Plan Limited (Neuchatel) – 1918


Vintage WW-1 Brass Plant Ltd Neuchatel Switzerland US Corps of Engineer Marching Compass. (Collection EUCMH)

Being 2 1/8″ (across) in size, this brass US Engineer Corps compass was manufactured by at least 2 companies: the Cruchon & Emons Company located in London, England, and the Plan Ltd. Company located in Neuchatel, Switzerland. This compass represents an early (1918) attempt at a mirror compass with an (originally) polished brass insert in the cover which allows the card (bearings printed in reverse) to be read while sighting on a target. The bottom of the case is stamped with Plan Ltd. Neuchatel Switzerland and an individual serial number. The top of the case is marked US Engineer Corps. Something to be noted is that this kind of compasses contains Radium paint (0.5 microsieverts/h).

I don’t have, unfortunately, the original leather pouch (carrier) and I am asking my readers in the USA to help me find one. Note that all the compasses from the US Army are warmly welcomed (1900-1990) because these are the only items I am collecting. I planned to write a book about these things but it seems that most of the peoples prefer to dump them in the trashes instead to give them away.

This Compass was sold to me for a very fair price, in fact just the shipping costs, by Missis Rebecca Downs-Learney, Houston, Texas, USA. (Again thank you, Debbie)

As told, I am searching for this compass’ pouch (carrier) or any other strange pouches (carriers) compasses you maybe have and would like to give away.

Gunter Gillot
Rue des Thiers 8
Francorchamps, 4970, Belgium

Thank You

PS : Additional information about this compass, the manufacturer or the Engineer Contract is, of course, welcome.

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  1. Gunter,

    Thank you for sharing this info! I recently came across an excellent example of this compass while reviewing old family property. I believe it was my great-grandfather’s.

    The one I have is in very good condition (Plan Ltd. serial number 31014), but unfortunately, the compass dial no longer spins. I’m wondering whether this is simply a consequence of its age or if something can be done to restore it to its original working order. I realize that magnetic North has shifted a bit over the past 100 years, but I would love to bring it back to operation. Jiggling it a bit seems to have loosened the disc slightly, but I don’t want to be too rough with it.

    I am just at the start of my own research and will share any further details I discover that you may not already know.

    Best regards from California, US.

    • Hello
      Those are really nice pieces of Militaria. Especially these 1918 EC ones. I had 2 of them and it took me over 4 years to find the one made in Paris France. The only problem is to find the leather pouch/carrier. I have not only never seen one and never was able to find one. Being about to sell my entire Compasses collection I gave up searching for.
      If you Google WW2 Compasses, there is online a Compass Museum with very interesting info. If you don’t find it, drop me a note and I’ll find you the URL. Actually I am out of order being cooked at 40° (C) every day for the past week and I am also out dried with a burned-out brain (I hate this sun) … But when it will rain again in Belgium I’ll be back online! :)))
      Have a great day


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