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    Old Sextant on German money
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2007 Jan 27, 11:40 -0800

    Dear list members,
    Many of you probably know that there is a picture of a sextant
    on the famous German 10 DM bill dedicated to Gauss.
    (Unfortunately, this money bill was removed from circulation with
    the introduction of Euro. I saved a few of them, unfortunaly very
    few, and until recently, some of these bills were traded on the
    Internet, see, for example,
    www.math.purdue.edu/~eremenko
    and click on the "Portrait of Gauss".
    There you can see the picture I am refering to in the rest of this
    message.
    (The face of the 10DM bill has a portrait of Gauss, together with the
    graph of the Gauss Law (a.k.a. Normal Distribution, a.k.a. Bell
    curve),
    a very nice picture, and the correct formula).
    The back of the bill has a very detailed picture of a sextant
    (much better than most e-bay pictures:-)
    and also a map of the triangulation Gottingen-Altona (Hamburg) that
    Gauss
    made.
    
    I am mostly concerned with the sextant.
    It is a double frame (=coumn frame) vernier sextant/pentant
    probably of the late XVIII century. Notice: it does not have horizon
    filters.
    It has some strange horizon mirror adjusting device (Dollond?)
    and something underneath the horizon mirror which I don't understand
    what it is.
    
    But the most curious feature of this sextant is the Index glass.
    It looks like consisting of two pieces, the kind of an index glass
    I've never seen before.
    Can anyone answer what is this?
    
    (There is no doubt that the artist who made this engraving had some
    museum piece
    in front of him, and tried to reproduce it as precisely as s/he
    could).
    
    Alex.
    
    
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