Any one collect stuff to go with there Nautical time pieces

Discussion in 'Chronometers' started by River rat, Oct 6, 2018.

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  1. Jim Haney

    Jim Haney Registered User
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    Sep 21, 2002
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    Nice display. The Apra bay on the west side, looks too good to be true, almost like it was man made for protection. US Navy base is still in use there, and Andersen AFB in the north, a very strategic location.
     
  2. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I collect information rather than artifacts.

    I have a and wrote about a watch given to captain for avoiding a loss at sea. I have found and collected paintings and photso fo the ships he skippered. I have a large Torpedo boat watch and the record of the ships in which it provided navigation time keeping and a small box chronometer and now I know that it served on a sailing packet that used to go between Boston and China.

    I love timepieces that people trusted with their lives.
     
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  3. Ned L

    Ned L Registered User

    Feb 3, 2009
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    I just picked up this sextant. It is a bit interesting in that it was advertised as a "WWII US navy sextant - maker unknown with no markings", but nothing else was said about it.

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    It looked like the real thing (not a knock-off, of which there are some good ones). It is a design a good bit older than WWII, but wasn't sure about it.

    When it arrived it was in this box.. Def. not new...

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    I was nicely surprised when I moved the index arm, which obviously hadn't been moved in probably 100 years.

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    I found this maker's mark,

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    A bit of research indicates it was made about 1850 by a Joseph Rankin Stebbing. His father was a nautical instrument maker to the queen and his older brother Thomas sailed aboard HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin as the ship's nautical instrument repair person. Pretty neat.

    You can see how the brass ferrules on the handle have been 'polished' from decades of holding it in use. When you hold it properly your hand touches each area that is

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    I have a number of sextants & octants, compasses, patent log, chronometers, etc.
     
  4. Paul Regan

    Paul Regan Registered User

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    Very nice acquisition Ned.
    Paul
     
  5. Jerry Freedman

    Jerry Freedman Registered User
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    I own a chronometer by TS Cogdon & Son. I found this watch and had to buy it

    Cogdon dial.jpg Cogdon movement.jpg
     
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  6. Snapper

    Snapper Registered User

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    This is a tad of a mystery to me. I recently acquired the optical rangefinder pictured below. I only know what it is as the seller had kindly provided a page printed from the National Maritime Museum Archive web site which illustrates this instrument dating from the 1940's. The example in their photograph bears a serial number very close to mine. I assume it was used from masthead vantage points to ascertain the distances from land, targets, other vessels etc. How exactly it is used, I have no idea and would welcome any further information.

    Ross Range Finder.jpg
     
  7. Leigh Callaway

    Leigh Callaway Registered User
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    Can't help with exactly how it is used. If anyone knows or might guess, he/she is an offshore navigator. Might be there is such a person willing to help at the British Offshore Sailing School on River Hamble north of Portsmouth. enquiries@boss-sail.co.uk +44(0)2380457733 British Offshore Sailing School. Just a thought.
     
  8. Snapper

    Snapper Registered User

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    Thanks for the suggestion Leigh. I may well give them a try. I shall be seeing a sailing friend at the weekend so I'll ask him too.
     
  9. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I would expect there to be a shade of some sort in the transparent target area so you could capture the height of a 30 or 40 ft mast as seen through the window. When you did that the scale would show the distance. It is much more convenient than using a ruler for the same purpose.

    The shade might be an iris device like the aperture on a camera. It might be calibrated for a typical arm length since the distance from your eye to the opening is one of the factors in the triangulation.
     
  10. Snapper

    Snapper Registered User

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    Thanks for the suggestion Tom. However I think I have almost figured it out. There is nothing missing from it unless the example in the National Maritime Museum is also lacking. The glass "Polo Mints" in the centre of the device are very thick and act as prisms. When holding the longer arm horizontally and looking through the hole, you can obviously clearly see the mast of the vessel (or in my experiments, a distant tree). However, there is also an image of the same tree visible in the outer prism but set to one side of the image through the hole. If I now turn the shorter arm until the images are vertically aligned, the reading from the scale approximates to the distance from the tree.

    I need to take the device a couple of miles to the coast and I'll try it out at much longer distances and cross check using GPS. I shall report back.
     
  11. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    The prismatic images are a much better way to get the near height measurement. Sounds like a neat instrument. I am looking forward to your results. I seem to recall that using a measure stick to solve that problem was part of a Boy Scout merit badge requirement. But that was 70 years ago so I may be mixing several memories.
     

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