A brass cased J. H. Steward pocket compass, dating from around 1910. The compass card is marked 'J. H. Steward, London'. This type of compass design was still being produced in the 1920's and it was offered for sale in Steward's 1928 catalogue at a cost of £1. The compass has an agate jewelled pivot, metal fixed card, English bar needle, transit lock, and bevelled glass. The case would originally have had an 'oxidised' or blackened finish, which has worn away from the exterior, but is still present inside the lid.
James Henry Steward established his business in London in 1852. As a maker and retailer of optical, scientific, military and surveying instruments. J.H. Steward was the head optician of the company and had businesses at 406 Strand, 457 West Strand and 54 Cornhill in London. In the mid 1800s he became the optician to Her Majesty's Government and the National Rifle, and National Artillery Associations. James Henry Steward died in 1896. J. H. Steward Ltd was incorporated in 1912 and continued in business until 1975.
In good condition and in working order. The compass finds North well. The compass card and bevelled glass are in good condition. There is a little dust under the glass. The small button at the bow (which when depressed should open the case) is missing, but the case still opens easily if a fingernail is pressed under the edge of the lid. The lid closes as it should and fits well. The lid hinge is in good condition. The compass card is marked 'J. H. Steward, London'.