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    Re: Can someone identify this
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2008 Nov 14, 17:16 -0000

    Bill Morris, as "Engineer", wrote, about the instrument we have been
    discussing-
    
    =================
    
    From: "engineer" 
    To: "NavList" 
    Sent: Friday, November 14, 2008 2:19 AM
    Subject: [NavList 6542] Re: Can someone identify this
    
    
    
    I'm interested in this item too and planned to bid on it. If I won the
    bidding, I would take it apart, service it and put it together again
    in a restored state. Then I would post detailed labelled photographs
    for others to see. When tired of it, I would offer it to a museum for
    what it cost me. I agree it would be a pity for it to rest in private
    hands, undescribed and gathering dust. On the other hand, why should
    North America have all the luck? People in out-of-the way places love
    instruments too.
    
    Bill.
    
    ====================
    
    Comment from George-
    
    Well, if Bill Morris were to succeed in a bid, that would meet most of my
    own wishes, and I suspect those of several other listmembers, for the future
    of this special instrument.
    
    It would be rescued from locking away in a hidden private collection; in the
    end it would end up in a public museum; and in the interim it would be
    examined for us by a real expert. The only snag is that of Bill's location,
    in a particularly isolated corner of New Zealand, which would,
    unfortunately, require long-distance transporting of the item, and put it
    out of range of personal inspection of anyone other than Bill.
    
    Perhaps it would help if I pass on some details about Bill Morris, who I've
    got to know quite well, by email, over recent months. Originally from
    Britain, for many years he has been a doctor in rural New Zealand, having
    retired now to an even more isolated spot, where he indulges in precision
    engineering, from a well-equipped workshop. Although not a navigator
    himself, he has a particular interest is in sextants, and he claims to have
    restored altogether 28 such instruments of a wide range of types, modern.and
    less-modern, not on a profit-making basis but as a hobby.
    
    He is presently finishing-off a book (intended for distribution by CD rather
    than print) on the "intimate anatomy of the sextant". I've come in because
    he has asked me to scan it for any obvious errors, so I have been privileged
    to see a preview. Looking at the care he devotes to detailed explanation and
    description, illustrated by well-angled and notated colour photos and
    diagrams, I would have no hesitation in entrusting to him this Fix Finder
    for a careful analysis, and hope that he would share his findings with us as
    he proceeds, before eventually passing it to a museum.
    
    So, if Bill is prepared to act on our behalf, as well as his own, in
    bidding, I restate my offer of sharing (to a maximum of $100) in the total
    cost, if his bid succeeds, to give him some encouragement. Other members
    have expressed similar sentiments. The more that join in, the higher the
    chance of his success, and the less the burden will become on each of us.
    
    One or two things need to be kept in mind here.
    
    There may well be a flurry of last-minute bids and the price may go well
    above its present $102.50. Indeed, the seller has set a reserve price, which
    we have no way of knowing, that has not yet been met.
    
    Although list members may contribute a "share" in the total cost, that would
    not be expected to result in any shared ownership of the item, which would
    become the sole property of the bidder. The whole operation would have to
    work on the basis of gentlemanly trust between all involved.
    
    If Bill Morris confirms his intention to bid on that basis, I would hope
    that other list members might show restraint in any bidding of their own.
    However, if any list member gets overcome by the lust to possess, perhaps he
    might inform Bill beforehand, and share his technical findings with us
    afterwards.
    
    George.
    
    For those that have yet to look up this item on ebay, it's at-
    
    
    
    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ASTRONOMIC-CALCULATOR-SEXTANT-theodolite_W0QQitemZ190265697439QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item190265697439&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1215%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318
    
    and to see the original 1950 patent, look up Google Patents 2,519,532.
    
    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.
    
    
    
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