The compass was invented in China in 220BC for the purpose of fortune telling. “They would used a mineral of iron oxide which uses the magnetic field to align itself north and south. Often times this is called a “lodestone.” Around 8th Century AD, the compass began being used to tell direction!
The first known compass was made in China around 200 BC and was used for divination instead of navigation. This compass was made of iron oxide, a naturally-occurring magnetic ore (sometimes called a lodestone), that they shaped into a “spoon” and placed on non-conductive metal; the “handle” of the spoon aligned itself south. A few hundred years later, the Chinese magnetized iron needles by rubbing them with magnnetite and suspended them in water, positioned them on stakes or suspended them silk threads. These forms of compasses were more portable and were eventually adapted as tools for navigation.
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