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    Re: The Big Sextant Manufacturers
    From: Robert Eno
    Date: 2007 Oct 22, 22:39 -0400
    The Dutch made a sextant called the "Observator". I believe the manufacturer is (was?) Observator Instrument Co. It is a funky-looking sextant. A friend of mine, a former sea captain, now an maritime accident investigator, has one. I do not know if they are still in business.
    East Germany had Freiberger -- my first marine sextant -- which at the time, seemed to be a popular sextant in Europe.
    West Germany had, of course, C.Plath but now, to the best of my knowledge, Cassens and Plath is the other West German firm and is still in the business.
    I am not aware if any sextants were ever manufactured in my homeland -- Canada -- but likely not. Up until the 1960's, we still pretty much depended on Mother England for all of our navigation equipment needs, including almanacs and sight reduction tables. The sextants I've seen the Canadian Coast Guard vessels that I have been on all seem to be of English manufacture.
    Have to disagree with you on your assessment of Tamaya Dan. Good sextants to be sure, but my vote for best maker left goes to Cassens and Plath. I owned one of these in the early 1990's and while I was quite fond of it, I sold it and my Freiberger so I could afford to purchase a C.Plath. I freely admit that snob appeal and a strong desire to own the Rolls Royce of sextants were amongst the many motivations for the transaction. But now I am getting off topic.
    I agree with Dan. This would be a very interesting project. I wonder if we should also be including the manufacturers of aircraft sextants of which there were quite a few by the end of WWII. I am guessing that Ken Gebhart of Celestaire would be a valuable source of information. He's pretty knowledgeable about what is and was out there.
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Dan Allen
    To: NavList
    Sent: Monday, October 22, 2007 7:31 PM
    Subject: [NavList 3491] The Big Sextant Manufacturers

    Who were the big sextant makers?

    As far as German manufacturers go, the big one was of course C. Plath.  There were other Plath offshoots and I am sure that there were more.

    As far as Japanese manufacturers go, Tamaya continues to make sextants, probably the best maker left, and I know that Fuji made sextants 100 years ago.  Pentax did too, I think.

    England had several good brands as well, but has France ever had a major sextant manufacturer?  A name does not come readily to my mind.

    America had a few makers of military sextants, but not too many sextants for the average yachtsman.

    What this list needs is an email-based Wiki where we could all contribute to various articles -- such as a list of sextant manufacturers -- so that there is a slowly growing repository of information that we can all create, agree on, and perfect.

    Dan Allen
    N39.997° W111.757°

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