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2019-11-06 09:29:15
[LONGITUDE ACT].
An Act for Providing a Publick Reward for such Person or Persons as shall Discover the Longitude at Sea.
London: Printed by John Baskett ... And by the Assigns of Thomas Newcomb and Henry Hills, 1714. First edition. First edition, and a fine copy, of the Act of 1714 establishing a reward for the discovery of a method of determining longitude at sea. "An early example of a means adopted by a government for encouraging scientific discovery and progress" (Grolier/Horblit). John Harrison (1693-1776), among others, was so encouraged and eventually solved the longitude problem with the invention of his chronometer H4. "Harrison's chronometer not only supplied navigators with a perfect instrument for observing the true geographical position at any moment during their voyage, but also laid the foundation for the compilation of exact charts of the deep seas and the coastal waters of me world ... There has possibly been no advance of comparable importance in aids to navigation until the introduction of radar" (PMM 208). "The Act of 1714 constituted 24 Commissioners either by name or office; if five or more thought a longitude proposal promising, they could direct the Commissioners of the Navy to have their Treasurer issue up to £2000 in total to conduct trials. After experiments were made, the Commissioners of the Longitude or 'the major part of them' were to determine whether the tested proposal was 'Practicable, and to what Degree of Exactness'. The Act set up a three-tiered reward system for methods which were deemed successful" (Baker). This and the ensuing longitude acts passed between 1714 and 1828 set a precedent for government funding and, within fifty years, also gave rise to a … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: SOPHIA RARE BOOKS [Denmark]

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