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    Re: Sky & Telescope Magazine article on Capt. Cook's Astronomy
    From: Roger W. Sinnott
    Date: 2020 Jan 26, 23:36 +0000
    Well, Frank, I don't see the harm in showing a reasonable reproduction of a historical instrument.  The Stanley ad clearly states, at the end of the description, "While this sextant is fully functional, it does not come with a certificate of calibration and is not intended for navigation."  Nor does the S&T article say, "This was Captain Cook's sextant."

    Speaking of Newton's reflector, in 1972 I built a fully functional 1:1 replica.  (Mine is not a literal replica, especially on the inside, but it's as close as I could get from published descriptions.)  Since then I've lent it to PBS, who used it as a prop in a program they aired on Newton in about 2003.  More recently I lent it to the Folger Library in Washington, DC, for an exhibition they staged on 17th-century artifacts.   And a company in Vermont has made and sells expensive, detailed replicas of Russell W. Porter's Garden Telescope from the 1920s.  No one has called these things "fakes."
    Concerning the March article in S&T, there are two REAL problems with the article's text pointed out a few weeks ago on this forum by Robin Stuart: (1) an incorrect description of how lunar distances work, and (2) a misleading assertion about Nevil Maskelyne.  We are working to get a correction published.


    -----Original Message-----
    From: Frank Reed <NoReply_FrankReed@fer3.com>
    To: rsinnott <rsinnott@post.harvard.edu>
    Sent: Sun, Jan 26, 2020 4:18 pm
    Subject: [NavList] Re: Sky & Telescope Magazine article on Capt. Cook's Astronomy

    Roger Sinnot, you wrote:
    "What is wrong with the one shown in the magazine?"
    What's wrong with it? It's a fake. More generously, it's a "decorative reproduction". An unfortunate number of celestial navigation beginners have been burned by these decorative toys. You can see a "shiny" version on the website of the maker/distributor here: https://www.stanleylondon.com/ [...] .html (screen cap attached, with a few notations). I think the best analog of this company in the US would be the "Franklin Mint". Imagine if Sky & Telescope published a photo of "Newton's Telescope" and it turned out it was a dust-collector sold by the Franklin Mint. That would be bad.
    The image itself is taken from Wikimedia Commons: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_sextant.JPG. See the other marked-up screen cap below.
    Frank Reed
    Clockwork Mapping / ReedNavigation.com
    Conanicut Island USA

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