Weems & Plath recently announced their milestone 95th year in business.
The nautical and weather instrument manufacturer was founded in 1928 by Captain Philip Van Horn Weems (a graduate and instructor of the U.S. Naval Academy), in partnership with his wife, Margaret Thackray Weems, as the “Weems System of Navigation.”
In its early years, the company began as a navigation school based in Annapolis, Maryland, where students could choose to receive either correspondence or in-person courses to learn how to navigate in the air and at sea. Weems quickly evolved the company into manufacturing navigational instruments that could be used in tandem with the courses. Courses continued to be offered through the mid-1970s, at which time the company decided to focus more of their attention on further enhancing navigation by serving as a consultant 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 (#120), 12” Parallel Rule (#140), and Hand Bearing Compass (#2005).
“Weems System of Navigation” didn’t officially become “Weems & Plath” until 1953 when Johannes Boysen of the German compass manufacturer, C.Plath, partnered with Captain Weems to sell C.Plath sextants and compasses in the United States.
Weems & Plath now offers over 400 products with customers hailing from all around the world.
“We owe it all to our loyal customers who have continued to put their trust in our products, whether it be for recreational boating, military vessels, or commercial industries,” said Michael Flanagan, President of Weems & Plath. “That’s why we have continued to keep our customers at the forefront of our thoughts when developing new products.”
The company’s latest line of products is the OGM Series of LED Navigation Lights. These lights are built at Weems & Plath’s headquarters in Annapolis, using solid milled aluminum and the latest electronics.
In keeping with tradition, Weems & Plath will be donating 10% of all sales on Saturday, October 14 to a charity dedicated to giving back to the local community through boating practices. This year’s recipient will be the Roslyn and Leonard Stoler Center for Advanced Medicine at the future home of University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center (UMGCC) in honor of the MD Cures Cancer Regatta – one of three regattas (along with the CRAB Cup and Hospice Cup) which make up the Triple Crown of Charity Sailing – a fundraising and sailing trophy sponsored by Weems & Plath.
Reflecting on the company’s long history, Michael Flanagan said, “I think Captain Weems would be proud of how his company continues to grow and give back to the local community. We work hard to produce, as he once said, innovative products that are rooted in tradition and we look forward to celebrating our 100th anniversary with the community in the years to come.”