Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.

NavList:

A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Message:αβγ
Message:abc
Add Images & Files
    or...
       
    Reply
    Re: Teaching the discovery of the longitude
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2011 Mar 15, 03:07 -0700

    Harold Burstyn, you wrote:
    " The first book I assign is Dava Sobel's Longitude. Contrasting the technological solution to the problem of finding longitude (the chronometer) with the scientific solution (lunars) gives me the theme for the course: how much does technology depend on science and how much is it independent? "

    Some people can't stand Sobel's "Longitude". Myself, I think it's an excellent book, but naturally not perfect. And of course, it's a popular history, not a footnoted scholarly work. One flaw that many of us agree on is that it dismisses lunars much too quickly. Though lunars were on their way out practically from the day they were ready for sea, it was a long, slow decline, and they were in fact widely used for solidly 75 years after the first chronometer was recognized as a success. It took that long for chronometers to become reliable enough and above all cheap enough to take over more or less completely. And it's interesting to note that lunars were really the poor man's solution. One of the last navies where I have found documentation for active use of lunars was the navy of the Sultan of Oman, which was a serious power in much of the northeast Indian Ocean and along the Swahili coast in the mid-19th century. In the 1840s, a US diplomatic report (which I can't find at the moment) noted that the Omanis were proficient in the use of lunars and chronometers.

    -FER


    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    NavList message boards and member settings: www.fer3.com/NavList
    Members may optionally receive posts by email.
    To cancel email delivery, send a message to NoMail[at]fer3.com
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

       
    Reply
    Browse Files

    Drop Files

    NavList

    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    Name:
    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Email:
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.
    Email:

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Subject:
    Author:
    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site