Help me, METARs!

I’m trying to think of a word and it’s driving me crazy.

A friend bought a chronometer mounted in a 3-ring holder which returns the chronometer to a vertical position when it is tilted. It’s probably meant for use on a ship to compensate for pitch and roll disturbance.

What is the word for the holder?

My friend bought it as a toy for her 10 year old son at Goodwill for $1 but it’s a stainless steel precision item, not a toy. They have been spinning the chronometer for the fun of watching it return to vertical.


I believe “gimbal” is the word you are looking for.


Wendy, perhaps a gyroscope or gimbal?

1 Like

Sounds like a gyroscopic gimbal?

  • Pete

Yes! It’s a gimbal!

I kept thinking “gambrel” but that’s a different device.


A gyroscope has a spinning wheel and is held in a gimbal

The Captain
used to have a gimballed oil lamp.…


…and for those curious cats out there who want to know what a gambrel is:

Originally it was a specialized beam looking like an extra large coat hanger with a suspension hook at top center and hooks at each extremity used for hanging a carcass (e.g. a front leg to each side hook). Later the word was used to also refer to roofs with a change in pitch from moderate near the peak to steap nearer the walls – a “gambrelled” roof.

david fb


Years ago, I had a beater pickup truck that had been built in the pre-cup holder era.

We lived near the Gulf Coast at the time, and one Saturday I found myself in a ship chandler’s.

They sold me a gimballed cup holder that I screwed onto the truck dash.

Worked great - braking, turning, whatever - my coffee stayed calmly in the travel mug. It was actually kind of entertaining to watch, at least as a passenger.

I don’t miss the truck. I do kind of miss that cup holder



Saw this short video on Twitter recently. Someone built a self-leveling pool table, so they can play on a cruise ship.…

Longer YouTube video…

  • Pete
1 Like

I thought I’d found an answer to a perplexing problem…just what were the slithy toves supposed to be doing when they did gyre and gimbal in the wabes. But they were apparently gimbeling…which is something quite different, it seems.