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    Re: Sextant calibration.
    From: Wolfgang K�berer
    Date: 2007 Apr 24, 07:42 +0200

    Frank Reed is right: The title page of the "Complete collection of tables
    for navigation and nautical astronomy..." gives the date as 1801. So, who
    can you trust these days, when even the British Library records provide
    false information.
    
    
    -----Urspr�ngliche Nachricht-----
    Von: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com]Im
    Auftrag von Frank Reed
    Gesendet: Dienstag, 24. April 2007 05:18
    An: NavList
    Betreff: [NavList 2675] Re: Sextant calibration.
    
    
    
    Wolfgang K�berer wrote:
    "Both Volumes of Mendoza's "Tratado de navegaci�n" (1797) are included
    in
    "Obras Cl�sicas de N�utica y Navegaci�n" - a CD-ROM containing the
    most
    important works on navigation (starting with the "Almanach Perpetuum"
    by
    Zacut - 1502) in the Spanish tongue. It is published by the "Fundaci�n
    HISTORICA TAVERA (ISBN 84-89763-14-3) and rather expensive, but
    considering
    that the original 33 works are scarce (so one will not find them on e-
    bay),
    the cost of the single work (price of the CD-ROM divided by 33) is
    still a
    bargain."
    
    Yes, I looked into that product, too. The pricing is as high as it is
    because it's really intended to be purchased by libraries. In effect,
    they're selling a site license. So, one good option, if you're looking
    for this CD, is to check with local university libraries. For me
    personally, it turned out that an actual copy of the Tratado was
    closer than the nearest library with the CD. For a while, there was a
    copy of the Tratado for sale on abebooks.com. If I remember correctly,
    the seller was offering it for $15,000 or so. That doesn't mean anyone
    bought it at that price, of course. By the way, I note a small typo:
    the Tratado de Navegacion was published in 1787, not 1797.
    
    And you wrote:
    "In Vol. 87 (1797) of the PTRS Mendoza y Rios published "Recherches
    sur les
    principaux Probl�mes de l' Astronomie Nautique" which might be a bit
    easier
    to tackle. It is available through JSTOR and Gallica, if my memory
    serves me
    well."
    
    A couple of years ago, I put a version of this (pages from Gallica) on
    my web site. It's here:
    www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars/myr
    For people with slower connections, this may be a better option.
    
    And:
    "As far as I can see Frank is right that his only publication in
    English is
    "A complete collection of tables for navigation and nautical astronomy
    with
    simple, concise, and accurate methods, for all the calculations useful
    at
    sea;..." (London 1805, not 1801 if the record of the British Library
    is
    right; Second edition, improved, London 1809)."
    
    The original edition is from 1801 (maybe there was a second printing
    in 1805 of the First Edition?). You can download the 1801 from
    googlebooks. This volume was simultaneously published in a Spanish
    version. As George H. already mentioned, Mendoza Rios also wrote an
    article for the Royal Society, in English, on the reflecting circle.
    The poor man committed suicide not too many years later.
    
    I will add that these three main works by Jose de Mendoza y Rios vary
    widely from each other. The "Tratado" was a complete epitome of
    practical navigation, rather like Moore, or later Bowditch, or Norie.
    It's filled with practical advice on sextant adjustment, cookbook
    accounts of the usual calculations of navigation, etc. The
    "Recherches" was a careful mathematical analysis of the various ways
    of approaching the solution of the problem of double altitudes and the
    problem of lunar distances. It is, in effect, a "taxonomy" of those
    mathematical solutions and a rough history of their development with
    only occasional references to practical navigation. The "Complete
    Collection of Tables" was just that: a set of mathematical tables with
    instructions on their use and almost nothing else. Although they were
    his greatest achievement in many respects, the "Tables" are probably
    the least interesting to examine today.
    
    -FER
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N 72.1W.
    www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars
    

       
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