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Amelia Earhart Search Forum => Join the search => Topic started by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 16, 2010, 11:07:42 PM

Title: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 16, 2010, 11:07:42 PM
Bruce Thomas, a member of the forum since 2009-05-27 and author of at least 11 posts just realized today that he has a sextant that might be of interest to TIGHAR.

I'm not saying that Bruce is slow on the uptake.  Really, no, I'm not.  What I'm saying is that if any of the rest of y'all have a sextant around the house or if you see one or more in a museum, you might be able to add to our database (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant).

These are the fields we would like to fill in, as much as possible:

|-
! Maker
! Maker No.
! Navy No.
! Inspection date
! Comments
! Bubble
! N.O. # on box

Of these fields, the two that are essential to add a sextant to our table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) are the Maker Number and the Naval Observatory number.  The sextant box found on Nikumaroro (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant) had two numbers on it: 3500 and 1542, which seem to fit the pattern of a Maker's Number (3500) and a Naval Observatory number (1542).  All the other information is icing on the cake.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on July 17, 2010, 12:01:55 PM
I don't know if this is any help - but is taken from an eBay listing. It's the collimation certificate for a sextant from the U.S. Naval Observatory dated Jan 1945. There are other pictures of the box.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=170512363630
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ted G Campbell on July 17, 2010, 06:49:40 PM
Marty,
So what are the number he has?
Ted Campbell
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 17, 2010, 07:27:00 PM
So what are the numbers he has?

I listed them in the Sextant article: (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)

|-
|<!-- Maker --> Brandis?
|<!-- Maker No. -->  4313
|<!-- Navy No. -->  4665
|<!-- Inspection Date --> 
|<!-- Comments --> Bruce Thomas, TIGHAR to be.
|<!-- Bubble --> ??
|<!-- N.O. # on box --> No box. In display case.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 17, 2010, 07:46:27 PM
I don't know if this is any help - but is taken from an eBay listing. It's the collimation certificate for a sextant from the U.S. Naval Observatory dated Jan 1945. There are other pictures of the box.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?VISuperSize&item=170512363630

Yes, that is very interesting.

Note that the sextant in the box does not match the N.O. certificate on the box--that happens a lot.

|-
|<!-- Maker --> Mergenthaler
|<!-- Maker No. --> 
|<!-- Navy No. -->  5223-44
|<!-- Inspection Date --> 1945-01-04
|<!-- Comments --> MK. I. Mod. 0
|<!-- Bubble --> No.
|<!-- N.O. # on box --> Note on box for 5878-44

|-
|<!-- Maker --> Mergenthaler
|<!-- Maker No. --> 
|<!-- Navy No. -->  5878-44
|<!-- Inspection Date -->
|<!-- Comments --> MK. I. Mod. 0
|<!-- Bubble --> No.
|<!-- N.O. # on box --> In box for 5223-44

Here is a better link (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170512363630&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.ebay.com%3A80%2F%3F_from%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dp3907.m570.l1313%26_nkw%3D170512363630%26_sacat%3DSee-All-Categories%26_fvi%3D1&_rdc=1).

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on July 21, 2010, 12:35:55 AM
A Google search on "Brandis sextant" yielded some results.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-1938-us-navy-sextant-no-4267-brandis
Brandis 4765, U.S. Navy Sextant Brandis & Sons, Brooklyn N.Y. Navy no. 4267
sold on eBay

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/us-navy-sexton-brandis-sons-new-york
The original box is very nice with nicely dovetailed walls & brass hardware.
No numbers. Sold on eBay 08/18/2008
Seller Shawn at Cottonwood Village Antiques and Country Store 4300 Dawsonville Hwy Gainesville GA 30506

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1921-us-navy-sextant-owned-by-enola-gay-admiral
Incomplete information. This is a 1921 United States Navy Sextant made by Brandis & Sons of Brooklyn , New York.  The sextant is marked US Navy #1146 on the bottom of the graduated scale. The case has the original Certificate of Inspection from August 27, 1921 for Brandis sextant number 1146.
Sold on eBay 12/11/2006

A possible expert ...
http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=108211
Bill Morris
Pukenui
New Zealand

"The first sextant was a ladder framed one by Brandis and Son Inc. The "Inc"
places it after 1916 and its serial number places its manufacturing date
around the First World War."
Navigation List archive: www.fer3.com/arc
To post, email NavList---com

Book:
Sextants at Greenwich: a catalogue of the mariner's quadrants, mariner's ...
 By W.F.J. Mörzer Bruyns, Richard Dunn

Another book - just published.
http://sextantbook.com/inside-the-book/
See his article on rebuilding a Brandis aircraft sextant. Great photos.
http://sextantbook.com/category/aircraft-bubble-sextants/


http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1919PA.....27..359W
Brandis sextant 3257 noted as one of the instruments used to determine the longitude and latitude for observation of the eclipse of June 8, 1918.

http://www.liveauctioneers.com/h/item/7445914?ah=21-169a4&category=&itemtype=all
(lot of 2) American ships sextant, Brandis & Sons Inc.
Sold May 2010 at Auston Auction Gallery, Austin, Texas for $250 512-258-5479
Decent pictures of box. Fair pics of sextant.
Maybe someone can track down the buyer and ask for numbers.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 21, 2010, 08:30:23 AM
A Google search on "Brandis sextant" yielded some results.

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/vintage-1938-us-navy-sextant-no-4267-brandis
Brandis 4765, U.S. Navy Sextant Brandis & Sons, Brooklyn N.Y. Navy no. 4267
sold on eBay

That's a new one for the tables (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro).

Quote
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/us-navy-sexton-brandis-sons-new-york
The original box is very nice with nicely dovetailed walls & brass hardware.
No numbers. Sold on eBay 08/18/2008
Seller Shawn at Cottonwood Village Antiques and Country Store 4300 Dawsonville Hwy Gainesville GA 30506

Numbers are what we need.

Quote
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/1921-us-navy-sextant-owned-by-enola-gay-admiral
Incomplete information. This is a 1921 United States Navy Sextant made by Brandis & Sons of Brooklyn , New York.  The sextant is marked US Navy #1146 on the bottom of the graduated scale. The case has the original Certificate of Inspection from August 27, 1921 for Brandis sextant number 1146.
Sold on eBay 12/11/2006

OK.  I've added that to the first table.

Quote
A possible expert ...
http://fer3.com/arc/m2.aspx?i=108211
Bill Morris
Pukenui
New Zealand

He wrote The Nautical Sextant. (http://sextantbook.com/)  I've written to him via the contact form on the website.

Quote
Book:
Sextants at Greenwich: a catalogue of the mariner's quadrants, mariner's ...
 By W.F.J. Mörzer Bruyns, Richard Dunn

Another book - just published.
http://sextantbook.com/inside-the-book/
See his article on rebuilding a Brandis aircraft sextant. Great photos.
http://sextantbook.com/category/aircraft-bubble-sextants/

We had a link to an earlier version of the rebuild photos. 

Quote
http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1919PA.....27..359W
Brandis sextant 3257 noted as one of the instruments used to determine the longitude and latitude for observation of the eclipse of June 8, 1918.

We need pairs of numbers from the Naval Observatory.  That there were Brandis sextants not used by the Navy (or not marked by the Naval Observatory) is sort of irrelevant.

Quote
http://www.liveauctioneers.com/h/item/7445914?ah=21-169a4&category=&itemtype=all
(lot of 2) American ships sextant, Brandis & Sons Inc.
Sold May 2010 at Auston Auction Gallery, Austin, Texas for $250 512-258-5479
Decent pictures of box. Fair pics of sextant.
Maybe someone can track down the buyer and ask for numbers.

My own cost-benefit analysis says "not worth it."  What we really want is the mother-lode: the Naval Observatory's master list.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on July 21, 2010, 01:49:17 PM
Quote
My own cost-benefit analysis says "not worth it."  What we really want is the mother-lode: the Naval Observatory's master list.
Marty, can you say whether the Naval Observatory has already been approached about that list or not?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 21, 2010, 02:34:48 PM
Quote
My own cost-benefit analysis says "not worth it."  What we really want is the mother-lode: the Naval Observatory's master list.
Marty, can you say whether the Naval Observatory has already been approached about that list or not?

Here is the contact list (so far):

We haven't followed up on the two suggestions made in the last item on the list.  A TIGHAR member did have some contact with the NHCC in April, 2009, but missed being introduced to the curator. 

Let's not all call them all at once.  We have 288 people registered in the Forum and a variety of guests who visit anonymously.  But it would be splendid if we could get one person to take the lead on this and figure out whether the master list still exists somewhere.  Then we could see whether there is an entry for a sextant with maker number 3500 and Naval Observatory number 1542.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 21, 2010, 06:24:07 PM
I've heard back from Bill Morris in New Zealand already (!).

He added two pairs of numbers to the list:

http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro

Brandis 4180,  N.O. 2895
Brandis 4144,  N.O. 4449    

He doesn't have a lead on the master list but invited me to post on NavList: A Discussion Group Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Position-Finding. (http://www.fer3.com/arc/)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Joy Diane Forster on July 26, 2010, 09:52:21 AM
There is a box on eBay which I think is a new number, but it is only the box.  The manufacturer is Mergenthaler, Navy # 5083-44, Collimation certificate date 3/27/1945.  No manufacturer number, though.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Navy-Sextant-Box-No-Reserve-/150469514501?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2308ae9505 (http://cgi.ebay.com/Navy-Sextant-Box-No-Reserve-/150469514501?cmd=ViewItem&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2308ae9505)

There's another one that looks to be Navy # 1248, but I need help from someone who knows better what to look for.  Maybe the seller has the manufacturer information and the calibration date if asked:

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-US-Navy-Sextant-Buff-Boston-Cased-/180536941644?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash=item2a08d71c4c (http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-US-Navy-Sextant-Buff-Boston-Cased-/180536941644?cmd=ViewItem&pt=UK_Collectables_Militaria_LE&hash=item2a08d71c4c)

Again, I think these might be new, but I may have missed something or misunderstood what was on the list.  But, putting it out there in case it helps.......
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 26, 2010, 06:47:39 PM
Thanks, Joy.

I've salted those away.

The second one has the maker's number in the pictures and the N.O. number on the instrument itself.

It's a good pair.  I don't think we've seen a lot of Buff sextants in our survey.

Despite having to hold my laptop on my lap, I was able to update the sextant table. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)  Those were new pairs, as far as I could tell.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on October 07, 2010, 09:47:16 PM
There's a Brandis sextant on eBay item #350401896246. Numbers are 2734 and USN 362. Several pictures and a written description. Buy-it-Now for $675.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 07, 2010, 11:08:59 PM
There's a Brandis sextant on eBay item #350401896246. Numbers are 2734 and USN 362. Several pictures and a written description. Buy-it-Now for $675.

Thanks, Daniel.

That is a very interesting pair of numbers.

Here is a link to the e-bay page. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=350401896246&ru=http%3A%2F%2Fshop.ebay.com%3A80%2F%3F_from%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dm570%26_nkw%3D350401896246%26_fvi%3D1&_rdc=1)  Lots of interesting photos to browse through.

A real low U.S. N.O. number (362); recalibrated and maybe reconstructed in 1965 (!).  Having the N.O. number die-punched on the instrument and on the box seems very different from other sextants and boxes that I've seen.

I've added it to the sextant page. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant)

|-
|align="right"|<!-- Maker --> Brandis
|<!-- Maker No. -->  2734
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. -->  362
|<!-- Inspection Date --> 1943-04-18
|<!-- Comments --> ebay #350401896246; re-inspected 1965-11-12
|<!-- Bubble --> no
|<!-- N.O. # on box --> yes (die-punched)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 04, 2010, 08:20:08 PM
There's another Brandis sextant on eBay - item# 250718198372
The only number seen in the photos is 916 stenciled on the box.
I'm hoping someone knows enough about sextants so that they can contact the seller and direct them where to look to find the numbers on the instrument. Location is Brooksville, FL.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 04, 2010, 09:32:41 PM
There's another Brandis sextant on eBay - item# 250718198372
The only number seen in the photos is 916 stenciled on the box.
I'm hoping someone knows enough about sextants so that they can contact the seller and direct them where to look to find the numbers on the instrument. Location is Brooksville, FL.

Here is a direct link to the item. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=250718198372)

It does look old.  It's got 916 on the box.  It doesn't seem to have the blue Brandis numbers in the corners.  It may never have been a Navy sextant but part of some merchant service, of course.

If you study the text and photos on the Sextant Box page (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro), you should be able to figure out what we need: engraving on the brass pieces, stenciled or engraved numbers on the boxes, and inspection certificates.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 05, 2010, 09:32:33 PM
Yet another Brandis sextant on eBay. Item# 260687912625 It's a beauty.
No numbers are given in the posting; but some can be surmised from the photos. Again this requires asking the seller for more data. I may be free to do so in a few days. If anyone else wants to volunteer - feel free to do so.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 05, 2010, 10:43:46 PM
I sent messages asking for numbers to the two sellers on eBay noted above.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 06, 2010, 10:58:39 AM
Look near the hinge in the photos

Stamped into the box is 4901 or 4001, and written in pencil is Ser 1914 (I think?)

That doesn't mean that the sextant has the same numbers, but the box numbers fit the pattern

would be good to verify the numbers on the box as well as those on the instrument itself.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 06, 2010, 11:03:25 AM
FYI - I sent the seller a question re numbers.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 06, 2010, 11:05:57 AM
Yet another Brandis sextant on eBay. Item# 260687912625 It's a beauty.

No numbers are given in the posting; but some can be surmised from the photos.

Direct link to item 1289014353. (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260687912625)

There are lots of numbers in the photo.  Looks like Brandis 4001 on the box (to my eye) and two Navy numbers: 61071 and 000065.

Of course, we know that there are lots of discrepancies between the numbers on the box and the numbers of the instruments inside them ...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 06, 2010, 11:14:00 AM
Did we log this one too?

Ebay 350401896246
Brandis 2734
Navy 362
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 06, 2010, 01:32:13 PM
Andrew, Yes, Brandis 2734 is on the list. Look at page one of this message thread plus
http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro.

Number 2734 first appeared on eBay a month ago. I guess nobody is interested at the asking price - so they keep re-listing it.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 06, 2010, 01:52:30 PM
Folks, At the moment there are three Brandis sextants on eBay. On 2734 we already have the data. On another, Item# 260687912625, both Andrew and I have made inquiries to the seller about numbers. We are awaiting a reply.

I have just heard back from the third seller - item#250718198372. She states ...
"After about an hour of cleaning & searching, this is what I've been able to come up with: Inside the box, by the right hinge, all I can make out is the #4. On the sextant itself.....towards one end of the arc is the #3702. At the other end I can make out fragments of the USNO, but I'm pretty sure the rest of the #s have worn away.On the outside of the box the # 916 has been stenciled on. On the inside, on the front hinge, is the #121. I sure hope this helps you! Alice (PS...thanx so much for all the help!)"
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 06, 2010, 07:41:22 PM
Folks, At the moment there are three Brandis sextants on eBay. On 2734 we already have the data. On another, Item# 260687912625, both Andrew and I have made inquiries to the seller about numbers. We are awaiting a reply.

I have just heard back from the third seller - item#250718198372. She states ...
"After about an hour of cleaning & searching, this is what I've been able to come up with: Inside the box, by the right hinge, all I can make out is the #4. On the sextant itself.....towards one end of the arc is the #3702. At the other end I can make out fragments of the USNO, but I'm pretty sure the rest of the #s have worn away.On the outside of the box the # 916 has been stenciled on. On the inside, on the front hinge, is the #121. I sure hope this helps you! Alice (PS...thanx so much for all the help!)"

I do not know how to sort all that out.

#3702 sounds like a Brandis number.  But we need the USNO number on the instrument to make it really valuable to us.

The box numbers seem not to match the sextant number--4, 916, and 121.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 08, 2010, 09:43:06 AM
Three of us asked the same questions about serial numbers for this Brandis item #260687912625  on ebay

<<
Hi inside box edge says ser 1914 4001, arch center usnavy n with circle 1914 and on edge of arch 4345 Thanks!
>>

So it looks like Brandis 4345, USN 1914, although the box may have originally been for Brandis 4001.  Note that the Ser 1914 is hand written on the box, and I think was probably added later when instrument #1914 was placed in box 4001.

In any case, I think we can add
Brandis 4345, USN 1914
Brandis 4001, box only

There are a bunch of other numbers on the box as described in the seller's answer to Dan and Jim.

<<
   Hi Dan the paper is missing, the metal tag is in the box and says usn property 61071 something something 0065 then in bottom of box written is 61071 000065 center of box opening ser 1914 4001 then says usnavy n in circle 1914 on arch and 4345 towards outside of arch. Thanks! Mike
>>

but I don't think those extra numbers help us much.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 08, 2010, 11:06:51 AM
So it looks like Brandis 4345, USN 1914, although the box may have originally been for Brandis 4001.  Note that the Ser 1914 is hand written on the box, and I think was probably added later when instrument #1914 was placed in box 4001.

In any case, I think we can add

Brandis 4345, USN 1914
Brandis 4001, box only

There are a bunch of other numbers on the box as described in the seller's answer to Dan and Jim.

I've added 4345/USN 1914 to the wiki table. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)

Your guess makes good sense of the information we have about the box.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Walter Runck on January 25, 2011, 08:45:05 PM
Quote
My own cost-benefit analysis says "not worth it."  What we really want is the mother-lode: the Naval Observatory's master list.
Marty, can you say whether the Naval Observatory has already been approached about that list or not?

