Annapolis-based Weems & Plath has entered its 95th year in business. The globally recognized nautical and weather instrument manufacturer was founded in 1928 by U.S. Naval Academy graduate and instructor Capt. Philip Van Horn Weems in partnership with his wife, Margaret Thackray Weems, as the Weems System of Navigation.
The company was founded as a navigation school based in Annapolis where students could choose to receive correspondence or in-person courses to learn how to navigate via air and sea. Weems quickly redirected the company into manufacturing navigational instruments that could be used in tandem with the courses.
The Weems System of Navigation didn’t officially become Weems & Plath until 1953, when Johannes Boysen of the German compass manufacturer, C. Plath, partnered with Weems to sell C. Plath sextants and compasses in the United States. Courses continued to be offered through the mid-1970s, when the company decided to focus more of its attention on further enhancing navigation by consulting for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard.
Updated versions of some of the instruments developed by the school 95 years ago are still among the most popular products sold by Weems & Plath today, including the Weems Parallel Plotter, 12-inch Parallel Rule and Hand Bearing Compass. Today, the company offers more than 400 products to its worldwide clientele.