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Pat Shingleton: "Before the Compass

4 years 4 months 2 days ago Sunday, August 10 2014 Aug 10, 2014 August 10, 2014 3:00 AM August 10, 2014 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

The "wind rose," a circular directional emblem found on vintage maps and charts, evolved from the primary wind directions schematically arranged around a circle that represented the horizon. In the 16th century, cartographers expressed their most imaginative work within the rose, incorporating brilliant colors of gold and silver laced trims. Maintaining some means of uniformity, principal winds, half-winds, and quarter winds were in different colors. Italian cartographers used gold, green and red hues. Cherubs were added; blowing the principal winds from their mouths, sometimes accompanied by animals. Where the compass and GPS set our course today, the wind rose was the primitive directional indicator on navigational charts. More Tomorrow.

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