Here is the contact list (so far):
  • Dr. Archinal, formerly with the NO, now with the USGS regarding the historical instruments at the NO. Andrew McKenna wrote to him twice, but never got a reply.
  • Dr. Rafferty, mentioned in Archinal's work, said: "Contact Dr. Dick, former NO historian, now Chief Historian with NASA."
  • Dr. Panossian, mentioned in Archinal's work
  • Dr. Dick, former NO historian, now Chief Historian with NASA.  McKenna: "Dr. Dick wrote back that the instruments division was moved to the Norfolk Naval Yards in 1950 or so, and that I should contact Goeff Chester, the USNO Public Affairs Officer."
  • Carolyn Moore Mueller, Public Affairs Specialist/Editor, Norfolk Naval Shipyard; worked for Goeff Chester, US Naval Observatory Public Affairs Officer. Recommended looking at http://www.history.navy.mil/]Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC) (http://Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC)) and at Norfolk Naval Shipyard Museum (http://hamptonroads.com/2010/04/norfolk-naval-shipyard-portsmouth).

We haven't followed up on the two suggestions made in the last item on the list.  A TIGHAR member did have some contact with the NHCC in April, 2009, but missed being introduced to the curator. 

Let's not all call them all at once.  We have 288 people registered in the Forum and a variety of guests who visit anonymously.  But it would be splendid if we could get one person to take the lead on this and figure out whether the master list still exists somewhere.  Then we could see whether there is an entry for a sextant with maker number 3500 and Naval Observatory number 1542.

Hi Marty, first time poster here.  Has the search for the Naval Observatory records advanced any since your post of 7/21/10?  If no one is pursuing this, I have some ideas and would like to take a stab at it. 

Thanks,
Walter


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on January 25, 2011, 08:49:55 PM
As far as I know, the search for the Naval Observatory archives has not advanced much if any since July.  Forge ahead!

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on January 25, 2011, 08:55:30 PM
Quote
Hi Marty, first time poster here.  Has the search for the Naval Observatory records advanced any since your post of 7/21/10?  If no one is pursuing this, I have some ideas and would like to take a stab at it. 

Hi, Walter--welcome!

I haven't heard of anyone taking up the challenge.  Anything you can do would be much appreciated--even if it is just listing what you have tried that hasn't worked.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Walter Runck 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
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts 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 (http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Sextant-Max-Kuner-Co-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-/290579960462?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a7ea528e)
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.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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 (http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Sextant-Max-Kuner-Co-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-/290579960462?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a7ea528e)
Brandis Link (http://cgi.ebay.com/Antique-Sextant-Max-Kuner-Co-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-/290579960462?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a7ea528e)
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!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Walter Runck 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.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas 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 (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant) with this one.  Its position right next to the theoretical Niku sextant is very spine-tingling!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts 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 (http://cgi.ebay.com/U-S-Navy-working-Brandis-Sons-Sextant-/290582905461?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a8174275)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna 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
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna 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?) (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290582905461#ht_500wt_1363)

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

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna 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
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jeff Scott 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?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna 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 (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro)
AMCK
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: James Joseph Dyson 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

 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ 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 (http://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!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ricker H Jones 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 (http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?Location=U2&doc=GetTRDoc.pdf&AD=ADA429777) Dr. Steven J Dick, dick@spica.usno.navy.mil 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on July 19, 2011, 08:40:34 PM
New eBay listing for a Brandis box only:
Brandis Box (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160623039450)
From the listing: "Here I have a very nice Brandis - U.S. Navy Sextant Mahogany Box.  Information on the label is U.S. Navel Observatory, Washington, D.C. Collimation Certificate. Date Mar-7-1946. Sextant no. 2919. Type, Survey. Maker Brandis No. Mfg. #2919. Looks like it was signed by G.E. Jasper, Lt. U.S.N. There is a tag on the front with the number 248- U.S. Navy - 109706. It is missing the hooks to hold it closed. No key. The box is 9-7/8" x 9-7/8" x 5-1/2"."

I sent a message to the seller asking if there are any numbers in the hinge area.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 20, 2011, 06:44:58 AM
New eBay listing for a Brandis box only:
Brandis Box (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160623039450)
From the listing: "Here I have a very nice Brandis - U.S. Navy Sextant Mahogany Box.  Information on the label is U.S. Navel Observatory, Washington, D.C. Collimation Certificate. Date Mar-7-1946. Sextant no. 2919. Type, Survey. Maker Brandis No. Mfg. #2919. Looks like it was signed by G.E. Jasper, Lt. U.S.N. There is a tag on the front with the number 248- U.S. Navy - 109706. It is missing the hooks to hold it closed. No key. The box is 9-7/8" x 9-7/8" x 5-1/2"."

I sent a message to the seller asking if there are any numbers in the hinge area.

Thanks, Daniel.

I've added it to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns). 

It is strange that the Maker Number and the Naval Observatory Number are the same.  I wonder whether the clerk made a transcription error.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on July 20, 2011, 10:51:58 AM
I asked the seller if there were any numbers printed in the hinge area. His reply was: "To the right hand side of the right hinge when opened the number 2919 is inscribed twice on the edge of the top and again on the base. Above the hinge stamped in ink is the number 5310. In two areas it is stamped on the inside cover in ink Brandis & Sons Inc. 754-758 Lexington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York."

I will leave it to others more experienced in this area to decide which number might be the Brandis number and which might be the NO number.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 20, 2011, 11:03:33 AM
I asked the seller if there were any numbers printed in the hinge area. His reply was: "To the right hand side of the right hinge when opened the number 2919 is inscribed twice on the edge of the top and again on the base. Above the hinge stamped in ink is the number 5310. In two areas it is stamped on the inside cover in ink Brandis & Sons Inc. 754-758 Lexington Avenue, Brooklyn, New York."

I will leave it to others more experienced in this area to decide which number might be the Brandis number and which might be the NO number.

(http://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/5/5e/Numbers09.jpg)

Using this as an analogue, I'm going to guess that the NO number is 2919 and that the maker's number is 5310.  I'll footnote the guess.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on July 20, 2011, 08:53:20 PM
Already in the TIGHAR files, Brandis #3444, US Navy-N-1461 has been re-listed on eBay just in case anyone wants to own it. Note box is from another sextant manufacturer.
Brandis 3444 (http://cgi.ebay.com/U-S-Navy-working-Brandis-Sons-Sextant-/290589460036?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43a87b4644)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Mark Petersen on August 30, 2011, 02:41:29 PM
How about #5675 and some of the other Smithsonian owned Brandis sextants that are mentioned in this link:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=35 (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=35)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 30, 2011, 06:24:23 PM
How about #5675 and some of the other Smithsonian owned Brandis sextants that are mentioned in this link:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=35 (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=35)

We have all the sextants from that list (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) that have Naval Observatory numbers on them, I believe.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Mark Petersen on August 31, 2011, 01:54:52 PM
How about #5675 and some of the other Smithsonian owned Brandis sextants that are mentioned in this link:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=35 (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=35)

We have all the sextants from that list (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) that have Naval Observatory numbers on them, I believe.

Good to know, thanks.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on October 15, 2011, 01:15:20 AM
Here is a sextant that shows that by 1941 the Navy numbering system had been institutionalized from the hand etched numbers we see on the earlier Brandis sextant to a stamped and painted number complete with the symbol N inside a circle, the number, and the year.  This instrument is Navy #9746, and the box is Has Navy #13692

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260866658773&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123#ht_600wt_1328 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260866658773&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123#ht_600wt_1328)

This sextant was apparently used on the USS Hector AR-7, a repair ship that was launched at the end of 1942, and commissioned in April of 1944 and has a distinguished WWII history.

http://www.usshector.com/shipslog.html (http://www.usshector.com/shipslog.html)

I find it interesting that a sextant with a 1941 Navy number was issued to a ship that wasn't launched until late '42 and commissioned in '44.  I guess the Navy was buying sextants well in advance. 

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 17, 2011, 08:56:58 AM
New eBay listing for Brandis NO number 1889. I've sent an e-mail requesting the seller to supply any additional numbers - either on the sextant or the box.
New Brandis (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-1889-US-NAVY-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SON-BROOKLYN-NY-/360410518525?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53ea2413fd)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 17, 2011, 09:28:43 AM
Seller replied Brandis number is 4672. No numbers or any information on the box.
NO number is 1889.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on November 17, 2011, 10:54:15 AM
Seller replied Brandis number is 4672. No numbers or any information on the box.
NO number is 1889.
Thanks for the info.  The table in Ameliapedia (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) has been updated.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on November 17, 2011, 04:31:39 PM
Here is a sextant that shows that by 1941 the Navy numbering system had been institutionalized from the hand etched numbers we see on the earlier Brandis sextant to a stamped and painted number complete with the symbol N inside a circle, the number, and the year.  This instrument is Navy #9746, and the box is Has Navy #13692

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260866658773&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123#ht_600wt_1328 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=260866658773&ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123#ht_600wt_1328)

This sextant was apparently used on the USS Hector AR-7, a repair ship that was launched at the end of 1942, and commissioned in April of 1944 and has a distinguished WWII history.

http://www.usshector.com/shipslog.html (http://www.usshector.com/shipslog.html)

I find it interesting that a sextant with a 1941 Navy number was issued to a ship that wasn't launched until late '42 and commissioned in '44.  I guess the Navy was buying sextants well in advance. 

Andrew
Thanks for the info.  The table in Ameliapedia  (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro)has been updated.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 22, 2011, 08:00:44 AM
One more on eBay. Questions sent to seller regarding numbers and box. Certificate in box states Brandis number as 3320 and NO number as 4799. Seller states NO number is 4794. Certificate looks hand made. Box does not look like other Brandis boxes. BTW starting bid is 99 cents. There is a reserve.
Brandis Sextant (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330646043013)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on November 22, 2011, 11:18:30 AM
One more on eBay. Questions sent to seller regarding numbers and box. Certificate in box states Brandis number as 3320 and NO number as 4799. Seller states NO number is 4794. Certificate looks hand made. Box does not look like other Brandis boxes. BTW starting bid is 99 cents. There is a reserve.
Brandis Sextant (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=330646043013)
Thanks for the info.  The table in Ameliapedia (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) has been updated.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 23, 2011, 12:56:21 PM
Another Brandis sextant on eBay.
It's number 565. No indication of U.S. Navy ownership - so not useful for our purposes.
Real Old Brandis (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-FREDERICK-E-BRANDIS-NEW-YORK-SEXTANT-SAILING-SHIPPING-NAVIGATION-/180761464985?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a16391099)
The other two Brandis sextants currently on eBay have been listed above in this thread.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 23, 2011, 09:02:33 PM
Seller reports that Brandis 3320 has NO # 4799 on the arc. 4794 was a mistake.
Bruce, Can you modify the table to remove the (now know as false) discrepancy?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on November 23, 2011, 09:21:43 PM
Seller reports that Brandis 3320 has NO # 4799 on the arc. 4794 was a mistake.
Bruce, Can you modify the table to remove the (now know as false) discrepancy?
Table has been updated as you requested.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on December 05, 2011, 01:15:13 PM
New eBay listing. Brandis #4994, NO #2741
eBay Brandis (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-WWII-U-S-Navy-Brandis-Sextant-Naval-Navigation-Instrument-Antique-1942-2-/160694328083?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256a20db13)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on December 05, 2011, 01:58:14 PM
New eBay listing. Brandis #4994, NO #2741
eBay Brandis (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-WWII-U-S-Navy-Brandis-Sextant-Naval-Navigation-Instrument-Antique-1942-2-/160694328083?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256a20db13)
Thanks for the info.  The table in Ameliapedia  (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) has been updated.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on December 06, 2011, 11:43:09 PM
New eBay listing. Brandis #4994, NO #2741
eBay Brandis (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-WWII-U-S-Navy-Brandis-Sextant-Naval-Navigation-Instrument-Antique-1942-2-/160694328083?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256a20db13)

I asked the seller if there were any numbers on the box as sometimes that yields a different number set.  Here is their reply:

"After looking again there is a very lightly stamped number above the hinge on the small strip of wood but it's hard to read. The last 2 numbers are 94 so it appears to match the sextant number."

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Ousterhout on December 15, 2011, 02:22:24 PM
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/type.cfm?typeid=11
lists several Brandis instruments in Smithsonian "Behring Center".  You may already list them all, but the photos are nice.
According to the Ameliaopedia, Harry Manning loaned FN a US Navy Pioneer Bubble Octant, #12-36, in a letter dated March 20, 1937.  When looking at the Smithsonian pictures of Brandis Aircraft Sextants, they are identified as "Octants" (the difference being that an Octant can only measure up to 90 degree angles, which is all that is needed for aircraft use).  These "Octants" have boxes essential the same as "sextant" boxes.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 15, 2011, 05:53:10 PM
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/type.cfm?typeid=11 (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/type.cfm?typeid=11)
lists several Brandis instruments in Smithsonian "Behring Center".  You may already list them all, but the photos are nice.
According to the Ameliaopedia, Harry Manning loaned FN a US Navy Pioneer Bubble Octant, #12-36, in a letter dated March 20, 1937.  When looking at the Smithsonian pictures of Brandis Aircraft Sextants, they are identified as "Octants" (the difference being that an Octant can only measure up to 90 degree angles, which is all that is needed for aircraft use).  These "Octants" have boxes essential the same as "sextant" boxes.

That's a great explanation of why "octant" and "sextant" seem to be synonymous in some of the literature.

The three numbers that match the pattern we're following are:

One is on our list.  The other two have either not been examined or else don't have Naval Observatory numbers.

3193 (1068 in grease or etched?)
5296 / N.O. 2977
5675 / ?

We don't need maker's numbers; we need pairs of numbers.

Of course, what would really be definitive--either including or excluding the numbers on the box found on Niku--would be a catalogue from the N.O. containing the entire list.

If it still exists ...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Ousterhout on December 15, 2011, 09:12:43 PM
The "Ludoph Sextant in Pensacola Box 3547/173"  appears to be an Octant (http://tighar.org/wiki/File:Moffettsext.jpg)
This raises my suspicions even more that the "Octant" (I initially said "sextant", oops)  FN borrowed from Manning would have been in a "sextant" box.
Moreover, we need to be looking for "Octant" numbers as much as "Sextant" numbers.
Martin: I'll gladly move this if it is inappropriate in this thread.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 16, 2011, 05:32:47 AM
The "Ludoph Sextant in Pensacola Box 3547/173"  appears to be an Octant (http://tighar.org/wiki/File:Moffettsext.jpg (http://tighar.org/wiki/File:Moffettsext.jpg))

This raises my suspicions even more that the "Sextant" FN borrowed from Manning would have been in a "sextant" box.

I don't understand the nature of your suspicions.

Are you saying that you are inclined to believe that the instrument, however named, would have been in a box that the British would call a "sextant" box?

Or are you saying that the British identification of the box as a "sextant" box rules it out of consideration as part of the world flight?

Quote
Moreover, we need to be looking for "Octant" numbers as much as "Sextant" numbers.

OK by me.  If it's an instrument with a 4-digit serial number and a 4-digit Naval Observatory number, that's the kind of thing that we're seeking in order to understand the pair of 4-digit numbers recorded by the British on the "sextant" box found on Niku.

Quote
Martin: I'll gladly move this if it is inappropriate in this thread.

That's OK.  It's part of searching to clarify what is being sought.   ;)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Ousterhout on December 16, 2011, 07:53:17 AM
"...the instrument, however named, would have been in a box that the British would call a "sextant" box?"
Martin - that's a better way to put it, thanks.  There might be no need for FN to have carried a second instrument to explain how a 1930's era Sextant box arrived on Gardner.  It might have held FN's borrowed Octant.
Note-Gary LaPook's web page claims that FN's Octant/Sextant would have looked like the A7 he shows.  I hope he will provide his documentation to clear up which form it followed.  If it was the "A7" form, then the box would NOT likely be confused with a sextant box.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 16, 2011, 06:54:36 PM
There might be no need for FN to have carried a second instrument to explain how a 1930's era Sextant box arrived on Gardner.  It might have held FN's borrowed Octant.

OK.

An answerable question is: Would the octant that he borrowed from Manning fit into a Brandis-style sextant case?

Although I think this is answerable, I'm not in a position to answer it myself.   :P
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Ousterhout on December 16, 2011, 08:52:04 PM
"An answerable question is: Would the octant that he borrowed from Manning fit into a Brandis-style sextant case?"
If the instrument was a Pioneer model 206, aka Navy Mk.1, Model 4, which were still made by Brandis & Sons after acquisition by Pioneer.  If the instrument was a Pioneer model 342, aka Navy Mk. 3, Model 1, then is would look like Gary's A7.  The box might still look like it would fit a sextant, or might not.  I've found example photos of both style boxes fitting A7-style octants, so it's ambiguous until we know more details.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on February 03, 2012, 12:21:25 AM
Yet another Brandis on eBay. Brandis #3893 and NO #4569 with Certificate of Inspection date of 3/14/41. Box and instrument NO numbers match. Seller has not verified maker's number on instrument. Number stamped on box matches certificate. Sextant (http://www.ebay.com/itm/WWII-Brandis-Sons-Navagation-Sextant-Case-/370582199930?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56486b9e7a)

Update Feb 3: Seller verified makers serial number on instrument is 3893.

Here's a Pioneer Octant type 342
Octant (http://www.ebay.com/itm/AAF-USN-USMC-PIONEER-AIRCRAFT-OCTANT-TYPE-342-Complete-Box-/230738749807?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b919e96f)
There's a ruler in one of the photos that may help to determine the dimensions of the box.     Low starting price for anyone interested.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 03, 2012, 06:25:37 AM
Yet another Brandis on eBay. Brandis #3893 and NO #4569 with Certificate of Inspection date of 3/14/41. Box and instrument NO numbers match. Seller has not verified maker's number on instrument. Number stamped on box matches certificate. Sextant (http://www.ebay.com/itm/WWII-Brandis-Sons-Navagation-Sextant-Case-/370582199930?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item56486b9e7a)

Thanks, Daniel.

