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History of Robert E. White Instruments, Inc.

In 1875 George W. Eldridge published the first Eldridge Tide and Pilot book. "The Tide Book" has been published annually by the same family for over 130 years (see History of The Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book for more). Captain Eldridge's eldest Daughter Ruth married Wilfrid O. White of Williamstown Australia. Wilfrid came from a family of shipbuilders and he was fascinated with navigation. He took an opportunity to study with Lord Kelvin in the UK and when he returned to Boston in 1918 he opened up a small nautical instrument dealership. Kelvin and Wilfrid O. White Co., was located on historic State Street in Boston, a couple of blocks from the busy waterfront. He offered sextants, compasses in large binnacles, chronometers, binoculars, taffrail logs, barometers, and charts for all oceans. For two generations the company manufactured the highest quality navigation instruments.

Our Boston showroom in 2008, before our move to Medfield, showing the Marine section: tide clocks,
clocks and matching barometers on panels, barographs, sextants, compasses, and binoculars.

In 1950 the company became Wilfrid O. White and Sons, Inc. Wilfrid and his two sons, Robert and Gordon, expanded the company's production to include compasses, binnacles, auto-pilots, depth sounders, and wind and weather instruments.

In 1961 the company was sold (Eastern Company purchased the patents to the compasses and merged it with the Danforth anchor division). Gordon worked for Danforth for a little while but then he left to develop a line of weather indicators that he called "Maximum" because of the clever patented maximum gust register in the anemometers. Maximum Inc. is still making Gordon's instruments along with many newer designs. Although the Maximum company is no longer in the family, we have maintained a very close relationship and are one of their biggest dealers. All Maximum instruments are sold at a year-round discount.

While Gordon was developing Maximum, his brother Robert Eldridge White established Robert E. White Instruments, Inc., a distributor and dealer of premium quality navigation and weather instruments. Included in his offerings were his brother's Maximum instruments and his father's (now Danforth's) compasses. Today the company is run by his eldest son Robert Eldridge White, Jr., ("Ridge"), and it continues to have a reputation others would envy. We offer only high-quality marine and weather instruments as well as a wide range of hard-to-find instrument repair services. Both Ridge and his wife Linda are the fourth generation of publishers of the Eldridge Tide and Pilot Book, “the most trusted guide to East Coast waters, since 1875.”

The Weather section of our former showroom: digital weather stations, thermometers, hygrometers,
barometers, rain gauges, Chelsea clocks, and Maximum panel stations.

Today, Robert E. White Instruments, Inc. continues to have a reputation others would envy. We offer a tremendous array of high quality marine and weather instruments supported by an exceptionally knowledgeable staff.

Robert White Instruents

Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice.

Gift Shop | Barographs | Barometers | Brass Bells| Brass dial Indicators | Clocks
Compasses | Digital Weather Stations | Eldridge Tide & Pilot Book | Maximum Instruments | Nantucket Sounder
Plotting Tools | Rainfall | Sextants | Temperature & Humidity | Wind Speed & Direction | Yestertech
How to Order | About Us

Robert E. White Instruments, Inc. | P.O. Box 775, Medfield, MA 02052
Tel: 800-992-3045 (U.S./Canada) Tel: 617-482-8460 (Eastern MA) Fax: 617-482-8304
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