Original Japanese WWII Imperial Japanese Navy Lifeboat Binnacle and Compass “Model 2” - Dated 1944
Original Item: Only One Available. A binnacle is a waist-high case or stand on the deck of a ship, generally mounted in front of the helmsman, in which navigational instruments are placed for easy and quick reference as well as to protect the delicate instruments. Its traditional purpose was to hold the ship's magnetic compass, mounted in gimbals to keep it level while the ship pitched and rolled. A binnacle may be subdivided into sections and its contents typically include one or more compasses and an oil lamp or other light source. Other devices such as a sand timer for estimating speed may have been stored in the binnacle as well.
A smaller version of the main binnacle, a compass was always stored in each lifeboat in the event you needed to use the lifeboat and, of course, once aboard, navigation was very important to a chance of being rescued and /or communicating your location.
Some had the side housing for an oil burner or candle to illuminate the compass, some did not. This example appears to once have had this housing, but unfortunately it is missing.
With the exception of the light source housing, this binnacle appears to be complete and still retains clear sighting windows with minor cracking in the corners. The housing measures 12"H, 7 1/2"W x 8 1/2", and still has the data label on the front which translates as:
“Short” Boat Compass Modified Model 2
Serial Number 339
Weight 4.3 Kilos
Maizuru Naval Arsenal
Showa 19.1 (January 1944)
Maizuru Naval Arsenal was one of four principal naval shipyards owned and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy. The Maizuru Naval District was established at Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture in 1889, as the fourth of the naval districts responsible for the defense of the Japanese home islands. After the establishment of the navy base, a ship repair facility was established in 1901 with a dry dock. With the addition of equipment and facilities for ship production by 1903, the Maizuru Naval Arsenal was officially established.
Additional dry docks were completed in 1904 and 1914. When the No. 3 dry dock was completed in 1914, it was the largest in Japan at the time. In 1923, after the Washington Naval Treaty, there were discussions within the Navy Ministry about closing the facility, and it was largely mothballed until 1936. Afterwards, it reopened and expanded, building ships, aircraft and weapons for the military. It specialized mostly in destroyer-size and smaller vessels.
This is a wonderful example of an item that was crucial in Navigating crews to safety. Comes more than ready for display.
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