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Original Chinese Compass Design. The Ancient Chinese compass was made from iron oxide, a mineral ore. Iron oxide is also known as lodestone and magneta. The most popular style of the first Chinese compass used a lodestone (which automatically points to the south) and a bronze plate. The lodestone was carved into the shape of a spoon.


The compass was invented more than 2,000 years ago. The first compasses were made of lodestone, a naturally magnetized stone of iron, in Han dynasty China (202 BC – 220 AD). The compass was later used for navigation during the Chinese Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD), as described by Shen Kuo. Later compasses were made of iron needles, magnetized by striking them with a lodestone.


The magnetic compass is actually an old Chinese invention, probably first made in China during the Qin dynasty (221–206 B.C.). Back then, the Chinese used lodestones (which align themselves in a north-south direction) to construct fortune-telling boards.


Among the Four Great Inventions, the magnetic compass was first invented as a device for divination as early as the Chinese Han Dynasty (since c. 206 BC), and later adopted for navigation by the Song Dynasty Chinese during the 11th century. The first usage of a compass recorded in Western Europe and the Islamic world occurred around 1190.


Compass, China, 220 BCE . by Susan Silverman AC. Earliest records show a spoon shaped compass made of lodestone or magnetite ore, referred to as a "South-pointer" dating back to sometime during the Han Dynasty (2nd century BCE to 2nd century CE).


Gunpowder, paper, printing, and the compass are sometimes called the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China. Kites were first used as a way for the army to signal warnings. Umbrellas were invented for protection from the sun as well as the rain. Chinese doctors knew about certain herbs to help sick people.


Compass. The fourth of the Great Inventions is the magnetic compass. Whilst mining for ores and producing copper and iron by smelting, the Chinese came upon a natural mineral, magnetite, which attracted iron, and also always pointed north if suspended. With development the round compass came into being.


History of Chinese Invention and Discovery - Invention of the Magnetic Compass History of Chinese Invention - Invention of the Magnetic Compass: As found in the Encyclopedia Britannica, 1999 "Sometime in the 12th century, mariners in China and Europe made the discovery, apparently independently, that a piece of lodestone, a naturally occurring ...


AncientPages.com - Magnetic compass is an indispensable navigation tool that has played a significant role in our history. We find the first use of a magnetic compass in ancient China. The compass was invented as a divination tool by Chinese fortune-tellers who used the lodestones to construct their fortune telling boards.


The earliest mention of a compass and its use appears in The Book of the Devil Valley Master. Its author notes that in addition to its main purpose, the compass, or “south pointer” as the Chinese called it, could be carried with jade hunters to prevent them from getting lost during their journeys.