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    Re: Newton and Halley
    From: Nicol�s de Hilster
    Date: 2007 Nov 20, 11:46 +0100

    My ISP upgraded my mailbox by adding a spam-filter and as I do not use
    webmail I missed quite some posts (all with the subject "Newton and
    Halley" after my post with the diagonal scale design). Today I found out
    and read all of them (and killed the spam filter in the meanwhile).
    In NavList 3895 George Huxtable wrote on my speculation on Newton's
    diagonal scale:
    > But the problem is that you can't assume ANYTHING about that engraving. It
    > WASN'T  Newton's drawing, which had been lost. It had been drawn by an
    > artist for the Royal Society, and then engraved, long after Newton's death
    > (and after Halley's). It had been drawn from the words of Newton's note.
    > Newton gave the dimensions of the telescope (as three or four feet) but said
    > nothing about the size of the brass plate. It was no more than the
    > imagination of the artist (and then the engraver) that made the plate the
    > same size as the telescope. We are free to interpret the words of Newton's
    > today as we think best, just as the Royal Society artist was free in 1742.
    > And if we think a brass plate of three or four feet across to be impossibly
    > unwieldy (which it would be) then we can make it, say, half the length of
    > the telescope, or whatever we choose. What I am saying is that the engraving
    > that Nicolas is going by is not a document that has any authenticity in
    > itself.
    Yep, I did realize that all too good, but found the coincidence (that
    there was enough space for my design) too good to be true. Besides that
    I was curious if I could design such a diagonal scale and what it would
    look like.
    > It may be, of course, that the original instrument still existed, and was
    > available to be drawn, in 1742. But if it was, I am pretty sure we would
    > have heard about it.
    > None of this detracts, much, from Nicolas' speculation about how it might
    > have been divided.
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