Friday, October 3, 2008
Few folks who live in the Seattle area know that the world's best flat top marine compasses have been manufactured in this area since 1907. In was in that year a guy by the name of Eugene Sherman (who apparently was manufacturing compasses in New England prior to his arrival in Seattle) started the Dirigo Compass Factory on NE 1st Street just west of 100th Avenue NE in Bellevue. His compasses were shipped all over the world from this factory. The current owner of the company (still located on the eastside)is Mr. David Swensen (a very good friend of mine) and still builds each compass by hand using the best marine-grade materials found anywhere. Period. Sizes range from 3" to 6" available with Alnico V bar magnets and auto-pilot pick-ups. The word Dirigo is Latin for "I Guide or I Lead"
I believe that Captain's Nautical Supply (15th Ave NW - Seattle) carries these gems...I have taken my 5" flat on many delivery.