The photograph on page 349 shows two forms of compass used by the Chinese, with a pack of cigarettes to give the scale. In the lower left is the mariner's compass, the only form used aboard Chinese junks, large or small. Its wooden cover is shown beside it. These compasses cost approximately eight cents apiece, U. S. currency, and four of them form the entire instrumental equipment of a Chinese navigator. The large compass in the upper part of the illustration is a geomancer's compass costing about thirty-five cents, but having a very small and inferior needle. Much ill-advised criticism has been directed at the Chinese compass by who base their remarks upon an inspection of this type, which in reality is never used at sea. It is a magician's compass exclusively, used ashore to cast horoscopes, to locate lucky sites for building or burial, to tell fortunes, and to perform similar mystical feats of geomancy. Only the inexperienced foreigner would confuse such an instrument with the compass used by Chinese navigators.
Chinese Mariners' Compass, Charts, and Methods of Navigation
By Lieutenant Forrest H. Wells, U. S. Navy