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    Re: Why a silver index scale?
    From: David Pike
    Date: 2016 Mar 27, 02:41 -0700

    why was Hughes & Son still using silver arc during the 1940s when these regards were certainly not true any more. Silver is expensive. Pewter, on the other hand, is a lot cheaper and would (I submit) do the job just as well...?

    Perhaps they’d always done it that way; perhaps they were using up old stock.  Was there less of a real or 'manufactured’ war need for silver compared to other metals like aluminium to build Spitfires?  Did it eventually become too hard for Hughes to source any more? I don’t know.  Also, there’s soft, and there’s too soft.  You want a metal soft enough to make the instrument maker’s task relatively easy, but not so soft that it picks up every scratch.  Compare an engraved silver serviette ring with an engraved pewter tankard after several years use.  Still, it's nice to know that the shiny stuff on my 1940s Hughes Mates sextant is really silver.  DaveP
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