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    Re: Coverage of lunars in Bowditch
    From: Dan Allen
    Date: 2001 Jul 22, 11:44 AM

    In the book entitled "History and Bibliography of The New American Practical
    Navigator and The American Coast Pilot" by John F. Campbell (Peabody Museum,
    Salem, MA: 1964), it says in part on page 119:
      Bowditch continued to be published without any major revisions until 1887,
    when it again underwent revision.  Although seach succeeding printing
    resulted in minor changes, Bowditch did not have its next major revision
    until 1907.  This revision almost saw the lunar distance problem eliminated
    from the work, but it was decided, in view of its archaic principles, to
    relegate it to the appendix.
      In 1914, Bowditch was again revised and improved.  In charge of this
    revision was Lieutenant G. W. Logan, USN.  A sign of the changing times is
    noted in this revision, as the chapter on lunar observations was finally
    excluded.  It had been a part of the work since it was first printed in
    So there you have it.  Editions printed up until 1913 had lunars, and the
    best material was probably pre-1907.  I just got an 1888 version which has
    excellent coverage of lunars.
    -----Original Message-----
    From  Navigation Mailing List [mailto:NAVIGATION-L@LISTSERV.WEBKAHUNA.COM]On
    Behalf Of Herbert Prinz
    Sent: Sunday, July 22, 2001 10:21 AM
    Subject: Re: Coverage of lunars in Bowditch
    The last edition of Bowditch to fully describe the method of lunar distances
    was that of 1914. I quoted from the 1909 edition merely for the reason that
    this is one that I happen to have handy.
    Appendix V in the edition of 1909 describes the method, contains all
    necessary auxiliary (!) tables and a worked example using the distances
    shown in an extract from the Nautical Almanac 1855. Without having checked,
    I would therefore assume that any edition since 1855 would not differ too
    much in the way the subject is treated and would be surprised if it had
    changed in the last 5 years before discontinuation.
    Note that the necessary lunar distances themselves were tabulated in the
    Nautical Almanac only until 1906. An explanation on how to compute them from
    R.A. and Dec. was substituted for the tabulation until 1919. In the American
    Nautical Almanac I find such an explanation even in my 1930 edition.
    This, by the way, as an afterthought, provides another answer to Nigel
    Gardner's question, whether in the absence of tabulated LD's, it is possible
    to establish longitude by means of currently available ephemeris (Nautical
    or Astronomical Almanacs) log. tables and a sextant, without the use of
    calculators or computers: Yes, it is. See American Nautical Almanac 1930 (or
    thereabouts) p.102.
    Herbert Prinz (from 1368950/-4603950/4182550 ECEF)
    Glendon (Lee Martin) wrote:
      Hi,I'm trying to find out which edition of Bowditch was the last to cover
    lunars, and/or which was the last to have a reasonably comprehensive
    coverage. I am looking to buy an early edition of Bowditch ( 1938 is
    currently my earliest), and want one that covers lunars. In the recent
    thread on lunars, one member (cant recall who, without checking) said his
    1909 edition covered lunars, and wondered/surmised whether that was the last
    edition to do so. Any other thoughts??

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