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    Re: Navigational instruments at the Naval Museum in Lisbon
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2010 Feb 26, 00:32 -0000

    Douglas Denny wrote-
    "Ah! but which came first the chicken or the egg?
    Or, in this case: is 'Gunwhale Circle' a simple error by whoever wrote the
    label due to the fact a 'Borda Circle' (so called because of the inventor)
    has the same name in Portugese?  It could be as simple as that."
    Yes, that was exactly the point.
    "I think your extrapolation needs further evidence of the use of a term like
    'Gunwhale Circle' being in actual use by Portugese sailors contemporaneously
    with the use of the circle itself in the nineteenth century."
    I don't know who the "your" of "your extrapolation" is intended to refer to.
    Is it me, in my posting of 23 Feb, copied below? What was the extrapolation?
    "I have come across simple blunders in labelling in museums before where it
    is obvious the person who wrote the label did not 'know his onions'. "
    Yes. Exactly. That's what it was. That whoever wrote, or translated, that
    label was unaware that Borda was who he was, and nobody in the museum knew
    to correct it.
    contact George Huxtable, at  george@hux.me.uk
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    Here's my message in this thread, dated 23 Feb.-
    Back on Feb 15th, I responded to a posting from  Gary Lapook, in which he
    showed several interesting exhibits from Lisbon. One was-
    5. http://www.fer3.com/arc/imgx/IMGP5956.JPG .
    About which I commented- "The instrument itself, a Borda repeating circle,.
    isn't visible here, but Gary has chosen to show us the label, which states-
    "The reflecting circle (18th century). Also called the "Gunwale circle", it
    was used to find the longitude by measuring the horizontal angle between the
    Moon and the stars of the zodiac". That angle, of course, is seldom
    horizontal. I know no Portuguese, but let me hazard a guess that perhaps
    their word for gunwale may be "borda", to explain the misattribution.
    I've since checked with Google Translate, and the Portuguese equivalent to
    the English word "gunwale" is indeed, in Portuguese, "borda de navio". So
    that explains how a circular instrument, invented by Jean-Charles de Borda,
    has been labelled in Lisbon as the "Gunwale circle".

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