Since 1928, when Captain Philip Van Horn Weems opened what was then named, Weems System of Navigation, Weems & Plath has served the boating and navigation community by manufacturing fine nautical and weather instruments. Today, our internationally renowned company is one of the oldest marine businesses in the United States and offers over 400 products, including a new line dedicated to boating safety.
Our story begins in May of 1919, when Philip V.H. Weems was a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy. At the time, Weems was assisting with the navigation of three small planes which had set out from Newfoundland, headed for London in an attempt to make the first trans-Atlantic flight. Unfortunately, only one of them made it.
Weems concluded from this that the timeworn system of celestial navigation was ill suited to the cockpit of an airplane and invented the Weems System of Navigation.
This new method of navigating required a horizon system independent of the sea horizon which was often not visible from the cockpit of a plane. Weems also went on to invent the Second Setting Watch and Weems Plotter (which is still one of our most popular items).
A century earlier, Carl Plath’s company in Hamburg, Germany – C. Plath, had been manufacturing the finest commercial sextants and magnetic compasses available.
By 1928, it was natural for Weems’ company become the North American source for C. Plath’s fine navigational instruments and with the alliance of these two distinguished names, Weems System of Navigation became Weems & Plath.