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National Aviation History Month: Earth Inductor Compass

Briggs Heyl Earth Inductor Compass

Lyman Briggs, left, and Paul Heyl, right

Credit: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division,

In 1922 NIST physicists Lyman Briggs and Paul Heyl were awarded the Magellan Medal from the American Philosophical Society for their model of an Earth Inductor Compass—an improved navigational instrument for use in aircraft. The compass was used by Charles Lindbergh during his transatlantic flight in 1927.

Released November 9, 2016