A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Robert H. van Gent
Date: 2022 Sep 18, 10:31 +0000
Some list members may be interested in the following recent posting on the RETE mailing list.
The English translation of Albert Schück’s Der Kompass (1911) can be downloaded from this link
Some of you may remember the late Jeffrey Lock. He was an American expert on antique instruments. As a master craftsman, he offered restoration and repair services, specializing on surveying instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries. On the side, together with his friend Scott Myer, he set up the Classical Science Press, which aimed, among others, to publish translations of primary source material related to the history of science. It would commission new translations of selected works, often not widely known.
For the Classical Science Press I prepared two translations. One was published, but publication of the other was postponed endlessly, and after Jeff died in 2019 it became clear that this was not going to happen. This was a translation of volume one of Albert Schück’s Der Kompass (1911). For many years, it had been announced on the Classical Science Press website under ‘Upcoming books’, as ´A comprehensive work on the history of the compass, including mariners and surveying compasses. An extremely hard-to-find volume with a fantastic collection of beautifully illustrated examples of compass cards, when works such as these were pure art forms.’
As I felt that the Schück’s material merited being shared with others, I decided to publish it myself as a PDF and make it freely available. Anthony Turner kindly arranged photography of the 46 plates and supplied photocopies of the large German text pages, scans of which I have included in the PDF. Besides the translation of the fifteen densely printed text pages from the book, which are essentially long captions to the plates, the PDF also includes an introduction, a list of Schück’s publications and a short synopsis of volumes 2 and 3 of Der Kompass, of which Jeff Lock had not commissioned a translation.
The Antiquarian Horological Society has kindly offered to host the PDFs on its website, and anyone interested can download the PDF in low resolution (some 7 MB) or high resolution (some 160 MB) at https://www.ahsoc.org/resources/public-resources/. It is just one of several resources which the AHS is making available to the general public. AHS members have free access to many more online resources, including its journal Antiquarian Horology in searchable digital form, from two years ago all the way back to the first issue in 1953. To find out more or to join, visit https://www.ahsoc.org/
Peter de Clercq, editor Antiquarian Horology (and SIC Secretary 1998-2002)