In 1952, when the private engineering practice of Walter E. Spotts, RS, PE was just 20 years old, clients were treated to a 14 inch by 18 inch hand drawn copy of Homer’s Four Wind Rose.
Mr. Spotts hand lettered the drawing which shows the evolution of what had become the face of the mariner’s compass from the ninth century B.C. beginnings. Direction was determined by the place from which prevailing winds blew. There were four winds in Homer’s world. Boreas, the north wind, blew from Thrace, a wind that rolled up mighty waves. Norus, the south wind, was a stormy petrel bringing sudden squalls, hence dangerous to navigators. Zephryus, the west wind was often represented as a stormy wind but not by Homer who knew the west, where the climate was temperate and the people prosperous. Eurus, the east wind, was seldom mentioned. The wind rose of Homer evolved through the centuries and civilizations to the seventeenth century, 32 point compass face familiar in form, if not by names, to modern navigators. Mr. Spotts, captured that evolution and beauty in his reproduction.
“Engineers are plotters of direction and measurements – on land, sea, in the air and of all physical things. And in a sense, navigators to set a course to solve earthly problems. We are concerned with the direction from which the wind blows and advise our clients so that they might avoid the dangers of unexpected storms. That is on what Spotts, Stevens and McCoy, Inc. based its early traces and which it firmly stands today. To know the direction and measure of elements and to plot a safe course to success is the job of the navigator.”
- Walter Spotts