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    Re: Dava Sobel
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 Apr 30, 06:52 EDT

    Fred H., you wrote:
    "It's clear from Sobel's  book, if nothing else is clear from that
    book, that the quest for the prize  was a major motivating factor for
    Harrison.  I believe without the  prize, a chronometer might have
    taken another 50-100 years; it was clearly a  work of genius by one
    man, highly motivated.  The Act and Prize also  emphasized the
    importance of this quest to the lunarians, although I agree  they
    would have achieved their objective without them.  However,  it's
    unclear whether the laborious calculations of the distances for  the
    almanac would have been undertaken without the additional  importance
    contributed by the Act and Prize."
    
    I agree with that. And  it's worth remembering that Tobias Mayer offered a
    complete solution for the  longitude problem including a reflecting circle. He
    was after the prize. The  3000 pound reward delivered to his widow after
    Mayer's untimely death was  something like ten times the astronomer royal's annual
    salary. Big  money.
    
    -FER
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.
    www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars
    
    
    

       
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