A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2019 Nov 28, 10:12 -0800
Alan, you wrote:
"the device has been sold. So much for that."
It did, and you must have missed that message earlier today.
"The price, at $180 in round numbers is to rich for me. Looks like an interesting device."
Yes, that's expensive, and, after adjusting for inflation, that was less than the (claimed) initial price. The ads that appeared briefly in 1945 said that it was originally priced at $14.85 but this price had been reduced to $7.50. Inflation-adjusted that was over $200 initially and over $100 at the "sale" price. Of course, the "sale" price may have been a simple marketing gimmick. I bet the inventor sold fewer than 100 of these things. Who would send off $200 for some unknown device? There were no reviews of it, no printed accounts of its capabilities. If you read through the instructions, it was unwieldy and solved problems that were really only a minor improvement on using plain log tables.
The address of the company, for those not familiar with Chicago, is in a small neighborhood south of the Chicago Loop called "Printer's Row". In 1945, that would have been a good place to rent a small office for a little business like this, which does qualify as a "publishing" businesss. Sadly, I suspect the inventor lost his investment very quickly. He would have had better luck buying the office since that neighborhood is now valuable real estate and a popular area for wealthy urban professionals.