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    Great and humble request
    From: Jan Kalivoda
    Date: 2003 Oct 27, 14:56 +0100

    Dear list,
    Allow me to express a shy request to you.
    In 1873 a set of tables appeared that had to facilitate the finding the LHA 
    from Alt, Lat and Dec - typical "time sight" of these days, the main task of 
    the nautical astronomy from cca 1840 ? 1920, up to the victory of 
    St.Hilaire's procedure. Only meridian altitudes were more common at sea then. 
    (BTW, the "time sight" was the cornerstone of Sumner's procedure, too, as you 
    The author was an Italian, G.F.Martelli and his tables were of four places. 
    They born the name "Tables of logarithms : a simple and accurate method for 
    finding the apparent time" and appeared in New Orleans for the first time. 
    The set contained five tables that were used subsequently, without any rules 
    and without the need to comprise the substance of logarithms fully - the 
    author tampered with log characteristics in such manner that the user could 
    ignore the background of the logarithmic solution.
    According to Cotter (History of Nautical Astronomy, p.323), these tables were 
    very popular in the British merchant fleet and elsewhere. They were nicknamed 
    "Martelli's Mysteries", as the author didn't explain their principles anyway. 
    Lecky in his "Wrinkles" execrates them as an inaccurate solution, but vainly 
    - they were accepted into the "Admiralty Manual of Navigation" of these times 
    and their complex principles were explicated there for the first time.
    To my astonishment, I found very few exemplars of this title in digital 
    catalogues of main world's libraries (less than of many awkward titles from 
    the field of the nautical astronomy) and all my attemtps to borrow them to 
    Prague by interlibrary services failed completely (although I have acquired 
    and copied e.g. Norie's Epitome from 1833 this way!).
    And here my request follows: Could anybody of you, living in the vicinity of a 
    great scientific library, make the copy of them (some 50 pages, ie. 25 
    copies, if I can trust the descriptions) for me? I would repay all your 
    expenses, of course, by the check or the insured letter.
    I am very sorry, if I am too bold. But I lost any hope that I could obtain 
    them in a different way from Central Europe.
    Yours, Jan Kalivoda

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