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    Th. Jefferson: stop wasting time on longitude
    From: Frank Reed CT
    Date: 2006 May 6, 05:54 -0500

    Yesterday, I found a delightful letter (via  google books) written by Thomas
    Jefferson in 1808 telling one 'Captain Groves'  that his plan to find
    "longitude at sea by an observation of Jupiter and his  satellites, brought to the
    horizon by a double reflection" is a big waste of  time and he should apply
    himself to the "comfort of [his] family". TJ is very  polite about it all. He notes
    that he understands that the guy has written a  play to raise funds for his
    research (that's a script I would love to see!).  Jefferson points out that the
    longitude problem is solved... "fine time-keepers  have been invented" and
    more so by lunar distances; "every captain of a ship now  understands the method
    of taking these lunar observations, and of calculating  his longitude by
    them". Because of his personal interest in longitude, President  Jefferson must
    have seemed like the American equivalent of the British Board of  Longitude in
    that first decade of the 19th century.

    42.0N 87.7W,  or 41.4N 72.1W.

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