An interesting variant.  Marked as a "survey" instrument in 1941, sold as surplus in 1946.

Different location of maker's number compared to other photos of boxes.

N.O. number doesn't seem to be die-stamped onto the box.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Ousterhout on February 03, 2012, 09:08:01 AM
Daniel's finds are perfect examples of the differences to be expected between a marine sextant box, and an aircraft octant box.  The box dimensions and proportions are clearly different.  The box found on Gardner was clearly identified as suitable for a sextant, making it unlikely to have been associated with the Earhart flight. However, we can't be certain that it wasn't a transitional variant between the two different styles of boxes used in the mid-1930's.  There is a slim possibility that an aircraft octant might have been carried in a traditional sextant- style box.  By the late 1930's, octant boxes were all different from sextant boxes.
I have not heard yet if the Naval records office has found any documentation of the octant that Harry Manning loaned to Fred Noonan.  If/when I do I'll post the results here.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on February 07, 2012, 08:36:56 AM
Here's an octant box that is closer in style to a sextant box.
PIONEER INSTRUMENT MARK III MODEL 7. Scroll down for more photos.
Unique Box (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-ORIGINAL-WW-II-AIRCRAFT-OCTANT-PIONEER-INSTRUMENT-MARK-III-MODEL-7-/230742557030?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b9540166)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on March 18, 2012, 11:12:01 PM
Another Brandis on eBay: Brandis # 5577, NO# 4485. Numbers on instrument and box match. Certificate of Inspection lists class as "Survey."
Brandis Sextant (http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Navy-Brandis-Sextant-WWII-Vintage-with-Dovetail-box-/140725135617?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c3df2901)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 19, 2012, 06:32:17 AM
Another Brandis on eBay: Brandis # 5577, NO# 4485. Numbers on instrument and box match. Certificate of Inspection lists class as "Survey."
Brandis Sextant (http://www.ebay.com/itm/US-Navy-Brandis-Sextant-WWII-Vintage-with-Dovetail-box-/140725135617?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20c3df2901)

Inspection date: 3/14/44

It's a very interesting box.  Handwritten in ink on the certificate of inspection: Use cigarette ashes to wash.  The Certificate of Inspection covers up another stamp on the box, which seems to read "754-7..." and "B..." on the left.  The instrument numbers are not die-stamped into the corners of the box.  In the upper-right corner of the inside cover, it looks as though the maker's name and address are stamped in ink, with, perhaps, some annotations in pen:

Brandis & Sons, Inc.
[XXX] Lexington Avenue
Brooklyn, N [XXX]

I've added it to the sextant numbers table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on March 19, 2012, 01:21:46 PM
Is there any advantage in listing sextant serial numbers that are far from the range surrounding #3500 and NO #1542?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 19, 2012, 02:26:25 PM
Is there any advantage in listing sextant serial numbers that are far from the range surrounding #3500 and NO #1542?

What you see in the table is what we've found.

We're not suppressing any numbers.

I suppose you could say that we have enough data already to say that there isn't much of a correlation between the maker's number and the Naval Observatory number.  We also have enough to show folks in archives and museums why we would like to find the original records.  But it doesn't cost much to add to the list, and, as far as I can tell, it does no harm.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on April 20, 2012, 09:16:51 PM
New listing on eBay for a Brandis. NO number is 1421. I've asked the seller for additional info.
Brandis NO1421 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-Sons-Navy-Sextant-1910s-WWI-US-NAVY-1421-Case-and-all-Parts-/160785476139?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256f8faa2b)

I'll be away from this forum due to time management issues. If anyone cares to keep searching for new Brandis listings on eBay - just save the search for "sextant + brandis". eBay will notify you each time a new listing appears.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 20, 2012, 10:34:37 PM
New listing on eBay for a Brandis. NO number is 1421. I've asked the seller for additional info.
Brandis NO1421 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-Sons-Navy-Sextant-1910s-WWI-US-NAVY-1421-Case-and-all-Parts-/160785476139?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item256f8faa2b)

Thanks!

I've put the number in the sextant table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 21, 2012, 11:18:56 AM
Looks like the number stenciled on the box near the right hinge is 4551 or 4553

Need to know the maker's number printed on the arc.  I've asked as well.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 21, 2012, 12:20:25 PM
Looks like the number stenciled on the box near the right hinge is 4551 or 4553

Good eyes!  I've put in 4551 for the moment.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on April 22, 2012, 01:21:11 PM
Vendor replies the manufacturer's number on the arc is 3331. The number on the box is 4551. As before the NO is 1421.

The Gardner box had 3500 and 1542 on it. I like the above numbers.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 22, 2012, 04:57:17 PM
Vendor replies the manufacturer's number on the arc is 3331. The number on the box is 4551. As before the NO is 1421.

The Gardner box had 3500 and 1542 on it. I like the above numbers.

3500/1542 are still in play as a possible combination of Brandis number and N.O. number.  In this excerpt from the table, the sextants are ordered by Naval Observatory number.  Brandis numbers 3331, 3444 and 3500 (?) are in a nice order, but then we get 3483 with a higher N.O. number than 3500 (?) and 3339 with a lower N.O. number than 3331.


serial number   
N.O. number   
N.O. inspection date   
Brandis
3339
1415
1942-12-26
Brandis
3331
1421
Brandis
3444
1461
Brandis?
  3500
  1542
Brandis (box only)
3483
1567
1932-01-27
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Gary LaPook on April 22, 2012, 06:48:55 PM
Here's an octant box that is closer in style to a sextant box.
PIONEER INSTRUMENT MARK III MODEL 7. Scroll down for more photos.
Unique Box (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-ORIGINAL-WW-II-AIRCRAFT-OCTANT-PIONEER-INSTRUMENT-MARK-III-MODEL-7-/230742557030?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b9540166)
But that box and octant came well after the Earhart disappearance, it wasn't produced until 1941. (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=451519)

gl
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on April 22, 2012, 08:55:06 PM
Thanks Marty for the above post. If we assume the Navy purchased sextants in batches, there would be no compelling reason to test them in order of manufacturer's serial number. However, the grouping of NO numbers around a particular set of manufacturer's numbers (the bounds of the batch) seems significant. Let's hope a few more sextants show up in the desired range.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 22, 2012, 10:20:41 PM
Thanks Marty for the above post. If we assume the Navy purchased sextants in batches, there would be no compelling reason to test them in order of manufacturer's serial number. However, the grouping of NO numbers around a particular set of manufacturer's numbers (the bounds of the batch) seems significant. Let's hope a few more sextants show up in the desired range.

We can make the case that we have noted Brandis serial numbers running from 1844 to 5760.

We may make a reasonable surmise that, once upon a time, there was a Brandis numbered 3500.

We have noted N.O. numbers from 34 to at least 9746 (there are some dashed numbers, such as 5083-44 that represent a change in the numbering system, I believe).

We may make a reasonable surmise that, once upon a time, N.O. 1547 was assigned to an instrument.

In the absence of actually finding the long-sought logbooks, we can't say that Brandis 3500 was N.O. 1547.  At best, we can say it might have been.

If we do find a Brandis 3500 with a different N.O. number, or a N.O. 1547 that is not serial number 3500, then that would destroy the idea that the box found on Niku may once have held a Navy instrument.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 25, 2012, 03:13:17 AM
Vendor replies the manufacturer's number on the arc is 3331. The number on the box is 4551. As before the NO is 1421.

Clarification from the owner.  The actual sextant has Brandis #3331 and USNO # 1421 on the arc.

The box has 4551 stenciled on the box near the hinge, and NO # 1762 on the label.

So we're talking about two different sets of numbers here,  B 3331 / NO 1421, and B 4551 / NO 1762.  #3331 is simply in the wrong box, which we've seen frequently in the past. 

Marty, we should be able to log both sets on the table, yes? 

Both match the pattern pretty well.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 25, 2012, 06:31:01 AM
So we're talking about two different sets of numbers here,  B 3331 / NO 1421, and B 4551 / NO 1762.  #3331 is simply in the wrong box, which we've seen frequently in the past. 

Marty, we should be able to log both sets on the table, yes? 

Yes.  This is the fourth mismatch in our table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: richie conroy on June 03, 2012, 10:08:24 AM
just come across this sextant says on label No 3567 i think http://www.pielcraftsmen.com/gifts/artifacts/instruments.html

go to bottom of page on link  (http://www.pielcraftsmen.com/gifts/artifacts/ins-pics/TS-109.jpg)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Walter Runck on June 30, 2012, 08:18:46 AM
You can add 3985, but I'd like someone to confirm the NO number as 1826.  It's on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380451003032&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123) and the listing says NO 4829 but I believe the 4 is a stylized 1 and the 9 is just a mistake. 

Nice unit, looks complete including some tools I have not seen before.  Box in better shape than most, but no evidence of collimation cert on inside of cover.  Numbers I suggested are in general conformance with the pattern, although a minor conflict with 4551, which I believe was just a box with a non-matching sextant in it.

Sorry for typos, I'm a little out of forum practice. 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on June 30, 2012, 10:14:36 AM
You can add 3985, but I'd like someone to confirm the NO number as 1826.  It's on eBay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380451003032&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123) and the listing says NO 4829 but I believe the 4 is a stylized 1 and the 9 is just a mistake. 

Nice unit, looks complete including some tools I have seen before.  Box in better shape than most, but no evidence of collimation cert on inside of cover.  Numbers I suggested a in general conformance with the pattern, although a minor conflict with 4551, which I believe was just a box with a non-matching sextant in it.

Walter, you're right about the last digit of the NO number being a 6.  The picture of the sextant arc bears that out, and whoever typed the narrative on eBay just had a "finger fault."  I'm going to enter it into our Ameliapedia table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) as NO number 4826; I have a Brandis sextant in my den, and the NO number is engraved on its arc -- obviously done by the same hand, with the leading digit for it very clearly a 4 as well.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on July 01, 2012, 02:27:22 AM
Looks like this latest sextant - Brandis 3985 / Navy 4826 is back on ebay.

The price is way out of whack, these usually go for between $300 and $400

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 20, 2012, 08:49:35 AM
There is another Brandis on ebay, #5084.  I can't tell if there is a USNO number from the photos, and I've sent a question to the seller.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=251134812762&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123#ht_1453wt_1144
 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=251134812762&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123#ht_1453wt_1144)
Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on August 20, 2012, 10:11:04 AM
There is another Brandis on ebay, #5084.  I can't tell if there is a USNO number from the photos, and I've sent a question to the seller.
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=251134812762&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123#ht_1453wt_1144
 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=251134812762&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123#ht_1453wt_1144)
Andrew
The narrative says that number 5084, but the photo (upside down) has it inscribed as 5804.

Update:  I see that the eBay listing's narrative has been modified to state that the number is 5804.    (8/24/2012)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on August 28, 2012, 01:19:20 AM
The Ameliapedia page on the Sextant Box has a Chart listing  U.S. Naval Observatory Numbers, manufacturer numbers and Eccentricity Certificate dates for a number of sextants that have turned up in museums, ebay, etc. Following the chart is a discussion by Ric and Art Rypinski about (perhaps I’m simplifying) what those numbers might imply about when a sextant with Gallagher’s numbers (3500/1542) might have last passed through the Naval Observatory.

Art, citing the Smithsonian, says that that the manufacture of Brandis instruments ceased in 1932 and goes onto say that “ …it would be reasonable to believe that almost all of the Brandis sextants in circulation were actually manufactured in 1918-1920, and that none were manufactured after 1932. Further, the Naval Observatory appears to have changed its numbering plan (at least for aviation octants) in the late 1920s, and begin issuing NO numbers with the form XXXX-YY, where YY was the year of original calibration. Therefore, I believe that all of the post-1930 calibration dates are recalibrations of sextants that were originally calibrated and issued their NO numbers in 1918-1920…”

Looking at the numbers in the chart, I couldn’t follow why Art thinks the Naval Observatory changed its numbering plan in the late 20s to use a six digit i.d. code: the only sextants I see on the chart with six digit ids have certificates dating from the 40s. But I do think the  numbers in the chart suggests that Art is right about most sextants having been manufactured in right around WWI and that some of these sextants were later given new eccentricity certificates.

I don’t have a deep statistical analysis to present, but I do think it is interesting to forget about the manufacturer’s numbers and look at the frequency of distribution of Naval Observatory numbers and certificate dates as shown below:
                    # of     
N.O #          Sextants    Date Range (# of certs)
0 to 999               7             1918 to '43 (3)
1000 to 1999      17             1918 to '42  {8)
2000 to 2999       9             1919 to '46 (6)
3000 to 3999       0                    N/A
4000 to 4999      14             1938 to '44 (3)
5000 to 5999       5             1945 to 1945 (2)
g.t. 6000              2             1946 (1)

The second column of numbers shows how many of the 54 sextants in the Ameliapedia chart fall into each of the seven Naval Observatory number ranges. The third column then gives the range of certificate dates for the sextants in each range, and the numbers in parentheses gives the number of certificates in each range. Have I lost anybody yet ?...

A couple of things are interesting when the numbers are viewed this way: 

-We see certificates ranging from 1918 to the mid-40’s for sextants in the first three ranges of Naval Observatory numbers, i.e. numbers less than 3000; A simple explanation is that sextants having these N.O. numbers were produced around WWI, and some of them remained in service in the Navy and received new eccentricity certificates many years later. This is consistent with Art’s remarks about re-certification of sextants the Ameliapedia discussion.

-We don’t see any WWI vintage certificates in the last three N.O. number ranges, i.e. those greater than 4000; A simple explanation is that the USN didn’t start assigning sextants with numbers greater than 4000 until WWII was looming. Note however that back on the main Ameliapedia chart many Brandis sextants have N.O. numbers in the 4000-4900 range. Art tells us that Brandis stopped making sextants in 1932, and Art (I think correctly) believes that most of the Brandis sextants are of WWI vintage (the Navy had a glut of sextants after WWI, so it doesn’t seem likely they would have been buying more Brandis sextants from 1919 to 1932 the year of Brandis’s demise).

Maybe the Navy stockpiled unused WWI-vintage sextants that never got  N.O. numbers assigned to them and pulled ‘em out of storage for use in WWII?  I don’t like that explanation much, but it would explain things…

- We don’t see any sextants with N. O. numbers in the 3000 range. Assuming this isn’t a statistical fluke, the only simple explanation for the gap in numbering that I can think of is that for some reason no sextants were ever given N.O. numbers in the 3000-3999 range. Maybe the Naval Observatory misplaced its master list of sextant numbers after WWI, and when WWII started to loom some old fart in the eccentricity shop remembered they left off numbering sextants somewhere in the high 2000s? Another not so great explanation…

If this post is total nonsense, please forgive me—it’s 3 AM and maybe I’m not thinking straight…

----------------
note added: I hope to get another post up soon about the sextant numbers which I think may make the absence of and 3000-series sextants seem even a bit odder than it seems now...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on September 13, 2012, 09:33:53 PM
It appears that my last post on three sextants to possibly add to the list fell victim to the great wipe-out, so I’ll try to reconstruct my post.

This site (http://landandseacollection.com/id664.html) lists a recently sold Heath Hezzanith Sextant. According to the seller, the sextant can be dated to before 1900 by its design. There is a photo of the USNO collimation certificate, dated August 9, 1945, with the sextant identified as H.G. (high grade). The number after (N) on the certificate, 6416, should be the USNO number and the the vendor says that on the left end of the arc is the number 9416 preceded by a 9. Flip that upside down and what do you get?...hmmn...

An ebay auction with 2 days to go  (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-U-S-Naval-Observatory-1925-/170909510133?_trksid=p4340.m1985&_trkparms=aid%3D444000%26algo%3DSOI.CURRENT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D13%26meid%3D2029554458786040002%26pid%3D100012%26prg%3D1014%26rk%3D1%26) is for a sextant with a USNO certificate dated June 1, 1925 for USNO sextant 27 (the certificate originally had it list as number 25, but the ‘5’ is crossed out in red and a ‘7’ written in above it). The certificate identifies this one as a surveying sextant. The arm of this sextant has the number ‘252187’ engraved into it.


This site (http://bairnsdaleclocks.com.au/index.php?mact=ShopMadeSimple,cntnt01,fe_product_detail,0&cntnt01product_id=240&cntnt01returnid=51) lists what it calls a “US Naval Observatory BU Mark II” sextant made by David White. It says the sextant was used on the bicentennial voyage of the Bounty!  A blurry photo of the certificate, dated 9/25/1942, indicates a N.O. number of  3320-41, and the ‘class’ as “E.T.S.”; I’m not sure what that means.

Tonight I found a fourth sextant, a Keuffel & Esser, on ebay  (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Keuffel-Esser-K-E-Maritime-Sextant-in-Original-Box-/380469084227?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5895b98043) The certificate for this one, dated 10/19/42, indicates it is a surveying sextant. This certificate has a place on it marked “No.”, which to me looks like where the manufacturer’s number should go: here there is no number, just has a horizontal line marked in ink. There is also a place on the certificate marked “Sextant (N)”, and here the number 4730 is written in ink. On the three previously mentioned sextant certificates, one would expect the number next to the (N) to be a Naval Observatory number, but here with the K&E sextant that can't be: there is a photo of the arm of the K&E sextant, and stamped there is “Keuffel & Esser Co. New York 4730”. So it looks like the number next to the (N) on the certificate for the K&E sextant is the manufacturer number rather than the USNO number (unless by some freakish chance the two numbers  coincided).

Perhaps by now Tighar High Command has ebay and some of these other vendors staked out and so these sextants are old news, but thought I'd post before the sextants disappear from view for a couple of more decades...


