Product images of Lodestone, circa 1600
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All products are printed in the UK, using the latest digital presses and a giclée printmaking process.
We only use premium branded inks, and colours are independently verified to last between 100 and 200 years.
Lodestone, circa 1600
The lodestone, a piece of magnetite, which is naturally magnetic, was vital in the early centuries of navigation to ensure that the ship's compass worked properly. Until the mid-18th century, when improved compasses were developed, compass needles lost their magnetism quite quickly and had to be re-magnetised by stroking a lodestone along the needle's length.
Lodestones were often mounted in frames of brass, bronze or silver, and sometimes had an iron or steel keeper - a bar to help preserve their magnetic power. This lodestone has a brass frame with a carrying loop on top, and is 'armed' with two pieces of steel at the bottom, which help to increase the magnetic strength of the lodestone.
- Image reference: D0872
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London