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    Re: Sumner in Norie 1872
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 Mar 22, 23:31 EST

    Chuck Taylor, you wrote:
    "In the 1896 edition  of Norie's there is a 12-page chapter called "Sumner's
    Method by Projection."  "
    That seems to be about the time that the momentum started to build
    significantly. As I say, I think the tipping point  for something  recognizably
    Sumner-esque (meaning, plotting lines of position as a regular  means of fixing your
    position) was somewhere around 1900-1905 but it's difficult  to quantify.
    "I don't see any mention of Sumner nor his method in  the 1874 Bowditch."
    It's in there, but the reference is extremely brief.  It's a half-page added
    in 1855. It doesn't even get a section heading. I don't  remember the exact
    location off the top of my head. But this says more about the  status of
    Bowditch's book in this era than it does about  navigation...
    After Nathaniel Bowditch died, there was a sea change in  the way the New
    American Practical Navigator was updated. Changes were generally  just "data
    updates" (additions to lat/lon entries for ports, e.g.) or wholesale  deletions of
    obsolete material. Real additions were very rare. When the Navy  took over
    the Navigator in 1868, the book needed a major overhaul. Rather than  making
    incremental changes, it was left the way it was until the "overhaul" was
    completed (January, 1881). The edition of Bowditch just before this date is very
    similar to the edition of 1837. For example, the data in the lunars examples all
    reference 1836.  The edition that came out in 1882 shares relatively little
    in common with Nathaniel's earlier book. Were it not for tradition and
    name-recognition, his name should have been dropped in that year. Ironically,  the
    name was changed from the "New American Practical Navigator" to the  "American
    Practical Navigator"; a more accurate title would have been the  "Really,
    Really New American Practical Navigator"  .
    42.0N 87.7W, or 41.4N  72.1W.

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