Author Results for Wolfgang Köberer

Book Review-‘The History of Celestial Navigation: Rise of the Royal Observatory and nautical almanacs’ by P. K. Seidelmann and C. Y. Hohenkerk (eds

By Wolfgang Köberer

Celestial navigation appeared to be dead more than two decades ago with the advent of satellite navigation. The decision of the US government to make GPS available to civilian users and the appearance of affordable GPS receivers rendered celestial methods as obsolete as the lunar distance method that more than a hundred years ago was […] Read More

Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

Book Review – ‘Kendall’s Longitude’ by J. Bendall

By Wolfgang Köberer

Chronometers were (and are) expensive instruments, which is the reason why so many of them are preserved and as such items that are one or even two centuries old can still be found in the market and at auctions. Many chronometers, therefore, took part in maritime activity from the third quarter of the eighteenth to […] Read More

Filed under: Popular Topics
Subjects include: Manpower & Life at Sea | Science & Exploration | Ship Handling & Seamanship

Book Review – ‘Navigation on Wood: Wooden navigational instruments 1590–1731: an analysis of early modern Western instruments for celestial navigation, their origins, mathematical concepts and accuracies’ by Wolfgang Köberer

By Wolfgang Köberer

Reviewing the literature one notices, though, that a certain class of instruments has not received the attention one would expect with regard to the fact that it was in wide use since the end of the sixteenth well into the eighteenth century: the wooden instruments developed from the cross-staff and its variants. They were, of […] Read More

Filed under: Period | Early Modern | Eighteenth Century | Other (Early Modern) | Other (Eighteenth C)
Subjects include: Miscellaneous | Science & Exploration

The Determination of the Ship’s Speed in History and the Earliest Discussion of the ‘Dutchman’s Log’

By Wolfgang Köberer

Early mariners did not have the means to ascertain their exact position once they were out of sight of land for some time. But, contrary to an assumption long nurtured, early mariners did not usually ‘hug the coast’. In Roman times the Mediterranean mariners had to cross the basins of that sea to carry goods, […] Read More

Filed under: Mediterranean
Subjects include: Science & Exploration | Ship Handling & Seamanship

Note: On the First Use of the Term ‘Chronometer’

By Wolfgang Koberer

This brief note records the first usages of the term ‘chronometer’, dating from 1713 in William Derham’s Physico-theology, and Matthias Wasmuth’s Arcanum Navarchicon of 1684. Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Science & Exploration

Note: On the Attempt to Assess the Accuracy of the Astrolabe

By Wolfgang Köberer

A study of the accuracy of an astrolabe, taking into account previous studies, concluding that the instrument and the observer were more likely to be accurate than the maps he might be using. Read More

Filed under: Other (Early Modern) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Science & Exploration