This is my Flash Gordon Space Compass:
I bought it 20 years ago when I had my scifi/horror/fantasy radio show tape copying home business. It's from the 1930's and is still stapled to the card it was displayed on in the store. Cheap piece of plastic junk similar to what you used to get in a box of Cracker Jacks.
20 years ago I had moved into a new apartment and one day the tv news said that that night was going to be the best time to see the Hale-Bopp comet fly by. They said to look in the northwest sky at about 10:30. I was new to the apartment and had no idea which direction the sun rose from(East). I went outside on that clear night and looked for the comet and didn't see schitt. "Dang, I need a compass!", so I looked all through my junk drawers and couldn't find a compass. Then it dawned on me: "Hey! Wait a minute! I have a Flash Gordon SPACE compass!" in my display cabinet. I got it out, got the needle to point North, looked a little to the left, and raised my arm and pointing finger to approximately 45*. There it was! Right at the tip of my finger! Wow!
Then it dawned on me: Gosh, I must be the first person to actually find something in space using a Flash Gordon Space Compass! Things in space don't stay in the same place and don't consistently coincide with the N/S/E/W compass points here on Earth. And once you get far enough away from Earth, a compass probably wouldn't point towards Earth's North Pole. So, where would a compass needle point to in space? So I googled the question and got this quote: <<< If you are within the magnetic field of the Earth (which extends about one fourth the way to the Moon) or other magnetized body, yes the regular compass will work. Outside of this, the magnetic field away from the Sun and some of the other planets is probably too small to move the needle on a regular compass. >>> This means that my Flash Gordon Space Compass would be useless in space. I don't suppose that little kids in the 1930's thought about that. But it worked great for me while I was ON the Earth looking for a comet in the northwest sky!