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on September 21, 2012, 06:16:41 PM
Over on the Who Did the USN Give its Surplus Sextants To? (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,902.0.html) thread I posted a link a site where USNO Annual Reports are available for download and/or viewing.

At the end of each year's report is a table of results of tests done on chronometers. torpedo boat watches, etc. Many of these tables were improperly copied and are unreadable in the downloadable pdf for the FY 1916-1930 reports but the table listing test results for what looks to be the 1920 fiscal year USNO report are readable (look at page ~137 of the 395 page downloadable pdf for FY 1916-1930). What is interesting here in these tables is that in several places, 'old' chronometers and watches have what appear to be Naval Observatory numbers; no 'new' chronometer or watch does. The 16 or so  Naval Observatory numbers are all in the 4000 to 5000 range and none of them duplicate those of sextants that we know of.

Did the USNO keep parallel numbering schemes for sextants and torpedo boat watches/chronometers, or were these different instruments all part of a single numbering system? It would be good to know more about this- for instance, if there was a single numbering system incorporating sextants, torpedo boat watches, and chronometers then readable copies of the tables of the torpedo boat/chronometer tests might tell us something about when N.O.  #1542 was assigned to a sextant at the Naval Observatory. Then again, we might discover that N.O.#1542 was assigned to a chronometer, not a sextrant, with inplications for the numbers Gallagher reported for the sextant box found on Gardner.

-----------
update: a quick google search turned up this: http://forum.atgvintagewatches.com/showthread.php?t=1975

USNO 847 Waltham serial number 22115845 on the movement, which this table (http://www.pocketwatchrepair.com/histories/waltham.html) says is a 1918-1919 chronometer (but I've seen comments on horology web sites saying that tables of manufacturer serial numbers are for some manufacturers (not necessarily Watham), only good to within a few years...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ricker H Jones on September 21, 2012, 09:24:20 PM
An interesting Brandis ad in Rudder magazine states "2400 furnished by us to the U.S. Navy Department during the period of the war." The same ad also states "prices lower than paid for inaccurate second-hand sextants." perhaps referring to a glut of surplus sextants on the market at the time.  I believe this issue of Rudder was published around 1921, but I was unable to locate the magazine again.  (It may have been in the U of Michigan library.)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Alan Harris on September 21, 2012, 10:05:04 PM
I was unable to locate the magazine again.  (It may have been in the U of Michigan library.)

You are correct, Ricker, the original is in the Wolverine library.  The Rudder, Vol. 35, 1919 (http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015022693488;seq=644;size=150;view=image).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on September 23, 2012, 07:33:45 PM
Ricker,

Looking at the Ameliapedia sextant table, the difference between highest and lowest Brandis numbers of sextants thought to have USNO numbers is 5760-2734=3026.  So, to the extent that the range in sextant numbers in the Ameliapedia table indicates the number of sextants produced by Brandis during WWI, something like 600 (i.e. ~3000 minus ~2400) Brandis sextants went to other customers during WWI.

That's interesting because at the outset of WWI, the USN was faced with a shortage of many types of equipment due to the fact that most of the optical glass used in nautical instruments was imported from Europe. This shortage is discussed in USNO Annual Reports of the era and I alluded to it in a post on the Who Did the USN Give its Sextants to after WWI  (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,902.msg19926.html#msg19926)thread. Navy Secretary Franklin D. Roosevelt launched the ‘Eyes of the Navy’ to solicit donations of nautical equipment from the public, and while the focus of the program was to obtain binoculars, telescopes, and spyglasses to help ships watch for U-boats, the USN did apparently receive at least some sextants via this program. An indication that the optical glass shortage impacted the USN’s demand for sextants is seen in the USNO Annual Report for 1917, which tells us that the observatory’s nautical instrument repair shop built 60 Frankensextants from junked sextants it had on hand (they didn't use the term 'Frankensextant', of course...). So it is interesting that customers other than the USN were able to get sextants from Brandis during the WWI era given this shortage. By war’s end the optical glass shortage problem had been solved, so maybe the supply loosened up by 1918 or so?...

If for no reason other than the fun of it, one can come up with an estimate of the total number of USNO numbers issued during WWI from the Brandis ad with a little help from the Ameliapedia sextant table.  The table lists 38 Brandis real or putative (i.e. only box) sextants with USNO numbers out of a total of 53 sextants. But the last 6 of the 53 (the Merganthalers and David Whites) look to be post-WWI, so let’s say 38 out of 47, or 80% of the sextants are Brandis models. That would suggest that 2400 x (100/80)=3000 USNO numbers were issued during WWI.  Over on the 'Who Did the USN Give...' thread I came up with an estimate of 4600 for the number of USNO sextants issued based on information gleaned from the USNO annual reports of the era. (I still need to make a post to explain this 4600 guesstimate of mine). Not the greatest agreement but someone with a better grasp of statistics could easily say whether the latter estimat is really different from 4600 at a high confidence level...

Finally, you speculated that there might have been a glut of surplus Navy sextants by the time this Brandis ad appeared. The first indication I could find of the Navy disposing of sextants after WWI was in 1928. I certainly wouldn’t want to bet that the sextants weren’t surplussed by 1919, but I didn’t see any mention of it in the USNO Annual reports for what it’s worth.


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on September 24, 2012, 12:16:10 AM
In reply #98 above I made a table showing the frequency distribution of eccentricity certificates with Naval Observatory number.  There I said:

We see certificates ranging from 1918 to the mid-40’s for sextants in the first three ranges of Naval Observatory numbers, i.e. numbers less than 3000; A simple explanation is that sextants having these N.O. numbers were produced around WWI, and some of them remained in service in the Navy and received new eccentricity certificates many years later”.

While the idea that the USNO re-calibrated WWI-era sextants seemed like a reasonable way to explain the pattern of eccentricity certificate ages apparent in the table, I was not totally comfortable with this idea. My understanding of the eccentricity certificates is that they were provided with sextants so that a navigator could correct for systematic deviations between true and measured angles due to the fact that the pivot point of the arm of the sextant isn’t quite at the center of the circle of the sextant’s arc. This reference  (http://books.google.com/books?id=-vh9AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA95&lpg=PA95&dq=sextant+eccentricity+correction+bowditch&source=bl&ots=Gu4p1Sijed&sig=aaorEqnParPMNHAnbEzUt8JVjuQ&hl=en#v=onepage&q=sextant%20eccentricity%20correction%20bowditch&f=false)states that ‘permanent adjustments’ such as eccentricity “with careful use will never be deranged”, and also, that errors due to eccentricity “should be determined once for all at some place where proper facilities for doing the work are at hand”. So eccentricity corrections seemed only to need to be determined once, a fact at odds with the ‘simple explanation’ I offered.

The 1919 Annual Report has a table that indicates that 2351 new sextants were inspected and passed. Directly following this table is a statement that reads “ 3136 new and repaired sextants were tested for eccentricity”. So for 1919 we know that 785 (i.e., 3136-2351) repaired sextants were tested for eccentricity. So based on this report I’m thinking my ‘simple explanation’ is correct, and that whenever a sextant came back to the USNO for a ‘repair’, out of prudence the USNO re-measured its eccentricity and issued a new eccentricity certificate to replace the one previously issued.

The Annual Reports from 1923 -1929 all have a statement along the lines “Owing to the supply at hand practically no new instruments were purchased.” So from 1923 till 1929 the USN was not adding to its sextant stock but during this period the annual reports tell us that the observatory was still repairing sextants. About 780 of them were repaired between ’23 and ’27, in fact. If the USNO kept repairing sextants at this rate into the 1930’s and it issued new eccentricity certificates to these sextants before returning them to the fleet, then it is no surprise that a significant fraction of the (putative) WWI era sextants we know of have eccentricity certificates dating from the era between the two world wars.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on September 24, 2012, 06:14:01 AM
Not the greatest agreement but someone with a better grasp of statistics could easily say whether the latter estimat is really different from 4600 at a high confidence level...

John, I'm enjoying reading what you've dug up for the sextant numbers.  I'm not very accomplished in the realm of statistics, but reading your latest made me think of the German Tank Problem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_tank_problem), a famous use of statistical analysis of serial numbers of captured German tanks during WWII that led to an accurate estimate of German tank production numbers.  Perhaps there's something from that analysis of serial numbers that you can exploit.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: C.W. Herndon on September 24, 2012, 09:53:25 AM
Bruce, I see you're teaching some of that "higher math" this morning. :P
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on September 26, 2012, 11:02:55 PM
Another installment in the Naval Observatory sextant number story. In trying to come up with a chronology of issuance of Naval Observatory (N.O.) numbers to sextants based on the USNO Annual Reports for 1916-1930, one question I wondered about was when the assignment of N.O. numbers to sextants began.  Some Googling led me to a book sold through Amazon containing a collection of the USNO Annual Reports from 1884 to 1900, which I ordered and just received this afternoon. The Annual Report for 1884 contains this statement, apparently from the superintendent of the observatory:

“An effort as been made at the Observatory to establish a system by which all sextants and octants for issue to the Navy shall be examined and corrected, as far as practicable, and their errors, as well as those of the instruments used for meteorological observations be furnished to the navigators of vessels from this place so that there would be a continuous record of every instrument supplied by the Bureau of Navigation. I recommend that all instruments found to be worthless be broken up, in order that they be rendered incapable of doing harm to any one…”

From this, it seems like 1884 marked the start of the assignment of N.O. numbers to instruments inspected at the Observatory. And sure enough, the USNO Annual Report for 1886 contains the only actual discussion of the assignment of N.O. numbers to instruments in any of the USNO reports I’ve read, and I’ve read through the whole pdf of 1916-1930 Annual Reports and some from the 1904-1913 period, as well.

The discussion of assigning N.O. numbers in the ’86 report isn’t in a section devoted to sextants, however, it’s in a discussion about the testing of thermometers:

“…The thermometer is marked on its stem with the hall mark (shown in the annexed cut) and with the Observatory number by means of a writing diamond. A certificate, such as that which follows, is sent with the thermometer when issued or returned after being tested”.

A jpg showing this part of text and the example certificate, N.O. #66 is attached.

I noted in a previous post that a few USN chronometers/torpedo boat watches  apparently were assigned N.O. numbers; whether there was a single set of numbers for different types of instruments, or parallel sets of numbers for different types, I don’t know.

Note added: I've gone through my 1884-1900 USNO Annual Report Collection and I count a total of 287 clinical thermometers for  hospitals certified at the Naval Observatory, all between 1886 and 1888; there is no mention of clinical thermometers after 1888. Also, I looked at all the chronometer trials results listed from 1884-1900 and see no chronometers having N.O. numbers; the 16 'old' chronometers with N.O. numbers tested in 1920 (see in reply #100 above) remain the only ones I've come across.

Why does any of this matter? The reason is that we’d like to know what year the Naval Observatory stamped a sextant with N.O. number 1542. If the Naval Observatory started stamping N.O. number into sextants shortly before WWI, then from the information published in the 1916-1930 USNO Annual Reports, I would think (see my earlier posts on this thread and on this other thread (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,902.0.html)) that sexant #1542 was a WWI-era sextant and probably left the USN either by transfer to the merchant marine or by sale as surplus equipment some time probably after 1928. But it looks as if the observatory started marking sextants with N.O. numbers well before 1900, making it conceivable that sextant #1542 saw action in the Spanish-American war, say.  The 1884-1900  Annual Reports also say that unwanted equipment was disposed of on several occasions during this period, so there would have been plenty of opportunities for one of these sextants to make its way to Gardner Island with Thurston Howell the first.

From what I’ve seen so far of the pre-1916 reports, the number of sextants that could have been assigned N.O. numbers probably got no where near 1500, or even 500; we also have clues about the chronology of issuance of N.O. numbers from the dated eccentricity certificates of sextants that are in museum collections or that have turned up on ebay. All the same, the story coming out of the 1884-1900 USNO Annual Reports makes the job of coming up with a chronology of issuance of N.O. numbers to sextants more uncertain.



Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on September 27, 2012, 09:15:26 AM
Here is another Brandis that just popped up on eBay

Brandis 4097
Navy 4657

Looks like the box matches as well.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/271069168476?item=271069168476&ViewItem=&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/271069168476?item=271069168476&ViewItem=&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on September 27, 2012, 09:43:46 AM
Brandis 4097
Navy 4657

Looks like the box matches as well.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/271069168476?item=271069168476&ViewItem=&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/271069168476?item=271069168476&ViewItem=&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

I've added it to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).

The Brandis number is inked on the box; I couldn't see whether the Navy number is stamped on it or not.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on September 27, 2012, 07:47:59 PM

John, I'm enjoying reading what you've dug up for the sextant numbers.  I'm not very accomplished in the realm of statistics, but reading your latest made me think of the German Tank Problem (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_tank_problem), a famous use of statistical analysis of serial numbers of captured German tanks during WWII that led to an accurate estimate of German tank production numbers.  Perhaps there's something from that analysis of serial numbers that you can exploit.

Bruce,

I'd never heard of the German Tank Problem. Thanks for the link, it made for interesting reading.

To my statistically untrained eyes, the distribution of N.O. numbers in the chart in reply #98 looks very non-random. Thinking about the first six rows as the six sides of a die, what are the chances that after 50 rolls there'd be no fours (i.e., no 3000-3999s)? I think the answer is (5/6) raised to the 50th power, which (I think) comes out to less than 1/10,000. Or maybe I blew my calculator's mind by raising to the 50th power ???...


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on September 28, 2012, 10:27:02 PM
I'm no longer worried that I'm making Ric's head spin because I'm making my own head spin.

In Reply #100 above I mentioned that a table of torpedo boat watch trials in a USNO Annual Report (the table is for trials performed in 1920) lists about 16 T.B.W. watches having USNO numbers, all in the 4000s to 5000s. Tonight a little Googling led me to a Horology web site (http://ihc185.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/990103944/m/2383990967/p/1) which shows nice photos of several other chronometers/T.B.W.s that have N.O. numbers, also in the 4000s. It appears that a great deal is known about the production of these watches, e.g. manufacturer's serial numbers can be used to pin down date of manufacture. A December 29 posts on that thread  mentions a book by Marvin Whitney (http://www.amazon.com/Ships-Chronometer-Marvin-E-Whitney/dp/0918845084) who was a USNO watchmaker. According to the December 29 post, Whitney's book says that a pair of Longines T.B.W.s were tested and accepted by the U.S. Naval Observatory in 1913 and given Naval Observatory serial numbers 4,019 and 4,054 respectively. If true, and there weren't parallel N.O. number lists for Sextants and chronometers, then the sextant with N.O. number 1542 would appear to have been produced before 1913, perhaps well before 1913. Hello Thurston Howell the first!

----------
added note: None of the four N.O. numbers of TBWs at the horology web site (4434 for the nice shiny TBW in the picture, Whitney's 4019 and 4054, and 4462 which is at the link given in the 12/29/2011 20:22 post (http://pages.captainhucksbooty.com/3559/PictPage/1922075583.html)) on the horology site match any of the N.O. numbers in the Ameliapedia sextant list; neither did any of the 16 TBWs I found in the USNO Annual Report Table for 1920...
--------
Another note: A January 3 post from the owner of TBW #4434 indicates it was manufactured after 1910 and invoices to the US Longines distributor in 1919. So, 4019 and 4054 appear to be 1913 dates and 4434 a 1919 date?
And to make my head spin even faster, the other watch linked to in the 12-29 20:22 post  (http://jewelry.ha.com/c/item.zx?saleNo=5074&lotNo=60108#64236423695) has a USNO number of 1927256; not date information for that watch. I'm guessing for some reason the USNO engraved this watch with its manufacturer's number...

------------
One key point to keep in mind when looking at the N.O. numbers of TBWs is whether the watch mechanism is in its original case. It would be good to know the manufacturer's number of the mechanism. It would also be great to have readable copies of all the USNO chronometer trial tables which generally report manufacturer's numbers. All the tables in the 1884-1900 collection that can be downloaded for free at Forgotten Books (http://www.forgottenbooks.org/index.php) are legible, but from 1900 onwards the tables in the USNO annual reports I've gotten from Google were generally badly copied and unreadable.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on September 30, 2012, 09:12:23 AM
Finding the dates of Torpedo Boat Watches or other USN chronometers that closely bound N.O. number 1542 seems like a good way to date the initial appearance of sextant #1542 at the Naval Observatory. TBWs of interest might show up on eBay, watch dealers, etc. but from what I've been reading the information provided by such vendors may in some cases be suspect.  I would think the best way to really pin down what naval chronometers can tell us about the dating of sextant 1542 would be to contact the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (http://mb.nawcc.org/showwiki.php?title=Deck_Watches) or some other such organization. Watch and clock collectors have apparently amassed a lot of good information from company records on dates of manufacture, sales to the government, etc. The link I provided above provides a brief history of the deck watch aka Torpedo Boat Watch suggesting that USN interest in these began in the 1890s. Page 48 of the 1904 USNO Annual Report tells us that the USN was at that date purchasing TBWs from foreign sources only and thus planning to conduct a TBW trial in part to encourage US manufacturers to begin producing a model of sufficient quality for USN needs.

----------
Perhaps this fellow (http://nawcc50.org/regional-programs.html) who gave a talk titled “Hamilton Military Timepieces of WWI and WWII” at a NAWCC regional meeting in the Pacific Northwest would be worth contacting...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 01, 2012, 12:15:48 AM
Perhaps a new thread should be posted on USNO chronometers?

