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    Re: Can someone identify this
    From: Hewitt Schlereth
    Date: 2008 Nov 14, 13:55 -0400

    I see by the brass plate in one of the photos the instrument was made
    in Belfontaine Ohio a place near to my heart: I learned to swim at a
    YMCA there in 1946. So let me add $25 to the fund to purchase this
    fascinating device.
    BTW and FWIW, the general look of the thing reminds me of a device
    that appeared in earlier editions of Bowditch (c. 1982?)  in their
    listing of sight reduction methods.  As I recall the Bowditch
    description had a picture of the device which appeared to be made of
    three white plastic plates that could be set to make a miniature
    navigational triangle. It looked like you set the two vertical plates
    to LHA and then aligned a third lateral plate with declination on one
    of the vertical plates and latitude on the other and read Hc from the
    lateral plate.
    Hewitt Schlereth
    On 11/14/08, George Huxtable  wrote:
    >  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-
    > 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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