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    Re: History of Bowditch's Navigator
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2005 Feb 6, 02:05 EST
    George, you wrote:
    "I have just come across a mention of a work by John Campbell, "History and
    Bibliography of the New American Practical Navigator" (Salem, 1964), which
    I wasn't aware of before, but no doubt Frank was."
    Yeah, that's the definitive history of Bowditch's Navigator. Campbell writes from the perspective of a Bowditch collector. He hunted copies of every edition. Campbell's research is scholarly and competent and reflects decades of passionate interest, but it seems to me that he was only peripherally interested in the specifics of the navigational methods. In addition, since the collectibility factor rapidly tails off for books less than a century old, Campbell was much less interested in editions that were published after the Navy H.O. took over publication in 1868. He includes some info on editions after this date, but it's less accurate than the earlier material. I think it was Dan Allen, for example, who pointed out last spring an error in Campbell regarding the date at which Chauvenet's lunar method was shifted to the appendix in Bowditch. And of course, there has been both more history and more scholarship in the forty years since Campbell completed his bibliography.
    Oh and keep an eye out for low-priced copies of this book. Since Campbell (the book) is now itself old, it has become a collectible, too, and good copies sell for $100 or more.
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N 72.1W.
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