Here  (http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Rare-Complete-Longines-Torpedo-Boat-Deck-Watch-ships-clock-21-29-Chronometer-/270967429234) on ebay is another Torpedo Boat Watch with a USNO number (#4308) on the case and Longines number 298008 on the movement. I think it is prudent to consider the possibility that the case may have held a different mechanism at the time it received its USNO number. I looked through the few legible chronometer trial tables in the USNO annual reports and couldn't find a Longines with this manufacturer number. The table at  this site (http://www.pocketwatchrepair.com/histories/longines.php) the manufacturer's number indicates an approximate manufacture date of 1912-1913. But how accurate this table is I don't know...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 01, 2012, 12:53:45 AM
This Popular Astronomy article  (http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1919PA.....27..359W)on the U.S.N.O.'s observation of the solar eclipse of 1918 at Baker, Ore. indicates a Brandis Sextant with (N.O. or mfgr.?) number 3257 along with Nardin Siderial Break Circuit Chronometers 1518 and 1902; also used was a Nardin Mean Time Break chronometer numbered 589 and a Hamilton Mean Time Watch identified as 'USN 1758'.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 01, 2012, 05:48:53 AM
Perhaps a new thread should be posted on USNO chronometers?

I don't think you have established with certainty that there was only one series of numbers for everything inspected, calibrated, or collimated at the N.O.

We don't have any chronometers in hand that are relevant to the case.

The two pairs of numbers that are relevant are the Pensacola box and the Niku box (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant).

Keeping track of chronometer numbers is part of that investigation and belongs in this thread.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 01, 2012, 10:06:11 PM
Would anybody care to hazard a guess as to how many sextants the USN might have needed pre-WWI and at its peak size during the war?...Same question for the U.S. merchant fleet?...

The attached jpg shows a chart indicating the size of the pre-war USN and post-1914 additions from this web site. (http://www.naval-history.net/WW1NavyUS.htm)

I wonder if a USN ship's logbooks  (http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq73-1.htm)would indicate the N.O. numbers of the sextants it was using to navigate with. I looked at the excerpt from the Colorado's deck log and that didn't look too promising but it might be worth slogging through the logs of a ~1914 era USN vessel just to see what is there...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 04, 2012, 09:34:03 PM
It’s funny where my efforts to figure out the chronology of issue of Naval Observatory numbers have taken me. First, it was eccentricity testing at the Naval Observatory, then it was on to the wonderful world of torpedo boat watches, then a brief aside to the total solar eclipse of 1918. I thought today I’d be getting back to torpedo boat watches, but instead I’m back on the sextant beat, the Keffel & Esser sextant beat, that is.

As an aside, I’d forgotten until today that my personal history intertwines ever so slightly with that of the Keuffel & Esser company. I live in New York City and for years I had gone by and admired the fine old Keuffel & Esser building (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keuffel_and_Esser) near the waterfront on Fulton Street in Manhattan; Brandis at one time had a location in this same area, and our old friend Fred Noonan (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/09_Noonan/09_Noonan.html) lived a short distance away, at 25 South Street, in and around 1918.

Now, back to the story. Keuffel and Esser made things besides sextants, things like surveying equipment. And just like there are collectors of old watches, there are collectors of old surveying equipment. And collectors of old surveying equipment apparently have their serial number charts to date the stuff they buy, just like collectors of old watches do. So, here is a table of Keuffel and Esser serial numbers with manufacture dates  (http://www.surveyantiques.com/keuffel-esser-dating.htm)from Surveying Antiques.com.

There are four Keuffel & Esser sextants in the Ameliapedia sextant table with Naval Observatory numbers. In the table below I list the N.O. number, K&E serial number, date of manufacture as indicated by the table from Surveying Antiques, and date of the eccentricity certificate we have for the sextant. The last sextant in the table is the sextant that I mentioned in reply #99, whose N.O. number we don't have .

N.O.     K&E          K&E        E.C.
#           #            Date      Date
405     18446       1908       N/A   
415      4940        1901      1936
575      5418        1901      1918
1555   37548       1918      1919
N/A      4730        1900      1942

The dates of manufacture would of course be the earliest the sextants could have appeared at the Naval Observatory, while the eccentricity certificate dates may represent re-certifications rather that the first certification of the sextant.

The K&E sextant with an N.O. number 1555 is only a few removed from our holy grail sextant, N.O. #1542; if we have a correct date for the K&E sextant then it would seem that the sextant with N.O. #1542 passed through the Naval Observatory for the first time in 1918 or 1919.  It is interesting to note that the Ludolph sextant that Noonan gave to a fellow Pan Am pilot, has a manufacture date of 1919 (as indicated by the Roman numerals XIX).

------
It would be nice to find more K&E sextants with N.O. numbers and eccentricity certificates and see how well they can be dated using the table in SurveyingAntiques.com. Also, I'm aware the order of dates of the first 3 sextants don't quite jibe with the order of their N.O. numbers, but all the same I think this table is worth thinking about...
-------



Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 04, 2012, 10:15:13 PM
There are four Keuffel & Esser sextants in the Ameliapedia sextant table with Naval Observatory numbers. In the table below I list the N.O. number, K&E serial number, date of manufacture as indicated by the table from Surveying Antiques, and date of the eccentricity certificate we have for the sextant. The last sextant in the table is the sextant that I mentioned in reply #99, whose N.O. number we don't have .

N.O.     K&E          K&E        E.C.
#           #            Date      Date
405     18446       1908       N/A   
415      4940        1901      1936
575      5418        1901      1918
1555   37548       1918      1919
N/A      4730        1900      1942

The dates of manufacture would of course be the earliest the sextants could have appeared at the Naval Observatory, while the eccentricity certificate dates may represent re-certifications rather that the first certification of the sextant.

The K&E sextant with an N.O. number 1555 is only a few removed from our holy grail sextant, N.O. #1542; if we have a correct date for the K&E sextant then it would seem that the sextant with N.O. #1542 passed through the Naval Observatory for the first time in 1918 or 1919.  It is interesting to note that the Ludolph sextant that Noonan gave to a fellow Pan Am pilot, has a 1919 manufacture 1919 (as indicated by the Roman numerals XIX).

Fascinating.

I'll try to expand the Ameliapedia article (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) tomorrow morning--oh, no, I mean, later this same morning!--unless Bruce beats me to it.

If the K&E folks have tables like that, maybe some Brandis collectors do, too.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 04, 2012, 10:17:17 PM

Fascinating.

I'll try to expand the Ameliapedia article (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) tomorrow morning--oh, no, I mean, later this same morning!--unless Bruce beats me to it.

If the K&E folks have tables like that, maybe some Brandis collectors do, too.

I looked, but so far no luck. Brandis did make surveying equipment so maybe the information we seek is out there...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 04, 2012, 10:32:54 PM
The Smithsonian (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=2) has several K&E Bubble sextants in its collection; at this hour I'm not up to another post but it will be interesting to see how well the SurveyingAntiques.com table dates them. If anyone else is up to the task tonight, please post...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 05, 2012, 08:13:26 AM
John, I've added your remarks to the sextant article (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Keuffel_.26_Esser_production_dates).

Please take a moment to learn how to link directly to a Forum post (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,921.0.html).  Finding "post #99" in a thread is tedious, whereas clicking on a link to post #99 (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg19679.html#msg19679) is as easy as it gets.  Your readers will thank you for making your argument easy to follow; I will thank you for going the extra mile; and Bartles and James would thank you for your support, too, if they were involved in the life of the Forum.   ;)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 07, 2012, 12:39:40 AM
I’ve dug up information on several more K&E sextants that give me good confidence in the K&E manufacturing date table (I will call this the K&E time scale for brevity from here on) and in the assignment of 1918 as the manufacture date of Brandis sextant 1542.

The Smithsonian  (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/navigation/maker.cfm?makerid=2) has three early bubble sextants that are modified Keuffel and Esser nautical sextants:

One is USNO #405, which is already in the Ameliapedia table. The Smithsonian’s description says this sextant was made around 1908, but I suspect this date comes from the same K& E time scale rather than from direct knowledge of the history of the instrument, and won’t consider it further here.

The descriptions of the other two sextants at the Smithsonian web site are as follows:

Catalogue number:
NASM 1966-398
Inscriptions:
"KEUFFEL & ESSER CO. / NEW YORK / 57321 / PATENT PENDING" and "BUBBLE OCTANT MARK II, MOD. 2 / BUREAU OF AERO. U.S. NAVY / SERIAL NUMBER 8 / MADE BY / KEUFFEL & ESSER CO. N.Y."
Discussion:
The Mark II, Model 2 was designed by Noel Davis, modified by Keuffel & Esser, and produced for the U.S. Navy. This example was made before the issuance of the Radford-Davis patent in January 1930. It’s provenance is unknown.
Ref: T. C. Lonnquest, "Operation and Adjustment of the Mark II Model 2 Octant," Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Technical Note No. 207 (Nov. 22, 1929).
L. Radford and N. Davis, "Sextant," U.S. patent #1,7

Catalogue number:
AF*59058-N
Inscriptions:
"BUBBLE OCTANT MARK II, MOD. 2 / BUREAU OF AERONAUTICS U.S. NAVY / SERIAL NUMBER 2-29 / MADE BY / KEUFFEL & ESSER CO. / NEW YORK / 57312 / PAT. PENDING"
Discussion:
The Mark II, Model 2 was designed by Noel Davis, modified by Keuffel & Esser, and produced for the U.S. Navy. This example was the 2nd one made in 1929. P. V. H. Weems donated it to the Smithsonian in 1963.
Ref: T. C. Lonnquest, "Operation and Adjustment of the Mark II Model 2 Octant," Bureau of Aeronautics, Navy Department, Technical Note No. 207 (Nov. 22, 1929).
Lawrence Radford and Noel Davis, "Sextant," U.S. patent #1,743,979



The K&E time scale gives manufacture dates of 1930 for both these sextants, and if these were new when they received their bubble modifications then the K&E time scale is off by one year; not perfect agreement, but not too bad. We have more information about these two sextants from the USNO Annual reports for fiscal years 1930 and 1931, which discuss the development of these sextants and tell us that the first 3 Mark II, model 2s were delivered to the USN prior to the end of fiscal year 1930 on June 30, 1930.

A third K&E sextant can be found in a M.S. thesis titled ‘Investigation of Eccentricity of Sextant No. 10191 Keuffel & Esser’ published In May, 1911 authored by a U. Cal. graduate student named Wallace Alford Newlin, available here (http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=uc1.b3809508;q1=sextant%20eccentricity;num=7;seq=7;view=1up). The K&E time scale gives this sextant a 1905 manufacture date, putting a six year old sextant in Wallace’s hands. The dating of this sextant again is quite reasonable, though it doesn’t provide as rigorous a test of the K&E time scale as the Smithsonian bubble sextants did.

The fourth sextant is where things gets interesting. An auction web site (http://www.knottypineantiques.com/events/auctions_events_details.asp?AuctionID=15&LotNum=268) recently listed a sextant with K&E number 36961, N.O. number 3227 (by the way, this is the first N.O. number between 3000 and 3999 –  see this post (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg19040.html#msg19040)). The K&E time scale gives this sextant a 1918 manufacture date. Can this be correct? Remember that we came up with a 1918 date of manufacture  (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg20406.html#msg20406)for K&E sextant 37548, N.O. number 1555 on the Ameliapedia table. Can N.O. numbers 1555 and 3227 really have been issued with a year of each other? More than 1600 new N.O. numbers (i.e. 3227 minus 1555) would have had to have been issued in 1918.

I think the answer is ‘Yes’, and to explain I refer to the table I've attached which gives the number of eccentricity tests performed each fiscal year from 1916 to 1919 as reported in the Annual Reports of the USNO. Note that the USNO annual reports are for work done during the fiscal year rather than the calendar year; fiscal years ran from July 1 to June 30 during this period. In only one of these years (FY 1919) does an annual report explicitly tell us the number of new sextants that were eccentricity tested; in all the other years we are only told how many new and repaired sextants received eccentricity tests. We can make guesses about the number of new vs. repaired sextants tested, but here I will only using the information explicitly given in the reports.

You can see looking at the eccentricity test table that 2351 new sextants underwent eccentricity testing between 7/1/18 and 6/30/19. And while we don’t know the break-down of new and repaired sextants given eccentricity test over the same time period the year before, surely a good fraction of the 818 sextants tested were new sextants. So, it seems to me the fact that the K&E time scale gives the same manufacture year for sextants with N.O. numbers 1555 and 3227 makes sense; what we’re seeing, I think, is the arrival of the tsunami of new sextants at the USNO during calendar year 1918. In earlier calendar years too few new sextants were coming in for two such widely disparate N.O. numbers to be issued in the same year; after the armistice the Navy quickly stopped buying new navigation equipment so very few new sextants were purchased after 1919. 1918 was sort of the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary in the USNO sextant number chronology, the year that the number of N.O. numbers issued exploded, and our K&E timescale has allowed us to correctly date it.

The other attached Table summarizes the long-winded discussion I just went through.

--------
Now, if I can only learn how to use the Table embedding tool I won't need to attach my tables as jpegs...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 07, 2012, 10:17:13 PM
The Keuffel & Esser sextants just keep coming. On this auction site (http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/u-s-navy-sextant-keuffel-esser-n-y-1937-in-orig) is listed a Keuffel & Esser sextant with K&E number 33839/ N.O. number 664; the eccentricity test certificate is dated 3/19/37. The K&E Serial number list gives this a 1916 manufacturing date.

From the 6 K&E sextants we know about that have Naval Observatory numbers, the chronology of issuance of N.O. numbers looks as shown in the attached table. But the key points were made in previous posts -- we've pinned down the date of issuance of N.O. number 1542 to the year 1918 pretty well, I think. Now it's on to Box 493 of the records of the U.S. Shipping Board!... (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,902.msg19948.html#msg19948)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 08, 2012, 12:41:21 AM
This nautical antiques dealer  (http://www.la-timonerie-antiquites.com/en/antique/453/antique-sextant-1908-buff-amp-buff-boston)recently sold a Buff and Buff sextant, N.O. number 1908, Buff & Buff serial number 13085 (not quite sure about the last digit, it could be a 2 or an 8...). I can find no equivalent dating table available for Buff & Buff sextants, but based on the three B&Bs in the Ameliapedia table and this one, I'm guessing B&B serial numbers tended to increase monotonically with calendar year. Note that in the Ameliapedia table Buff & Buff 13069 has an N.O. number of 1248 while this one, 13085, has an N.O. number of 1908. Maybe these two Buff & Buffs got separated from each other in the '1918 tsunami' I spoke of two posts ago?...

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 08, 2012, 08:18:20 AM
The Smithsonian has three Brandis surveying instruments (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/surveying/maker.cfm?makerid=5) in its collection:

- A Wye level, Brandis #531, which they seem date to between 1875 and 1890 based on its F. Brandis and Co. inscription and a label, which reads:
 "BRANDIS & TECKRITZ, MAKE in the most accurate manner, ALL KINDS OF MATHEMATICAL & ASTRONOMICAL INSTRUMENTS. Theodolites, Transits, Leveling Instruments, Sextants, Quadrants, Etc. Etc. All kinds of Instruments re-divided, re-paired and adjusted. No. 55 FULTON ST. NEW YORK."

- A Wye Level, Brandis #1065, which they date to 'around 1890' for reasons that they don't make clear. I think it is once again the label, which says Brandis Manufacturing Co. New York. In the 1902 Brandis catalog they call themselves F.E. Brandis, Sons & Co.;
 
- A Transit, Brandis # 1569, which the Smithsonian suggests was made no later than 1916 because it also has F.E. Brandis, Sons, & Co. label. According to the Smithsonian, Brandis was in business under the F. E. Brandis, Sons & Co. name from 1890-1916;

Are there a few well-dated Brandis surveying instruments with Brandis numbers in 1500-5000 range out there in other museum collections or elsewhere?

Do we know exactly how Brandis identifies itself in any of our Ameliapedia sextants, i.e., 'F.E. Brandis, Sons, and Co.', 'F. Brandis and Co.', 'Brandis Manufacturing Co., New York', or something else?

More potential information appears to be out there for dating the N.O. number series ...

--------
note added: According to the discussion of the Pensacola sextant box in  Ameliapedia (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns), that box has the number 116 handwritten on the front, and the numbers 3547 and 173 handwritten on the bottom. From the information I've been digging up I would say an N.O. number of 173 doesn't jibe well with a Brandis number of 3547. N.O. number 173 is looking to be a pre-WWI N.O. number, perhaps a pre-1900 number, and the Brandis serial number (if there was a single serial number series for all its products) seems more likely to be of WWI vintage.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 19, 2012, 12:24:29 AM
This is going to be a long post. According to a brief history of Brandis given on the Smithsonian web site,  (http://web.archive.org/web/20110720233508/http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/surveying/maker.cfm?makerid=5) Brandis slightly changed its name three times during its existence and therefore the way the Brandis company name is marked on a sextant can potentially tell us something about when it was manufactured.

“Frederick Ernest Brandis (1845–1916) was born in Germany, came to the United States in 1858, worked for Stackpole & Brothers for a few years, and then opened his own instrument shop in 1871. The firm became F. Brandis & Co. in 1875, F. E. Brandis, Sons & Co. in 1890, and Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co. in 1916. The Pioneer Instrument Company purchased control of Brandis in 1922, and sold it to the Bendix Aviation Corporation in 1928. The manufacture of Brandis instruments ceased in 1932.”

So, we have three Brandis eras:

The ‘F. Brandis & Co.’ era, from 1875 to 1890;
The ‘F. E. Brandis, Sons, & Co.’ era, from 1890 to 1916;
The ‘Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co.’ era, from 1916 to 1932.

I checked all of the sextants in the Ameliapedia table that had active ebay links and also the Brandis sextants in the Smithsonian’s collection to see how the Brandis name is marked on those sextants. What I found is summarized in Table 1. In the first three columns I’ve listed the Naval Observatory number, the Brandis serial number, and the wording of the Brandis name stamped into the sextant; some of these name markings I could read myself while in other cases I had to rely on what is stated by the vendor or by the Smithsonian. Most of the ebay vendors are clear enough in their descriptions that I think the information in the table is accurate, but I provide the caveat that the name descriptions provided for NO #1146 and NO 4485 are a bit vague; there used to be photos of #4485 on the vendor’s web site that might have allowed us to read the name ourselves, but unfortunately the pictures have been removed.

