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    Re: 1851 Bowditch
    From: Herbert Prinz
    Date: 2003 Jan 31, 16:07 +0000

    Gerard Mittelstaedt wrote:
    > Copyright is NOT an issue if one works from an original
    > .. for 2 reasons... time and the fact that it was a US Govt. doc.
    Just to set the record straight: The 1851 Bowditch was NOT a government
    publication. The transfer from the Bowditch family to the Hydrographic
    office happened in 1867.
    Herbert Prinz
    In my modest opinion, the edition from 1851 is of merely historical
    interest in that it documents the ups and downs (and more so the latter)
    in the life of this publication. The New American Practical Navigator
    was never particularly original in contents, but until Nathaniel's death
    it was at least a good standard reference with solid data tables and up
    to date descriptions of the latest navigation methods. That changed
    drastically when Nathaniel died and his son took over the editing.
    Jonathan Ingersoll Bowditch was clearly overburdened with the task. The
    1851 edition is a particularly dull one: It contains no reference to
    position line navigation. Captain Sumner had published his widely
    acknowledged  method in 1843, with reviews and recommandations from
    academia and navy alike (Peirce, Maury,...). Sumner's publisher was
    Thomas Groom & Co, Boston, around the corner from where J. I. Bowditch
    was sitting in his insurance company. It took 12 years for the hot news
    to reach Ingersoll or, more likely,  for him to live up to the myth that
    he had created around his father's book.

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