You can even have a pocket compass
with a lodestone floating in water.
It is important to make sure that no matter what type of compass
you get, it should be waterproof, able to work in great depths
and also have shatterproof glass in case you accidentally drop
it. Some of the more valuable compasses for miners are the ones
that are chromatic and have GPS. That way you can actually load a
map of the mine you are in and also use the directional utility
while in the mine. Although sometimes GPS does not work
underground, the more powerful the GPS, the more likely it will
A compass was first used underground by the Tuscan Mining Town
Massa. There floating magnetic needles were used to determine
tunneling routes and claims laid on land from different mining
companies. This occurred as far back as the thirteenth century.
In the late fifteenth century the compass became a standard
accessory for the Tyrolean miners. Shortly thereafter a book was
published by German miner Rulein von Calw that detailed the
principles of using the compass underground.
Most compasses, if they are for use underground, will come with a
neon background that will light up the face so that you don't
have to use light to read the compass. The GPS has a digital read
out that has its own light as well.
Warning, if you are in a mine with a lot of iron or magnetic
areas the compass may not work as intended. A gyro compass is
good for these mine sites.
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