Note that I’ve also included in Table 1 three sextants for which I have incomplete information. These are the 1918 Mt. Baker eclipse observation party sextant (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg20321.html#msg20321) (Brandis #3257), a sextant listed in the Ameliapedia table (N.O. number #2975) that was used on a seaplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919, and a sextant in the Smithsonian’s collection (Brandis # 3193); the partial information available for these sextants still makes them worth including here.

All of the sextants for which there is name information are of the ‘Brandis & Sons Mfg Co.’ type and thus it would appear they were manufactured no earlier than 1916, and thus 1916 would seem to be the earliest year that these sextants could have been given their Naval Observatory numbers. Since Brandis stopped making sextants by 1932, we can confidently say that they were given their N.O. numbers no later than 1932, but I think we can assign an even earlier ‘no later than’ date with reasonable confidence based on what the Naval Observatory annual reports tell us. The annual report for 1919 tells us that the US Navy had a glut of navigational equipment on hand after the armistice and therefore as discussed here, (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,902.msg19926.html#msg19926) the Naval Observatory transferred some of its unneeded navigational equipment to the merchant fleet. This suggests to me that the USN didn’t have a need to buy many of sextants after 1919, and what I read in USNO annual reports published after 1922 bears this out (unfortunately I don’t have the ’21 and ’22 annual reports). The 1922 USNO Annual Report indicates that 100 new ‘high-grade’ sextants were purchased that year and reports for the years 1923-1927 consistently say something along the lines of “Owing to the supply at hand practically no new instruments were purchased”. The 1928 annual report tells us a large quantity of navigational equipment was transferred from the Naval Observatory to the Washington Navy Yard to be sold as surplus.  It isn’t until the USNO Annual Report of 1931 that there is once again a mention of new sextants being purchased, but even then only 20 of them.  I think, based what the USNO tell us, it is reasonable to assume that few Brandis sextants were purchased by the Navy after 1923 and therefore it is reasonable to assume that nearly any Brandis sextants we're likely to see was assigned its  N.O. number no later than 1923. We can assign even earlier ‘no later than’ dates to several of the sextants in Table 1 because we have additional information about their whereabouts. Three of them have eccentricity certificates dated earlier than 1923 (see the fourth column of table), hence these three sextants must have been given their N.O. numbers no later than the year indicated by their eccentricity certificates. The ‘no later than’ year of the sextant used by the 1918 Mt. Baker eclipse observation party can be safely assumed to be 1918. Combining the ‘no earlier than’ and ‘no later than’ dates worked out above gives us the date ranges listed in column 5 for assignment of N.O. numbers to these sextants.

Note that the table lists three Brandis surveying instruments that are in the Smithsonian’s collection of surveying instruments (http://web.archive.org/web/20110720233508/http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/surveying/maker.cfm?makerid=5); these instruments don’t have N.O. numbers but they do have Brandis serial numbers and it is interesting to see how their serial numbers and dates of manufacture fit in with those of the sextants (see note below the fold). The Brandis surveying instruments appear to pre-date any of the sextants and all three of them have N.O. numbers that are less than those of any of the sextants, as one would expect if there was a single serial number series for all of Brandis’ products.

Table 2 (attached) consolidates the N.O. numbers and dates of the Brandis sextants with those of the six Keuffel & Esser sextants from the Keuffel&Esser production dates table in Ameliapedia; there is also a Buff & Buff sextant which I include because it has a N.O. number (#1065) and can be given a ‘no later’ date of 1918 based on its eccentricity certificate.
 
A fairly consistent picture seems to emerge for the chronology of issuance of Naval Observatory numbers. It looks like the Naval Observatory number series increased very slowly prior to WWI, reached the 600s in 1916, and then rapidly increased to at least the low 3000’s by 1918 and the high 4700s by no later than 1923. This chronology agrees nicely with the arrival of the tsunami of new sextants for eccentricity testing 1918-1919 that we learn from the USNO annual reports  (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.120.html).

Placing 1542 and 3500, pair of numbers that Gallagher reported on the sextant box found with the castaway’s remains, in the appropriate place in this table, it appears that if Gallagher’s sextant box once held a USNO sextant it was assigned its N.O. number in 1918 or 1919 and therefore this would be the earliest that our castaway could have arrived at Gardner.

As for the Brandis serial numbers, I would guess that before 1918, there was a fairly monotonic increase in Brandis serial number with N.O. number. My thinking is that until 1918, the rate of delivery of new sextants to the Observatory was fairly low and the observatory was assigning N.O. numbers to sextants essentially as quickly as they arrived from the manufacturer. But then in 1918 the Naval Observatory got slammed with the tsunami of sextants, creating a backlog of sextants in crates a warehouse somewhere; the Naval Observatory staff worked through this backlog, pulling crates out of the warehouse in no particular order with respect to sextant serial numbers. Thus a large number of Brandis sextants were assigned N.O. numbers in 1918 and 1919 with no correlation between the N.O. numbers and the Brandis serial numbers. I think we might see a fairly monotonic increase in N.O. number with Brandis serial number for N.O. numbers less than ~700, and I’d expect to see a fair number of sextants marked ‘F.E. Brandis, Sons, & Co.’ among them.

The Ameliapedia table has a Brandis sextant with NO number 362 and Brandis number 2734; if there was a monotonic increase in N.O. number with Brandis number prior to 1918, then a sextant with the N.O number 173 (the putative N.O. number of the sextant written on the Pensacola sextant box) would have a Brandis serial number that was less than ~2700, a good deal lower than the 3547 that is written on the Pensacola box. One or both of the two numbers has some other meaning.

I suspect that Tighar members might be able to check Brandis markings on some of the other sextants listed in the Ameliapedia table. It would be nice to know how the manfacture dates, N.O. numbers and Brandis serial numbers of these other sextants fit in with the chronology I’ve developed here. I’d be particularly curious to see how the sextants with N.O. numbers 362 and 845 are marked; my guess based on the trend in N.O. number with date we see in the second table is that NO #362 is old enough to be marked ‘F.E. Brandis, Sons, & Co’, while NO#845 is a sextant made in the ‘Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co.’ era.

===================the fold===============

Note on the Brandis surveying instruments: the Smithsonian says that the surveying instrument with Brandis serial number #1065 is marked ‘Brandis Manufacturing Company’, but if you look carefully at the photo of the box (the image is reversed) it reads “F.E. Brandis, Sons & Co.” thus it is of 1890-1916 vintage.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 19, 2012, 06:45:36 AM
... it appears that if Gallagher’s sextant box once held a USNO sextant it was assigned its N.O. number in 1918 or 1919 and therefore this would be the earliest that our castaway could have arrived at Gardner. ...

Great research--thanks!

I think we have to be careful in asserting with certitude that the castaway brought the box to Gardner.  That is, of course, the simplest explanation of how the castaway's skeleton ended up near the sextant box, but at least two other scenarios can't be ruled out on a priori (purely logical) grounds:
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 19, 2012, 09:48:25 PM
A Buff & Buff sextant is on auction at ebay. (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-1919-U-S-Navy-Sextant-Boston-Mass-Engraved-1365-With-Case-L-K-/130783995182?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e7355652e) The eccentricity certificate in the box is dated April 24, 1919, but has no N.O. number written on it. The Buff & Buff serial number written on the certificate appears to be 13024, but the last two digits are hard to read. The certificate indicates the tested sextant to be a surveying sextant.

The seller describes this sextant as being engraved with the number 1365, which sounds like it is the Naval Observatory number. One photo of the sextant shows the Buff & Buff company mark and serial number; the first two digits are clearly '13' but what follows is hard to read--to me the serial number looks to be 13138. I will send an email to the seller and see if he can clarify the Buff&Buff serial number and whether the 1365 is an N.O. number.

N.O. number #1365 being issued no later than 1919 would fit in with the trend I described in my last post.


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 19, 2012, 10:11:28 PM
And yet another sextant appears on ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-WW1-U-S-NAVY-BRANDIS-SONS-SEXTANT-Captain-KLEIN-AIRSHIP-COMMANDER-/130782684441?pt=UK_Collectables_Scientific_MJ&hash=item1e73416519), this one marked 'Brandis & Sons, Brooklyn NY', with serial number 4522 stamped into the arc. The Naval Observatory number is 1868.

One photo shows the sextant box to have the number 4522 stencilled onto it. The eccentricity certificate neither has an N.O. number or a serial number, but it does say Brandis and gives the dates to be November 7, 1918. The tested sextant is indicated to be a surveying sextant. Like many of the eccentricity certificates, this one bears the initals 'H.K.'. I think if I got back to the USNO Annual Reports I can attach a full name to those initials.

A photo shows the inside of the box to have the name 'Capt. J.H. Klein' written on it, and the seller tells us that Capt. Klein was Lt. Commander of the US Destroyer Smith (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Smith_%28DD-17%29) during WWI, and then Capt. Klein went on to fly in USN airships after the war.

Naval Observatory number 1868 being issued no later than 1918 fits in with the  chronology discussed three posts up in this thread (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg20698.html#msg20698).

---------
added note: the date range for this one would be 1916-1918
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 19, 2012, 10:21:00 PM
And yet another sextant appears on ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-WW1-U-S-NAVY-BRANDIS-SONS-SEXTANT-Captain-KLEIN-AIRSHIP-COMMANDER-/130782684441?pt=UK_Collectables_Scientific_MJ&hash=item1e73416519), this one marked 'Brandis & Sons, Brooklyn NY', with serial number 4522 stamped into the arc. The Naval Observatory number is 1868.

Added to table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 20, 2012, 09:43:52 AM
A Buff & Buff sextant, USNO 1908, is listed at this nautical antiques site (http://www.la-timonerie-antiquites.com/en/antique/453/antique-sextant-1908-buff-amp-buff-boston). One photo shows the Buff & Buff serial number to be 13088. There is no eccentricity certificate. The B&B serial number is less than 20 removed from that of the B&B with USNO 1248 already in the Ameliapedia sextant table.

There doesn't seem to be a serial number table for Buff & Buff equivalent of the one we can use to determine manufacture dates of Keuffel & Esser sextants, at least not yet.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Ousterhout on October 20, 2012, 12:10:01 PM
I recently stumbled upon an ad for a British "Hughes and Son Flying Boat Sextant" from 1944, in a Deutsche Optik catalog.  Further Google research discovered that the British Flying Boats continued carrying and using these nautical-style sextants at least up to 1944!  The British numbering system used on the cases was quite different from the numbering system found on the "Gardner" box, so I'm not suggesting that this was the box found by Gallagher.  Rather, that there was a history of Nautical-type Sextants in aircraft used in British waters (which obviously might include Gardner and surrounding area).  The information I've found so far seems to indicate that the 1944 cases were bakelite, but that earlier ones were wooden.  By implication, this means that British flying boats would have been carrying wood-boxed nautical sextants before the war.
The stated purpose of these instruments on flying boats was for determining location while afloat, not in the air.  This suggests yet another way a sextant box might appear in a strange place - it got to the region by flying boat.
This also raises the question of other brands that might have been used, either by British or other nations, for similar purposes.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on October 20, 2012, 04:36:59 PM
Worthpoint  (http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/sextant-14)lists a sextant made by A. Hurlimann, a French manufacturer that was sold in 2005.  The description indicates that it is marked with "U.S. Navy N118" and "A. Harliman a Paris (476)".

The Mystic Seaport Museum (http://library.mysticseaport.org/ere/odetail.cfm?id_number=1953.3563) has a sextant with "A. Hurlimann a Paris (544)" inscribed into the arc that they date to 1875-1899.

A section of the USNO annual report for 1886 on page 13 titled Sextants and Octants tells us "The instruments in this class embrace 55 sextants and octants that were on hand when I took charge of this division: 2 Hurlimann sextants, forwarded through Commander F.E. Chadwick, U.S.N. form London, England;..."

While its not clear that the Worthpoint sextant is one of the two sextants mentioned in the 1886 Annual Report, it certainly seems a strong possibility.

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note added: According to the part of the Smithsonian's web site devoted to navigation instruments (which currently can only be accessed via the wayback machine), A. Hurlimann went out of business around 1900, replaced by Ponthus & Therrode.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Ousterhout on October 20, 2012, 08:39:44 PM
A further thought regarding the carrying of Nautical-style sextants on flying boats:  if this was a common thing to do in flying boats in general, and especially during exploratory flights to new islands and harbors, then there should be little surprise to see a nautical sextant-type box in a picture of the navigator's station in a flying boat (http://tighar.org/wiki/File:M-130_Clipper_Nav_Station.jpg).  The presence of a nautical-style box should not imply that it was used for flight navigation, but rather for determining accurate positions on the water, after landing.
To take a leap of logic, such an instrument might be the preferred instrument to take ashore after landing, rather than the aeronautical flight-navigation octant.

btw, the "Hughes & Son" sextant from 20/4/44 is serial number 40768
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Ousterhout on November 03, 2012, 10:25:18 AM
In the discussion about  the seven site (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,508.45.html), John Kada includes a nice description of the use of a sextant for hydrographic survey work.  It's worth noting that a "bubble octant" cannot measure the angles between two points - they only measure the vertical angle from a simulated horizon (indicated by the bubble held centered to create a reference horizontal plane) to a point somewhere between the horizon and vertically overhead.  It doesn't work if it's tilted.  A nautical sextant measures the angle between any two points, even while tilted on it's side.  For example, a flying boat might want to record a nice mooring spot in the middle of a lagoon.  By picking two identifiable points on land, and precisely measuring the angle formed between them from that mooring location, plus either a compass bearing or a 3rd point, the mooring spot can be readily found again by any future visitor with a similar sextant.
Apologies for thread drift - I'd be happy to move this posting if a better thread was suggested.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: richie conroy on November 14, 2012, 05:21:02 PM
Hi All

I had quick look at list, But didn't see maker number 2919 so here is link to ended ebay page http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-U-S-Navy-Survey-1946-Sextant-Mahogany-Box-/160623039450

My apologies if this has already been seen

Thanks Richie
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 14, 2012, 07:17:19 PM
I had quick look at list, But didn't see maker number 2919 so here is link to ended ebay page http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-U-S-Navy-Survey-1946-Sextant-Mahogany-Box-/160623039450 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-U-S-Navy-Survey-1946-Sextant-Mahogany-Box-/160623039450)

The seller was offering just a box.

It is in the table already.  By accident, this link happens to take you directly to the entry (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#cite_ref-4).  Because the pattern is for the maker's number to be inked and the Naval Observatory number to be die-struck, I've put the entry under N.O. 2919 with maker number 5310.  I think Andrew contacted the seller to get that number.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on November 26, 2012, 04:28:53 PM
 Hello all, I am a newbie to the forum, this only being my third post. I have came across a web sight that has a plethora of sextant, and octant information, and photos. http://landandseacollection.com/id2.html

 I apologize if this source of information is already within this thread. Did not see it posted anywhere. Furthermore, I have a distant relative, whom lives in town, that I am told has a extensive collection of antique sextants. I am in the midst of making arrangements to examine his sextant collection. I am very excited about it, and hope that I can produce some valuable information, and photos for the table in Ameliapedia.. 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 26, 2012, 05:39:22 PM
Hello all, I am a newbie to the forum, this only being my third post. I have came across a web sight that has a plethora of sextant, and octant information, and photos. http://landandseacollection.com/id2.html (http://landandseacollection.com/id2.html)

 I apologize if this source of information is already within this thread. Did not see it posted anywhere. Furthermore, I have a distant relative, whom lives in town, that I am told has a extensive collection of antique sextants. I am in the midst of making arrangements to examine his sextant collection. I am very excited about it, and hope that I can produce some valuable information, and photos for the table in Ameliapedia..

Pleased to meet you, James.

The Land and Sea Collection doesn't have any Brandis sextants or boxes.  Those are the only ones, to my knowledge, that have, to date, exhibited the pairs of numbers found on the Niku Sextant. 

I'm looking forward to your report on what you find at your relative's house ...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on November 26, 2012, 06:10:09 PM

The Land and Sea Collection doesn't have any Brandis sextants or boxes.  Those are the only ones, to my knowledge, that have, to date, exhibited the pairs of numbers found on the Niku Sextant. 


Well, actually I do see a tantalizing image of a Brandis sextant and its box (http://landandseacollection.com/id858.html) on the Land and Sea Collection!  And on the arc of the sextant (or more properly, apparently it's a "quintant" rather than a "sextant") is the typical scribing of the Navy number.  The last digit is obscured by the apparatus covering over it, but the Navy number looks to be 142? -- TIGHAR's table of sextants in Ameliapedia (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) has an entry for Navy number 1421.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Gary LaPook on November 26, 2012, 07:14:51 PM
[

Well, actually I do see a tantalizing image of a Brandis sextant and its box (http://landandseacollection.com/id858.html) on the Land and Sea Collection!  And on the arc of the sextant (or more properly, apparently it's a "quintant" rather than a "sextant") is the typical scribing of the Navy number.  The last digit is obscured by the apparatus covering over it, but the Navy number looks to be 142? -- TIGHAR's table of sextants in Ameliapedia (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) has an entry for Navy number 1421.

Now this is funny. The Land and Sea Collection website (http://landandseacollection.com/id858.html), in describing the Brandis sextant adds:

"NOTE: A quintant has a range of arc of 144° compared to a sextant which reads to 90°. This was helpful in measuring Lunar Distances, which was a means of determining longitude without a chronometer."

