I was digging around the archives on a break from dealing with a boatload of you-know-what and found another oldie but good that should give y'all a dang good groooaaannn!!!!!!! Enjoy!!!!!
Back in the 1800s the Tates Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products and, since they already made the cases for pocket watches, decided to market compasses for the pioneers traveling west. It turned out that although their watches were of finest quality, their compasses were so dreadfully bad and horrendously useless that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of this old trite expression . . .
“He who has a Tates is lost!”