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Naval-Rangefinder "Waymouth-Ross"

Started by Peter Schmoll Jr., July 29, 2018, 10:17:02 am

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Peter Schmoll Jr.

Hello gentlemen,

Maybe someone can help me with this strange rangefinder.
Labeled as "Waymouth-Ross Naval Rangefinder" and manufactured by Ross London. The thing can be operated by a man, even if you actually needed three hands.
Above all, this "over-dimensioned" brass distance scale is exciting.
I guess the age on WWII.
Funny by the way: The thing was apparently recalibrated in 1983. ;D

Who can help?
Are there any documents to the part (use instructions are in my box)?


hallo die herren,

vielleicht kann mir jemand bei diesem seltsamen Entfernungsmesser weiterhelfen.
Beschriftet ist er als "Waymouth-Ross Naval Rangefinder" und von Ross London hergestellt. Das Ding lässt sich von einem Mann bedienen, auch wenn man dafür eigentlich drei Hände bräuchte.
Spannend ist vor allem diese "überdemensionierte" Entfernungsskala aus Messing.
Ich schätze das Alter auf WWII.
Witzig nebenbei: Das Ding wurde in 1983 anscheinend neu kalibriert ;D.

Wer kann weiterhelfen?
Gibt es irgendwelche Dokumente zu dem Teil (Gebrauchshinweise liegen bei mir in der Kiste bei)?


Niall McLaren

July 29, 2018, 12:30:44 pm #1 Last Edit: July 29, 2018, 03:14:15 pm by Niall McLaren
Pre WW1 Waymouth developed a rangefinder / inclinometer named the Weymouth - Cooke (or Langley inclinometer).

They then partnered with Ross (around WW1 I think) to produce the model you have Junior and, as a standby when radar was down, they were used into at least the early 1990's;


inspected by the Navigating Officer, John Bilson, of HMS Edinburgh on 11 March 1989,

and initialled by someone else on 13th. July 1990.

Update - according to my 1951 Royal Navy Manual Of Seamanship;

Distance Meters

These are small hand instruments generally used on the bridge for obtaining ranges for navigational marks and nearby ships, for navigation and station-keeping purposes, respectively.

They comprise the Stuart's Distance Meter, the Waymouth-Ross Sextant Rangefinder and the Small-base F.T. Rangefinders.

I have a Stuart's model but I've not handled a Waymouth-Ross. ;)
"A little bit of something beats a whole lot of nothing." - Little Richard

Peter Schmoll Jr.

Hi Niall,

Thanks for your information on the rangefinder.
That he was used by ships on the bridge makes me see him with different eyes ;).
Even over the age I am surprised ... I would have appreciated him as I said on the WWII.

In the meantime, I have been looking for something in the literature, and I have found in the book of A.König (a member of the Zeiss-Werk (Dr.Phil.)) "DIE FERNROHRE UND ENTFERNUNGSMESSER", from 1923 (first edition), on page 145, one so-called logharitic slide rule, which looks very much like the "wheel" of the Waymouth-Ross. The system as such goes (according to the text) back to Abbe himself and works by means of a double-pointer, where then the distance can be read.


James Stewart

Peter , a similar device by Cooke, unfortunately mine is very incomplete , no transit case , got this a few years ago via the God "eBay".
I have to confess no idea how it works, Martin has recently picked up a complete example by Ross.
Cheers for the info Niall. :)