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    Re: Edward J Willis
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2020 Nov 6, 23:46 -0800

    It may be worth mentioning that inventions like this one were not rare, and they all failed a simple test. They solved no significant problem. The calculation was not a lot of work. Working up a line of position with one of these analog computing devices still required substantial work and significant effort fiddling with the machine. Tables filled the same role in nearly the same amount of time and didn't cost hundreds of dollars.

    Back in early 2015 we had a discussion that connected some dots. I recently mentioned the name Fritz Keator (it was on the cover of a 1937 "American Nautical Almanac" that I had sent to Gary LaPook). Keator was the first director of the planetarium at Mystic Seaport where many of us first met and where I have a long history. Professor Frederick "Fritz" Keator was himself involved in one of these projects to produce a triangle-solving contraption. It did not succeed in the real world. Like the others, it solved no real problem. 

    I am opposed to the "go look in the archives" approach to NavList discussions, but in this case, there's nothing more to add, so go here:
    http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx/Spherographical-Navigation-Professor-Keator-HannoIx-feb-2015-g30451.

    Frank Reed

       
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