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Author Topic: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?  (Read 304718 times)

Walter Runck

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2011, 06:41:31 PM »

Excellent!  Off I go, crashing into the bundu of government bureaucracy.  If you don't hear back from me by 2012, LTM and tell her I went bravely.

Walter
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2011, 09:47:39 PM »

Excellent!  Off I go, crashing into the bundu of government bureaucracy.  If you don't hear back from me by 2012, LTM and tell her I went bravely.

Break a leg, bro!
LTM,

           Marty
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Daniel Paul Cotts

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2011, 10:10:15 PM »

Another Brandis on eBay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Sextant-Max-Kuner-Co-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-/290579960462?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a7ea528e
Brandis Link
Seller lists the number as 5935. The name Max Kuner Co. Seattle is located about the midpoint of the arc. A Google search indicates that Max Kuner was a company that sold nautical supplies to the commercial boating marker. I doubt this sextant was ever owned by the U.S. Navy. I sent a request  to the seller asking if additional numbers exist on the instrument or box.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2011, 10:22:03 PM »

Another Brandis on eBay.
http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Sextant-Max-Kuner-Co-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-/290579960462?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a7ea528e
Brandis Link
Seller lists the number as 5935. The name Max Kuner Co. Seattle is located about the midpoint of the arc. A Google search indicates that Max Kuner was a company that sold nautical supplies to the commercial boating marker. I doubt this sextant was ever owned by the U.S. Navy. I sent a request  to the seller asking if additional numbers exist on the instrument or box.

It doesn't look like the Navy vintage to me, either.

But strange things do happen ...

Thanks for keeping your eyes open!
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Walter Runck

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #34 on: June 30, 2011, 07:39:17 AM »

You can add Brandis 3444 / USN 1461 to the list.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290582695778&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123

The listing has been withdrawn but contained this in the description:

Up for bid is a Brandis & Sons. Inc sextant made for the U.S. Navy.  The last Brandis & Sons sextant was made in 1932.  They were, however, used by the Navy for much longer.  I think this is one that I used (although I am not sure) when I was a Quartermaster in the mid 60"s on the USS Van Voorhis.  You will note that although the sextant is a Brandis & Sons the box orignally held a Buff & Buff instrument.  That often happened on board much to our chagrin.

US Navy and US Nav-W-1461 are on the arc.  The  Brandis number is 3444.  I do not know what was used for a numbering system by Brandis but the Smithsonian has two that are numbered 5620 and 5760 that they believe were used in WWI.  http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=35  http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1058766 http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1087501


The box swap might explain apparent lack of collimation cert and the auction photos don't detail the serial number engravings, but this one is pretty close to our quarry.  56 off on the Brandis number and 81 on the USNO.  Brandis seemed to have had most but not all of the Navy business at this point.

No progress to report on USNO master list.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2011, 07:46:15 AM by Walter Runck »
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #35 on: June 30, 2011, 08:51:19 AM »

You can add Brandis 3444 / USN 1461 to the list.
Thanks, Walter.  I've updated the list with this one.  Its position right next to the theoretical Niku sextant is very spine-tingling!
LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
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Daniel Paul Cotts

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #36 on: June 30, 2011, 10:15:57 PM »

The above eBay listing for Brandis # 3444 is still active as of evening June 30th Central Time with four days left in the auction. Current bid is $76 ... just in case a TIGHAR wants to own it.
Direct link: Brandis #3444
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #37 on: July 03, 2011, 09:01:41 AM »

I asked the seller about any numbers on the box, particularly near the hinges.

His answer: 
"There are no numbers in the box but the box is a Buff & Buff box, not a Brandis box."

At $78, this is a deal for anyone who wants to own an antique sextant.  They usually go for around $300.

amck
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #38 on: July 03, 2011, 09:18:14 AM »

One more note, if you look at the last photo posted on ebay for this item, you can see the USN number etched on the arc.  It looks to me like 1481, not 1461.  see

Brandis 3444 / Navy 1461 or 1481 (or is it 1981?)

I've asked the seller to verify which number it really is.

amck
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 10:44:28 AM by Andrew M McKenna »
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2011, 01:11:00 PM »

Seller has this to say about the numbers:

"
It is definitely 1461.  I will post photos if I can.
"
amck
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Jeff Scott

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2011, 02:55:53 PM »

A new photo was added clearly showing the 1461.  I don't see the Brandis number anywhere though.  Where would that be located?
It's not too late to be great.
 