A sextant reads to 120° not 90°. An octant reads to 90°.  These instruments get their names for the portion of a full circle that the arc covers. A quintant has an arc covering one-fifth of a circle; a sextant, on-sixth; and an octant one-eighth Because of the operating principle of double reflection, these instruments measure twice the length of their arcs. A quintant measures two-fifths of 360° or 144°; a sextant measures two-sixths of 360° or 120° and an octant measures two-eighths of 360° or 90°.

What makes this so funny is that the website goes on to brag about their expertise about all things navigational:
   
"OUR QUALIFICATIONS: We are one of the few still selling navigation instruments that know anything about them. For purposes of judging whether Joel's opinion counts, he was the editor of the chapter on sextants of the 1977 Edition of "Bowditch", The American Practical Navigator, NAVPUB 9; a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Navigation Symposium, 1975 -1978; the author of a book on marine sextants, Cornell Maritime Press,1975, and the founding president of Nautech Maritime Corporation which partnered with Tamaya of Japan in the introduction of their sextants and the famous NC-2 navigation computer, in the U.S. market. Joel is also a retired Master Upon Oceans, and held a U.S. Navy "D" Qualification as a Senior Skipper - Oceans. From 1995 through 2000, he served as a Varsity Offshore Sailing Team coach at the U.S. Naval Academy."

-------------------------------------

What a hoot.

gl
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on November 26, 2012, 07:22:12 PM
I was just fixing to post the link to that Brandis, from the land and sea collection.. But I see Mr. Thomas beat me to it...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: James G. Stoveken on November 26, 2012, 08:59:54 PM
If you check the links Bruce provided you'll see that this sextant/quintant/whatever is Brandis serial #3331, N.O. # 1421 and is already listed in the Ameliapedia.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 26, 2012, 09:32:29 PM
If these guys are still around, it might be worthwhile to enlist them in the search.

I know they don't live up to Gary's expectations, but all we need from them are pairs of numbers.

They may even know something about where the Naval Observatory records went.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on November 27, 2012, 08:07:01 AM
 I took the liberty of contacting Mr. Joel Jacobs,(Land and Sea collection). He actually responded within 1 hour of my inquiry. I have copied his responding e mail and am going to post it in this thread! I am going to ask him to overlook the Ameliapedia sextant data link, that I supplied to him. When he has time.

 I also am going to be contacting a friends father, whom was a Navy Captain for 27 years. It is worth the effort to see if he can, one help with the data table, or two supply information on the NO records. Also am working a time out to examine the antique collection of sextants. That I previously mentioned. Below is the responding e mail from Mr. Joel Jacobs from The Land and sea Collection.....

"Hi Jim,

 

Having an long term interest in aviation I am familiar with your org's work and applaud your efforts. We are very busy right now (Christmas Shopping Season) so I can't spend the time analyzing your comprehensive information, but we have one each example of a Brandis and a David White in stock.

 

See 1944 David White, http://landandseacollection.com/id888.html Very likely in the original case.

and a Brandis, Ca WW I see, http://landandseacollection.com/id858.html Likely not in the original case.

 

I have found that Naval Observatory numbers are not always in chronological sequence on clock dials. I have not compared them on sextants because the NO notation is only on the certificate. I have never seen an NO number on the instrument.

 

As far as the Brandis instruments there is a brief history of the company that we accumulated from many sources maybe some from your own org.

We agree that an original Brandis instrument would have the sextant serial number stamped on the box as well. IOO, this would likely be on the wood near a hinge and on opposing sides as in one of your pictures. They should be the same and match the quintant.

 

Thanks for your complement, but we are far from knowledgeable about this brand since this is the first instrument we've ever purchased for resale.

 

Let me know what you need further,"

 

Joel Jacobs

JOEL HARRY JACOBS, LLC

Land And Sea Collection

2287 SW Brookwood Lane

Palm City, FL 34990

772-287-7022

 

Visit our website: http://landandseacollection.com

 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 27, 2012, 09:57:55 AM
I took the liberty of contacting Mr. Joel Jacobs (Land and Sea collection). He actually responded within 1 hour of my inquiry.  ...

Thanks, Jimmie--much appreciated!

It sounds as though they have been dealing with a much later vintage of instruments than we have been tracking.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on November 27, 2012, 10:58:33 AM
I took the liberty of contacting Mr. Joel Jacobs (Land and Sea collection). He actually responded within 1 hour of my inquiry.  ...

Thanks, Jimmie--much appreciated!

It sounds as though they have been dealing with a much later vintage of instruments than we have been tracking.

  Yes that seems to be a fact!! I have exchanged a few e mails with Captain Jacobs, USMM-Ret. It is a good thing, in my opinion to have such a person aware of the Data Table. He may be of help in the future. I have asked Captain Jacobs to analyze the info. He seems to be a fan of TIGHAR and says he will gladly analyze the info on Ameliapedia, and respond to us as soon as he gets the time. Although he is not very knowledgeable on Brandis sextants, you never know when someone working in the field he does, will stumble upon a tantalizing piece of evidence, and think of us!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Gary LaPook on November 27, 2012, 06:52:37 PM
If these guys are still around, it might be worthwhile to enlist them in the search.

I know they don't live up to Gary's expectations, but all we need from them are pairs of numbers.

They may even know something about where the Naval Observatory records went.

It's not that I had thought badly of them, it is only that it IS funny for them to have such a glaring error on their website and then to make the pompous claim of being the only knowledgeable people left when it comes to sextants. I pointed out this error to Mr. Jacobs, so that he could correct the error and "put his best foot forward" on his website, and got a vitriol filled email in return for my effort,  so NOW I do think badly of them.

gl

gl
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Gary LaPook on November 27, 2012, 07:17:25 PM
I took the liberty of contacting Mr. Joel Jacobs (Land and Sea collection). He actually responded within 1 hour of my inquiry.  ...

Thanks, Jimmie--much appreciated!

It sounds as though they have been dealing with a much later vintage of instruments than we have been tracking.

  Yes that seems to be a fact!! I have exchanged a few e mails with Captain Jacobs, USMM-Ret. It is a good thing, in my opinion to have such a person aware of the Data Table. He may be of help in the future. I have asked Captain Jacobs to analyze the info. He seems to be a fan of TIGHAR and says he will gladly analyze the info on Ameliapedia, and respond to us as soon as he gets the time. Although he is not very knowledgeable on Brandis sextants, you never know when someone working in the field he does, will stumble upon a tantalizing piece of evidence, and think of us!!!  ;D

Here is a link to a website belonging to a guy who DOES KNOW something about Brandis sextants.

http://sextantbook.com/?s=brandis

gl
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 27, 2012, 08:03:15 PM
Gary

Not to quibble or anything, but the guy on your link who you claim DOES KNOW something about Brandis Sextants, Mr. Morris, describes the instrument held by Admiral Byrd as being a sextant:

"I recently acquired  a Brandis nautical vernier sextant without case, telescope, or any shades. It appeared to have an extra mirror in front of the horizon mirror and I recognised it as an early bubble sextant of the type used by the then Commander Richard Byrd on his claimed flight to the North Pole in 1926. There are several magazine photographs extant that show Byrd in posed pictures, using a similar sextant, this one, for example:"

Then he goes on to describe it as a quintant:

"The one Byrd is using is a full-size Brandis vernier quintant with an arc of 180 mm radius reading to 30 seconds, whereas my example is unusually small for a vernier quintant, having an arc radius of only 140 mm, also reading to 30 seconds,...."

So, what is it, a sextant or a quintant? 

Seems your expert can't get it right either, and is prone to the same problem as Mr. Jacobs, calling all of these instruments generally "sextants" and then further refining that depending upon the actual arc covered by the instrument. 

I think you might cut a little bit of slack to Mr. Jacobs if you are going to tout Mr. Morris as being an expert.  You can't have it both ways.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Gary LaPook on November 28, 2012, 01:54:06 AM
Gary

Not to quibble or anything, but the guy on your link who you claim DOES KNOW something about Brandis Sextants, Mr. Morris, describes the instrument held by Admiral Byrd as being a sextant:



Seems your expert can't get it right either, and is prone to the same problem as Mr. Jacobs, calling all of these instruments generally "sextants" and then further refining that depending upon the actual arc covered by the instrument. 

I think you might cut a little bit of slack to Mr. Jacobs if you are going to tout Mr. Morris as being an expert.  You can't have it both ways.

Andrew
Oh yes I can. We all know that the word sextant has come to be used to generally describe all of these instruments, be they octants, sextants or quintants, much like the word Xerox has come to be the common name for all copying machines, no matter the name of the actual manufacturer. Mr. Morris was using "sextant" in its generic sense while Mr. Jacobs was not. The reason that I can have it both ways is that Mr. Jacobs, himself, carefully defined a sextant as covering 90° so he was clearly, carefully, not using the word "sextant" in its generic form but in its accurate, specific form. And he got it wrong.

Mr. Jacobs wrote, on HIS WEBSITE:

"NOTE: A quintant has a range of arc of 144° compared to a sextant which reads to 90°. "

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have attached a photo of Richard Byrd using his sextant (generic usage) while flying over the south pole. From the length of the arc is is clearly a quintant. Also clearly a quintant is the "Byrd Sextant" number  5292 posted on the TIGHAR website.  (http://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/4/4b/5292_01.jpg) Looking at the photo of the "sextant box"  (https://tighar.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=508.0;attach=5018)for this instrument we see that the Certificate of Inspection also uses the generic "sextant" for the quintant that was actually in the box.

gl
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on November 30, 2012, 09:35:59 AM
New eBay listing Brandis # 5577 and NO # 4485
Listing (http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEXTANT-CASE-Nautical-1941-USN-Mohogany-Case-BRANDIS-SONS-INC-/350657321510?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51a4ce1a26)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 30, 2012, 09:53:31 AM
New eBay listing Brandis # 5577 and NO # 4485
Listing (http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEXTANT-CASE-Nautical-1941-USN-Mohogany-Case-BRANDIS-SONS-INC-/350657321510?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51a4ce1a26)

That one was on the list (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).  We had a 1944 collimation date, but, after further review, I see that "1941" is a better reading of the label.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on December 08, 2012, 09:21:21 AM

  Furthermore, I have a distant relative, whom lives in town, that I am told has a extensive collection of antique sextants. I am in the midst of making arrangements to examine his sextant collection.

  Sorry for my late response. I went and checked out the collection, It proved to be much older than anything of interest to us. All of them were from the 1800's.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 08, 2012, 10:15:52 AM
  Sorry for my late response. I went and checked out the collection, It proved to be much older than anything of interest to us. All of them were from the 1800's.

Oh, well.  The kind of initiative you showed is what we need to push the sextant project forward.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on December 08, 2012, 04:01:56 PM
  Hey Marty, I don't seem to see this Brandis on the table..   http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/subject-to-vat-sextant.-an-unusual-black-an-1-c-oc49e9s6w6   There is no picture But the numbers listed in the description are 3239, and Navy # 0.850.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 08, 2012, 05:29:12 PM
  Hey Marty, I don't seem to see this Brandis on the table..   http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/subject-to-vat-sextant.-an-unusual-black-an-1-c-oc49e9s6w6 (http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/subject-to-vat-sextant.-an-unusual-black-an-1-c-oc49e9s6w6)   There is no picture But the numbers listed in the description are 3239, and Navy # 0.850.

I'm going to guess that there is a transcription error.  We haven't seen any decimal NO numbers.  Instead of Navy # 0.850, I've put it in the table as Navy O. #850 (reading the "O" as "Observeratory" rather than a zero), which makes it match very closely with the preceding entry:

Brandis
  3227    845
Brandis
  3239    850
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on December 08, 2012, 05:58:17 PM


I'm going to guess that there is a transcription error.  We haven't seen any decimal NO numbers.  Instead of Navy # 0.850, I've put it in the table as Navy O. #850 (reading the "O" as "Observeratory" rather than a zero), which makes it match very closely with the preceding entry:

Brandis
  3227    845
Brandis
  3239    850

 I agree,the decimal NO number puzzled me as well. I assumed that it was meant to be NO #850.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: John Kada on December 08, 2012, 10:41:11 PM

Regarding the sextant with Brandis number 3239 and N.O. number 850, an important point to note is that the seller reports the sextant as "Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co. Brooklyn". As I explained here (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg20698.html#msg20698), Brandis went by three slightly different names during its existence as an instrument manufacturer. 'Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co.' was the name used from 1916 onwards so that indicates the sextant was manufactured no earlier than 1916. It would be interesting to subscribe to the vendor's web site and find out why the seller indicated it to be circa 1918; I would guess that that 1918 is the date of the eccentricity certificate. If so, that would provide a 'no later than' date for this sextant, and the date range it was assigned N.O. number 850 is probably 1916-1918.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 09, 2012, 09:29:37 AM
Regarding the sextant with Brandis number 3239 and N.O. number 850, an important point to note is that the seller reports the sextant as "Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co. Brooklyn". As I explained here (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg20698.html#msg20698), Brandis went by three slightly different names during its existence as an instrument manufacturer. 'Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co.' was the name used from 1916 onwards so that indicates the sextant was manufactured no earlier than 1916. It would be interesting to subscribe to the vendor's web site and find out why the seller indicated it to be circa 1918; I would guess that that 1918 is the date of the eccentricity certificate. If so, that would provide a 'no later than' date for this sextant, and the date range it was assigned N.O. number 850 is probably 1916-1918.

OK, I've added the information about the production eras (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Brandis_production_eras) to the sextant page and, for what it's worth, added the information to the entry for 850.

I'm not going to try to pump the extra information into other table entries today.  So far as I know, this was not something we were tracking when the sextant project began.  I'll try to pay attention to the item and include it in comments from now on. 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on December 22, 2012, 05:36:17 AM
 Hello All,

 Was just reading and researching, and I came across this collection of Brandis. http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/cons.cfm?id=6298  Some of the numbers that I see, seem a bit odd, in comparison to the table. Using the magnifier, you can see that there are stenciled numbers on the sextants, and boxes..
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: richie conroy on December 22, 2012, 08:06:49 AM
Hi All

Could the box under Fred Noonan's hat be a sextant box ?

You can see the hat clearly overlap's side's of box so we have good idea of box size.

Worth a closer look i believe

Thank's Richie
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: richie conroy on December 22, 2012, 08:13:31 AM
Hi All

Could this be the hat that is on the box,  in above photo's ?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 22, 2012, 08:25:10 AM
Was just reading and researching, and I came across this collection of Brandis. http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/cons.cfm?id=6298 (http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/cons.cfm?id=6298)  Some of the numbers that I see, seem a bit odd, in comparison to the table. Using the magnifier, you can see that there are stenciled numbers on the sextants, and boxes..

Yes, there are numbers all over the place in those photos.

I don't know what to make of them myself.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on December 22, 2012, 08:37:23 AM
Hi All

Could the box under Fred Noonan's hat be a sextant box ?

You can see the hat clearly overlap's side's of box so we have good idea of box size.

Worth a closer look i believe

Thank's Richie
 
   Hi Richie, from all the sextant boxes I've looked at, it sure seems plausible that it is one. In the upper right corner of the box you can see a segmented horizontal line going across the box. Seems that would signify that the "box" in the picture opens just as a sextant box would.. Or maybe it's just a stepping block, to reach higher while working on the aircraft. ???  ::)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Doug Giese on December 22, 2012, 02:57:49 PM
Could the box under Fred Noonan's hat be a sextant box ?

I don't think so. I applied a couple sharpening filters and the dark spots appear to be just blotches.

If there was a sextant in the box, placing it where it could be easily kicked then covering it with a hat doesn't seem like something Noonan would do. Of course, maybe that's why they couldn't find Howland.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: richie conroy on December 22, 2012, 04:15:13 PM
Hi Doug

I believe the hat an sextant box are at least 10 to 12 feet away from work area

But on a serious note why would you kick a box an then cover it with a hat ?

I believe you would place all belongings in one spot near or far from abode ?

Thanks Richie
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: richie conroy on December 22, 2012, 04:22:23 PM
Doug

 Can i ask you your reasoning behind previous comments ?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Doug Giese on December 22, 2012, 05:17:19 PM
Can i ask you your reasoning behind previous comments ?

Just because a delicate piece of optical equipment would be handled with care. It looks like it's 5-6 feet away from the nearest worker where it could be easily kicked and knocked out of alignment. I just felt that an experienced navigator like Noonan would take particular care of his sextant.

I certainly don't know what was going on.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on December 31, 2012, 02:52:47 PM
 Found another Brandis & sons, http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/solid-brass-w-silver-inlay-brandis-sons-sextant    Has NO# 1810, and no box...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 31, 2012, 06:59:17 PM
Found another Brandis & sons, http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/solid-brass-w-silver-inlay-brandis-sons-sextant (http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/solid-brass-w-silver-inlay-brandis-sons-sextant)    Has NO# 1810, and no box...

Thanks, Jimmie.

We need the other number--the Brandis serial number--to make a pair for the sextant table.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on January 01, 2013, 11:37:46 AM
Found another Brandis & sons, http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/solid-brass-w-silver-inlay-brandis-sons-sextant (http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/solid-brass-w-silver-inlay-brandis-sons-sextant)    Has NO# 1810, and no box...

Thanks, Jimmie.

We need the other number--the Brandis serial number--to make a pair for the sextant table.

 You are quite welcome Mr. Moleski, to bad there was not a better description for us. I will make sure both numbers are documented, on any future post I make within this thread.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on January 01, 2013, 12:17:42 PM
... too bad there was not a better description for us. I will make sure both numbers are documented, on any future post I make within this thread.

I've modified the first post in this thread (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg1198.html#msg1198) to make it more clear that, at a minimum, we are interested in the maker's number and the Naval Observatory number.

