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    Re: Bauer's book, was Re: Newton and Halley
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2007 Dec 03, 00:35 -0500

    George Huxtable writes:
    "First, that it does its job quite superbly, as it claims; a sort-of
    "owner's manual" for sextants, with lots of useful and very practical
    information. I really don't understand how I've missed out on it all these
    years. It certainly calls for a place on my shelves and tonight I have
    ordered up a copy."
    
    Yep, it's a great little book. Nice review, George. :-) I'm amazed you
    missed it all these years, too! It's been discussed on the list quite a few
    times. I guess nobody spoke highly enough of it in all that time. Some of
    the practical information is now a little dated. For example, he lists some
    companies that would re-silver sextant mirrors. I don't think any of them
    still do this... Most probably don't exist anymore.
    
    Regarding his very brief chapter on sextant history, I think it's pretty
    obvious that it's just for background. No one would mistake it for a
    scholarly work on instrument history. But wht about his comments on Newton's
    sextant? I do think that there's some document or book or even a live
    lecture that we haven't tracked down yet. I can't imagine that Bauer
    researched that material about Halley and Newton's sextant himself. He
    picked it up somewhere, perhaps learned of it from a friend, found it
    interesting, and decided to incorporate it into his text. Several months
    ago, I did a "Google Books" search on "Newton's sextant" and similar
    phrases. It's all mostly the same stuff with no indication that Halley used
    the real thing at sea, but I was surprised to see a reference to a preview
    of Bauer's "Sextant Handbook". In the years that I've owned the book, I had
    never read that section. Unfortunately that search did not turn up Bauer's
    source. I think it's still worth digging around and asking around. It's
    something that must have been publicized somewhere around the time that
    Bruce Bauer was writing...
    
     -FER
    
    
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