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    Re: Classification of the methods for clearing the Lunar Distances
    From: Bruce Stark
    Date: 2003 Apr 7, 22:15 EDT

    I'm delighted to have Jan's article on lunar methods. A lot of information
    there, much of it unfamiliar to me.
    I'm also pleased that Jan likes Thomson's Tables so much. Those Tables went
    through even more editions than the 42 he mentions. Years ago I paid four and
    a half dollars for the 67th edition. It was published in 1880 by W. H. Allen
    & Co., London. The first edition came out in 1824, as I recall. But don't
    bank on it.
    I still have hopes the real author will turn out to be the Canadian surveyor,
    fur trader, and explorer. It seems reasonable to believe Bowditch would have
    been in touch with the man, and he calls him Mr. Thompson, not Capt. Thomson.
    David Thompson was an excellent lunarian, and used his skills to map a huge
    section of the North American continent.
    It also seems reasonable to believe the publisher could have changed the name
    in order to improve his bottom line. The main market for lunar tables was
    with seamen, not surveyors. Seamen would prefer a book by an experienced
    ocean navigator. They wouldn't be apt to trust a landsman's judgement.
    As for my own method, it's one of the rigorous ones.

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