Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Can someone identify this
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2008 Nov 11, 22:56 -0000

    D Walsen and I both found our way to the same US patent, and both posted it
    as an attachment, so I will not do so again. But somehow, my text got
    hopelessly garbled. I'm not sure how it happened, but here's the text part
    again, with my apologies.
    Bruce Hamilton asked-
    "Can someone identify this
    Anyone need something for their collection? What exactly is it?
    It's a Zerbee "Fix Finder".Perhaps it's THE Zerbee Fix Finder. described in
    the US patent 2519532 , attached. It could be the prototype, perhaps the
    one-and-only, because it's labelled serial number 1; the invention of LouisB
    Zerbee, patent granted 1950. You can dial up the details in GooglePatents.
    I've never seen one or even heard of it before. It claims to be able tosolve
    one OR MORE spherical triangles, simultaneously, so could presumably result
    in a fix from a pair of star altitudes. I admit to not having studied the
    details of the patent in any detail. These things are written in a special
    arcane language that seems intended to obscure more than it reveals.
    It seems to be a development of the armillary sphere, an analogue
    representation of the Earth and sky, allowing spherical triangles to be
    solved. Such armillary spheres first appeared in China in the first-century
    BC. The nearest thing to this device I've seen (in print) is the Mariner's
    Calculator, in Janet Taylor's "Navigation simplified" of  1849, but that
    could solve only one spherical triangle at a time.
    But this one is FAR more sophisticated. Just look at the profusion of
    arcscales, each fitted with its own micrometer readout. No expense has been
    spared in its construction; which may be why it wasn't developed further. It
    would be interesting to discover what accuracy was achievable.
    It's the sort of instrument I would love to own. You could play with it for
    hours. I expect it will fetch a lot more than the present bid, and should
    really find a home in a museum. Perhaps a Museum of Complication, if such a
    speciality exists.
    contact George Huxtable, now at george@hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.Navigation List
    archive: www.fer3.com/arc
    Navigation List archive: www.fer3.com/arc
    To post, email NavList@fer3.com
    To unsubscribe, email NavList-unsubscribe@fer3.com

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site