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2011, 03:01:32 PM »

Small numbers on the left end of the arc, not visible in the photos provided.
See the Ameliapedia page on sextants that has photos showing a Brandis number
sextants
AMCK
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 04:29:46 PM by Andrew M McKenna »
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James Joseph Dyson

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2011, 07:49:33 AM »

Hello,
I have been a long time student of USNO marked items, mostly Chelsea clocks, but have studied, chronometers, deck watches, telescopes, binoculars and sextants.  All of these type items were calibrated and marked by the Navy.  The engravings consist of a stylized N inside an O for Naval Observatory and the item number.  The numbers I'm sure had some system but in over 20 years of looking at them I have observed that they are very random.  It seems that the numbers were assigned to different items only in the order they were calibrated by the Naval Observatory.  I have long searched for the log book recording these items.  I have suspected that two Navy shops, the optical shop and chronometer shop had logs and recorded these numbers.  I have contacted the Naval Observatory, National Archives, U. S. Naval Historical Center, and Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va. all with scant return.  The Naval Observatory did the calibration on optical and timekeepers until about 1953 when this task was transfered to Norfolk Naval Shipyard.  I have spoken with long time employees of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and much to my dismay when these shops were closed in the late 1980s the material and records were not recognized as the historical treasure they were.  I have found that some chronometer record data from pre 1900 exists at the National Archives but the post 1900 data on chronometers, deck watches, and optical instruments is not to be found.  As many have found the Navy overhaul system was only interested in calibrating and returning a working item to the fleet.  Boxes and istruments which originally had matching serial numbers were often, if not most of the time, switched during overhaul as the Navy had no interest in the historical significance of matching serial numbers.  I have found that production dates of the instruments and the Naval Observatory calibration numbers do not exactly track in line but generally trend in order.  Good luck in finding the log books, I have tried for 20 years and the trail grows cold at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.  I hope this information gives some new researcher with time and energy at least a starting point and saves some search time.  If I can be of any further help please let me know.
Jim Dyson
Portsmouth, Va.
757-646-1827
www.chelseaclockmuseum.com

 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2011, 09:12:35 AM »

... I have contacted the Naval Observatory, National Archives, U. S. Naval Historical Center, and Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va. all with scant return.  The Naval Observatory did the calibration on optical and timekeepers until about 1953 when this task was transfered to Norfolk Naval Shipyard.  I have spoken with long time employees of the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and much to my dismay when these shops were closed in the late 1980s the material and records were not recognized as the historical treasure they were. ...

On the one hand, it's great to know that we're not alone in looking for the logs.

On the other hand, it's a real downer to know that you have searched so long in vain for them!

Quote
I have found that production dates of the instruments and the Naval Observatory calibration numbers do not exactly track in line but generally trend in order.

Our little study of sextant numbers seems to confirm your view.  The fact that the NO took the time to engrave their number on the sextants suggests to me that the numbers mattered to them, even though the sequence of NO numbers do not match the sequence of makers' numbers.  Instruments apparently came in from the field in no particular order and seem to have gotten the next available NO number engraved on them.

Quote
Good luck in finding the log books, I have tried for 20 years and the trail grows cold at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard.  I hope this information gives some new researcher with time and energy at least a starting point and saves some search time.  If I can be of any further help please let me know.
Jim Dyson
Portsmouth, Va.
757-646-1827
www.chelseaclockmuseum.com

Walter Runck, who has posted several times in this thread, is the person most actively engaged in looking for the logs.  Perhaps you and he can compare notes.  You are obviously well located to follow up on any leads.  Thanks so much for your willingness to keep us posted if you make any progress in the search!
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Ricker H Jones

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Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2011, 11:17:07 AM »

Jim,
You may have already run across the document "Property Inventory of the U.S. Naval Observatory History Committee" which at one time appeared to be the beginning of a trail to follow.  I wrote to Dr. Dick, the USNO historian, but his reply was a little tangential.  One of his books may be of some help, although I haven't read it. (Sky and ocean joined: the U.S. Naval Observatory, 1830-2000, Dick, Steven J). Dr. Dick's email address is below, if it is still current.  We also traced Brandis Navy surplus sextants to the Negus Instrument Company (Nautical Supplies) which ran ads in Rudder Magazine in the early twenties.
Rick J
http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA429777 Dr. Steven J Dick, dick@spica.usno.navy.mil 
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