Tuesday 22 July 2014

Letter from Admiralty to Geological Museum, 1917

BGS Archive Ref: GSM/DR/St/A/20
This letter relates to materials suitable for making compasses for aeroplanes. Such compasses would have to be reliable,  able to survive the rigours of flight and not wear out. The letter is an example of the more unusual subjects that the Geological Survey was consulted about during the First World War.

Posters relating to the Survey's contribution to the war effort 1914-1918 can be viewed here

Andrew L Morrison


  1. Do you have information and pictures about the ultra-pure quartz from Madagascar and Borneo that were sent to England by Paul Langevin to make devices for submarine detection in 1917 or 1918 ?

  2. Hi Jean-Claude,
    The Survey’s "Summary of progress for 1918" records that they produced “Reports on a selection of quartz-crystals for Anti-Submarine Division of the Admiralty” and carried out an “Examination in France of a consignment of quartz-crystals from Madagascar and reporting on same”. Unfortunately we don't have the reports.