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    Re: Newton and Halley
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2007 Nov 17, 22:46 -0000

    Wolgang quoted from Taylor, including that vital "perhaps", as follows-
    
    "E.G.R. Taylor, The Haven-Finding Art, 257, says about Newton's reflecting 
    quadrant:
    "The actual instrument was in the possession of the instrument-maker, Thomas 
    Heath, and had been exhibited in his shop window, perhaps before the paper 
    was found"."
    
    The "perhaps" is important because if it was indeed Newton's own instrument, 
    and was on display before the paper was found, then it could have provided a 
    model from which the Royal Society could have made a drawing from real life. 
    And it could also have been used to settle the controversy about the Hadley 
    priority, instead of asking Halley's opinion. But the fact that it wasn't so 
    used, and that no other mention of its existence has surfaced,  makes it 
    more likely that it was constructed by Heath, as an eye-catching shop-window 
    display, based on the engraving that had been published by the Royal 
    Society. In that case, it would have no more evidential value than the 
    engraving has.
    
    Wolfgang adds-
    
    "As often in Taylor's publications she does not give a reference. My best
    guess would be the appendix to Edmund Stone's 1758 translation of Bion's "La
    construction et l'usage des Instruments de Math�matique". It's in the BL."
    
    Wolfgang's best guess is correct. That's not Taylor's only reference to the 
    display. She also mentions it in her "Mathematical Practitioners of Tudor 
    and Stuart England", of 1954, page 251, under "Newton" as follows-
    
    "Two of his instruments were displayed in Thomas Heath's shop in the Strand 
    in the middle of the eighteenth century. They were, according to Edmund 
    Stone, his sea Instrument or Quadrant, made about 1676/7, in which the star 
    was brought to the horizon by reflection, and ..."
    
    Under "Stone, Edmund", she adds- "he was set to translate Bion's "La 
    Construction et Usage des Instruments Mathematiques" in the year ... 1723. 
    He himself added supplements on English instruments ..." and " publishing a 
    second enlarged edition of the work in 1758, in which some of Newton's ... 
    instruments are described".
    
    I haven't read that work of Stone's, but it sounds interesting. Does anyone 
    have access to it, either edition?
    
    The edition is important. If Stone mentioned the Newton display in his first 
    edition, that date would prove its independence from the engraving. If only 
    in the second edition (as seems most likely from Taylor's words "middle of 
    the eighteenth century") it would prove nothing.
    
    =========================
    
    Earlier, I had written-
    
    > 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.
    
    To which Mike Daly has replied-
    
    "E.G.R. Taylor.  ibid."
    
    I don't know what his "ibid." is intended to convey. It's an abbreviation 
    meaning "same as above", as used in a list of citations. Used on its own, 
    its meaning escapes me. A proper reference would have been more useful.
    
    If Daly is going back to his earler mention of Taylor's "Haven-seeking art", 
    I thought that had been withdrawn by him as being in error, after I had 
    pointed that out. If indeed he now wishes to rely on it, it's a pretty 
    indirect chain of evidence. He quotes Taylor as authority, and she (but not 
    Daly) has elsewhere quoted Stone, which neither of us has read, and Stone, 
    apparently, tells what he's seen in a shop window. Compare that with the 
    rigour with which Daly treats another source, which he wishes to discredit.
    
    George.
    
    contact George Huxtable at george---.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.
    
    
    
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