Collecting Military Compasses


Military Marching compass model 2 by E. Busch Rathenow


"Emil Busch AG Optische Industrie" is a  former German company located in Rathenow (north-west of Berlin).The BUSCH compasses were manufactured only during a limited period in this  large company that mainly produced optical instruments. This company had been founded around 1800 by a preacher called Johann Heinrich August DUNCKER to make spectacles glasses. He transmitted the company in 1824 to his son Eduard DUNCKER. The latter having no children, he gave to his nephew Emil BUSCH in 1845 the company that was called in the meantime "Optische Industrie-Anstalt, Rathenow". E. BUSCH had joined the company five years before after having studied optics and commerce. He sold the company on October 22, 1872 to a limited company. It was then renamed "Rathenower Optische Industrieanstalt (former Emil Busch) AG" and he became one of the directors. The name changed again on August 14, 1908 and was then "Emil Busch AG Optische Industrie".

During WW II, the company's code name was cxn.
After WW II, Busch built no compasses more. The factory situated in the soviet occupation zone was renamed from 1946 on "Rathenower Optische Werke GmbH" and from 1948 on "VEB Rathenower Optische Werke (ROW)" (VEB: see abbreviations list in MISCELLANEOUS / terminology). It became later part of the company "VEB Carl Zeiss Jena" in the former East-Germany (GDR).

 At the same time, the owner founded a parallel company in Göttingen (West-Germany) in 1949 and the name changed again in 1953 to become "Emil Busch GmbH, Göttingen". 

 This dry compass was made of BakeliteAll WWII compasses featured a counter clockwise 6400 mils scale.



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