Hope that helps.   :)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on March 06, 2013, 06:58:15 AM
 Hello all, I have put quite a bit of time into trying to add to the list of sextant numbers. A few months ago I spoke with a veteran Navy Captain of 27 years. I explained what we were looking for. He told me to try to contact the "office of the oceanographer of the Navy, or the Bureau of Navy Aviation" He stated that the answers we seek might possibly turn up there. I have not had much luck, however I know I could be trying harder. Which I intend to do. I just thought with all of the professionals and military personnel that are engaged in this forum, one of you might have alot more strings to pull on then myself. It's a world of strings... Which one's can you pull?     
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 25, 2013, 08:51:01 AM
Looks like another Brandis showed up on eBay, Navy 1982 and Brandis 4717.  In the photos all I can see is the USNO label, and 4717 stenciled on the corner of the box.  I've asked the seller if he can verify any numbers on the arc of the instrument. 

Price is way out of line with past sales by about a factor of 3.  No wonder they're offering free shipping....

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 25, 2013, 10:49:35 AM
Looks like another Brandis showed up on eBay, Navy 1982 and Brandis 4717.

I've added it to the list (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 26, 2013, 09:13:03 AM
The plot thickens

seller tells me that the USNO number etched on the arc is actually 4017, not 4717, and he didn't find the Brandis number on the arc.  I've tried to direct him to where he can find the Brandis number, so hopefully he will see it and report what it is.  I've asked him to provide photos of the numbers, and check the old label on the box.  Box does have what looks to me to be 4717 stenciled near the hinge, but the second digit is a bit fuzzy.

So, we may actually get two pairs of numbers out of this set - 1982 and 4717, and xxxx with 4017.

Stay tuned.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 26, 2013, 04:16:42 PM
Ok, here is the latest from the seller

The Sextant itself is USNO 4017 and Brandis 5156

The Box is USNO 4717 and Brandis 1982

He said he'd send me photos

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 26, 2013, 06:46:48 PM
The Sextant itself is USNO 4017 and Brandis 5156

The Box is USNO 4717 and Brandis 1982


OK.  I think I've fixed the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 26, 2013, 07:12:43 PM
Thanks

small error in the comments to USNO 4017
Currently says:
eBay; in box for UNSO 1717/1982

but should say 4717/1982

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 26, 2013, 10:11:01 PM
small error in the comments to USNO 4017
Currently says:
eBay; in box for UNSO 1717/1982

but should say 4717/1982

Good catch!  Fixed (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns), I hope.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Al Leonard on May 02, 2013, 10:34:58 PM

Is the list of sextant numbers still being compiled? Ebay has a very nice Brandis & Sons, Inc. survey sextant for sale now. Brandis number 5577, USNO number 4485. Inspected in 1941.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEXTANT-CASE-Nautical-1916-1932-USN-Mohogany-Case-BRANDIS-SONS-INC-/350765553573?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51ab4197a5
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 03, 2013, 02:25:13 AM

Is the list of sextant numbers still being compiled? Ebay has a very nice Brandis & Sons, Inc. survey sextant for sale now. Brandis number 5577, USNO number 4485. Inspected in 1941.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEXTANT-CASE-Nautical-1916-1932-USN-Mohogany-Case-BRANDIS-SONS-INC-/350765553573?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51ab4197a5 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/SEXTANT-CASE-Nautical-1916-1932-USN-Mohogany-Case-BRANDIS-SONS-INC-/350765553573?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item51ab4197a5)

That is already on the list (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Al Leonard on May 03, 2013, 06:46:05 AM
I see it now :-[. Geez, I checked that list twice before posting...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 03, 2013, 06:53:25 AM
I see it now :-[ . Geez, I checked that list twice before posting...

I use my browser's search function (CTRL-F in my world).  The table is in order
by Naval Observatory number--that helps if you just want to scan the list ...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 02, 2013, 12:40:18 PM
Here is another brandis showing up on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-and-Sons-Sextant-/330933350805?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d0d2a3195 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-and-Sons-Sextant-/330933350805?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d0d2a3195)

NO label on the box says Brandis 5628 and Navy 4954.  Stencil on the box corner looks like 5628 as well.  No image of the Brandis number on the arc of the instrument, but I'll ask the seller to look for it.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on June 02, 2013, 01:05:15 PM
Here is another brandis showing up on eBay
I've added this one to the table in Ameliapedia (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 02, 2013, 02:04:12 PM
Seller says

<<<<<
I have found the serial number: 5628.  I found this on the left end of the arc (as you pointed out) and also stamped on the inside of the box and on the certificate of inspection.  The naval observatory number is 4954.  This number is also written in pencil on the inside of the box twice and on the certificate of inspection.  The only other number I see is written in pencil twice in the box above the naval observatory number.  This reads, "DD 359". 

I hope this helps.  Let me know if it is worth a million dollars:)

>>>>>

DD-359 is possibly the US Destroyer USS Winslow (DD-359) which began construction in 1933, and commissioned in 1937 according to this Wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Winslow_(DD-359) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Winslow_(DD-359))

If so, it is interesting that they were still issuing 1920's sextants to ships being commissioned as late as 1937.  The NO date looks like 12-23-1932.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 02, 2013, 03:00:13 PM
DD-359 is possibly the US Destroyer USS Winslow (DD-359) which began construction in 1933, and commissioned in 1937 according to this Wikipedia entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Winslow_(DD-359) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Winslow_(DD-359))

If so, it is interesting that they were still issuing 1920's sextants to ships being commissioned as late as 1937.  The NO date looks like 12-23-1932.

I've added this information to the entry in the sextant table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 04, 2013, 09:04:48 AM
From an e-mail to Ric:

From: DANIEL C.

Date: June 4, 2013

I note that you folks are collating a series of Sextant Manufacturer's Serial Numbers against Naval Observatory Certification Numbers. In my possession is a Keuffel and Esser sextant, model #5227 that was manufactured about 1915/16 with K & E serial number 31475. 

The box is matching to the sextant. 

The Naval Observatory number is found on a shield that is inletted into the outside lid of the box, as well as being engraved on the arc of the sextant itself, and that N.O. is 616.

There is also a "Certificate of Inspection" U.S. Naval Observatory card in the box with the correct mfg S.N. and N.O. of 616 dated 9/29/41.

There was an earlier Naval Observatory "Cert" card that had been glued inside the lid, but there is no written information left on its remains, and only just enough paper and printing to tell with certainty that is what it was. So this confirms that it had been "Certified" by the Naval Observatory at a much earlier date, most certainly in the "teens" when it was still quite new, but sadly the actual date of that earlier inspection, and any of its results. have been lost to us. 

I hope you find this information of some use to you in your wonderful quest!

 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 03, 2013, 10:21:45 AM
Ebay has a Brandis listed that we've seen before in 2011 - NO #1889, but the new listing doesn't show the Brandis number which according to the Ameliapedia should be 4672. 

The box however, would seem to have # 4684 or 4687 or some blurry equivalent that doesn't look like 4672 - the one good photo showing the number on the box only captures the 46....

Dan Cotts reported back in 2011 that the seller couldn't find any numbers on the box, which seems odd.

I've posted a question to the seller asking about the Brandis number on the arc, and any other numbers that may be found.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 05, 2013, 03:01:53 PM
Here is an update from the seller of Brandis #4672 / Navy #1889:

Email #1
"Hello, yes the number is marked on the arc and is 4672 and the box has the matching number ink stamped on the inside of the lid. No other numbers or info on the box except for the company name. thanks"

Email #2
"Hi, I made a mistake in the last email. The number on the box is 4667 and not the same as the one on the sextant, 4672."

So we have Sextant Brandis #4672 / NO # 1889 inside the box originally holding Brandis 4667

Marty, can you annotate B# 4672 and add box #4667 to the Ameliapedia?

Thanks
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 05, 2013, 09:18:11 PM
Marty, can you annotate B# 4672 and add box #4667 to the Ameliapedia?

Updated here. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 12, 2013, 10:03:12 AM
New Brandis on eBay, looks like Navy 1565.  The NO sticker from 1950 lists the maker's number as No No. which seems odd, perhaps they just didn't look hard enough.  N.O. 1565 can be seen etched on the arc.

1565 is also written on the outside of the box, along with some other numbers.  looks like 62306-004879, but the last 4 digits are partially hidden by the handle.  I'm thinking the last 4 digits are the Brandis number as 4879 would fit well with our pattern of numbers.

I've asked the seller to try to find the Brandis serial number and any other numbers stenciled, imprinted, or written on the box.

Hopefully the seller will get back to me quickly.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 12, 2013, 11:29:18 AM
New Brandis on eBay, looks like Navy 1565.  The NO sticker from 1950 lists the maker's number as No No. which seems odd, perhaps they just didn't look hard enough.  N.O. 1565 can be seen etched on the arc.

I'll wait until you get at least a pair of numbers confirmed--N.O. plus Brandis number--to update the table.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 14, 2013, 06:50:48 PM
Here is the response from the seller:

<<<<<<<<
Hello Andrew,
Thank you for taking the time to email! I see a three digit number (153) stamped twice on the backside of the unit, notihing on the wood.
The box is marked #1565, 62306-004879. I've reached my limit for photos, but would be happy to email you more if you like.
Thanks again,
>>>>>>>>>>

I'm waiting for photos to be sent to me.  Odd that it has 153 stamped twice on the back as opposed to stamped into the left end of the arc where we've seen the serial numbers in the past.

I'll wait to see what comes in the form of photos.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 14, 2013, 09:16:01 PM
Here is the response from the seller:

<<<<<<<<
Hello Andrew,
Thank you for taking the time to email! I see a three digit number (153) stamped twice on the backside of the unit, notihing on the wood.
The box is marked #1565, 62306-004879. I've reached my limit for photos, but would be happy to email you more if you like.
Thanks again,
>>>>>>>>>>

I'm waiting for photos to be sent to me.  Odd that it has 153 stamped twice on the back as opposed to stamped into the left end of the arc where we've seen the serial numbers in the past.

I'll wait to see what comes in the form of photos.

That doesn't sound like a Brandis number to me (62306-004879) 

Definitely a strange piece!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on August 15, 2013, 02:21:37 PM
 Hello all, was surfing the web and I came across this David White Co. sextant. http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html  Down here in HOT!!!! Florida..
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 15, 2013, 03:24:57 PM
Hello all, was surfing the web and I came across this David White Co. sextant. http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html (http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html) 

Thanks, Jimmie.  It's a very interesting piece.  Would you try contacting the owner to get a photo of the plaque on the front?  It would be interesting to see what that tells us about the box.  I don't see any rhyme or reason to what looks like "x9773-" and "R1" on top of the box.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 15, 2013, 03:50:03 PM
Also, ask for a better photo of the Naval Observatory inspection sticker.

Looks like Navy Observatory number is 3954-1941, but on the sticker there is something written in for the D. WHITE serial number that is unreadable (upon further inspection I think it says MK II).  Would be good to verify if there is a White serial number distinct from the NO number.

Interesting that by 1941 it appears the Navy was adding the year to the NO number.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on August 15, 2013, 04:03:31 PM
Interesting that by 1941 it appears the Navy was adding the year to the NO number.

Yes, that's something that John Kada remarked about in a post he made a year ago (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg19040.html#msg19040).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on August 15, 2013, 05:36:08 PM
Hello all, was surfing the web and I came across this David White Co. sextant. http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html  Down here in HOT!!!! Florida..
Jimmie, you inspired me to surf today, too, and I ran across a site listing another David White Co. sextant (http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/11955279_1941-us-naval-sextant-observatory-david-white-co). It is shown as apparently having been sold to a bidder in July 2012 for $200.

One of the pictures shows the NO# 3811 stamped into a plate on the front of the box. The pictures are too fuzzy to make out anything off the calibration certificate in the lid. The description says "WWII 1941 U.S. Naval Sextant Observatory" but it's unclear what the 1941 really portends. The picture of the instrument in the box is too blurry for me to make out what's stamped on the sextant itself.

What I find interesting is that both of these David White Co. sextants have Naval Observatory numbers in the 3000 range. See John Kada's post from August 2012  (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg19040.html#msg19040)where he tries to make sense of the ranges and the dates of (re)calibration of sextants.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on August 15, 2013, 08:42:04 PM
Hello all, was surfing the web and I came across this David White Co. sextant. http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html (http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html) 

Thanks, Jimmie.  It's a very interesting piece.  Would you try contacting the owner to get a photo of the plaque on the front?  It would be interesting to see what that tells us about the box.  I don't see any rhyme or reason to what looks like "x9773-" and "R1" on top of the box.
  Yes, Marty, and Andrew. Tomorrow, I would be more than happy to contact the owner. I will ask for close up pictures of the front plaque,and the Naval Observatory inspection sticker. I will report back ASAP.

Hello all, was surfing the web and I came across this David White Co. sextant. http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html  Down here in HOT!!!! Florida..
Jimmie, you inspired me to surf today, too, and I ran across a site listing another David White Co. sextant (http://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/11955279_1941-us-naval-sextant-observatory-david-white-co). It is shown as apparently having been sold to a bidder in July 2012 for $200.


Bruce, I am happy to have inspired you!! Thank you for posting the links.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Joe Cerniglia on August 16, 2013, 05:56:14 AM
A few weeks back I was browsing a good sextant website to which TIGHAR has occasionally linked in its articles on sextants.  There does not seem much of great interest in the numbering of these sextant boxes (photo 1,  (http://sextantblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/cases-0021.jpg)photo 2 (http://sextantblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/cases-001.jpg)), since each box has only a single number associated with it. 

What is interesting to me are the genuine blind ("drawer style") dovetails on the middle (Ajax Engineering) and bottom (David White) boxes of photo 1.  Most of the sextant boxes associated with Brandis (a company of which the box found on Niku has speculatively been associated (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/52_NumbersGame/52_NumbersGame.html)) that I've seen are of the box-comb ("finger") (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finger_joint) joint variety, not dovetailed.  The box on top in photo 1 is a Pioneeer-Bendix box and has box-comb joints.  (Pioneer purchased Brandis in 1922.)  Patrick Macdonald, British colonial secretary for the Western Pacific High Commission, said (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) to Colonial Secretary Vaskess that the sextant box found on Nikumaroro had dovetailing on the corners. 

The article on these sextants and boxes is here (http://sextantbook.com/category/usn-buships-mark-ii-sextant/).

The numbers on the boxes are as follows: The top box, the Brandis Box, has 14170. The Ajax box, the middle box, has written beside Mark II, faintly, 10479, Contract No. 97652 and next to that the numeral 1942 (production year?). The David White box, bottom box, has 3782 stamped on the front.  The webmaster of the site, who lives in New Zealand, informed me no other numbers can be detected on the boxes, with the exception of an index number in pencil on the inside back of the lid of the top box, which matches the number on the outside plate.

What's been of long-standing interest to me as well is that Bendix was a sponsor of world flight,  (http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/epurdue&CISOPTR=266&CISOBOX=1&REC=3) agreeing to provide "such instruments and other equipment as he manufactures and otherwise cooperate technically." Pioneer, which purchased Brandis, sold the firm to Bendix in 1928.  The one document or photograph, however, that might tie everything neatly together in a nice package has been elusive.

Joe Cerniglia ~ TIGHAR #3078ECR
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 16, 2013, 04:30:36 PM
Following up on the Brandis with N.O. number 1565

Seller says

<<<<<<<
Hi Andrew,
I checked again and here are two photos of the only other numbers I can see.
Hope this helps.
Thanks
>>>>>>>>>
photos attached if I figured out how to add them properly

The 153 looks to me like it is a part number for part of the sextant, not the serial number for the entire instrument.

Seems odd that Brandis would not have the serial number at the end of the arc, but the N.O. inspection sticker does note that there is No No. for the maker.  Perhaps they changed their numbering system at some point and given that this sextant has the N.O. imprinted and painted right on the sextant, it would seem they were coordinating with the Navy on numbering sextants.  Keep in mind this one seems to have been made in 1941 (?) whereas many of the other sextants we've looked at apparently were made in the late teens.

[Added after the fact - oops, I just realized I'm mixing up the 1941 date of the D. White sextant with this one.  No reason to think this one was mfgr in 1941.  Definitely has a different than "normal" numbering system though.]
Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on August 17, 2013, 05:03:41 PM
Hello all, was surfing the web and I came across this David White Co. sextant. http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html (http://tampa.craigslist.org/pnl/atq/3918298723.html) 

Thanks, Jimmie.  It's a very interesting piece.  Would you try contacting the owner to get a photo of the plaque on the front?  It would be interesting to see what that tells us about the box.  I don't see any rhyme or reason to what looks like "x9773-" and "R1" on top of the box.

 Hello fellas, the seller has responded to my request. He, or she has also supplied some great pics!! The response goes as follows....

 "Hello Jim, here are the pictures you were asking for. The writing on the inspection tag is a little faded but I think the camera got most of it. It is easier to read in person... It is dated 12/11/1942 maker is D. White and no. is mk ii sextant 3954_41 class ets the eccentricity corrections are... Angle 0=0 20=-2 40=-2 60=+13 80=+23 100=+3 and 120=-3 thanks for the interest and let me know if theres anything else I can answer for ya."
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on August 17, 2013, 05:05:28 PM
  Oops, missed the second pic some how.. Here we go..
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on August 17, 2013, 05:06:47 PM
  Hope this helps fellas, please let me know if I can be of anymore assistance.. Thank You!!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 17, 2013, 09:19:20 PM
  Oops, missed the second pic some how.. Here we go..

Thanks, Jim.  That sure looks like a very official NO plaque.  I'm not sure I've seen one like that before.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jimmie Tyler on August 18, 2013, 05:02:20 AM
  Oops, missed the second pic some how.. Here we go..

Thanks, Jim.  That sure looks like a very official NO plaque.  I'm not sure I've seen one like that before.
You are very welcome Marty, Nor have I. The answers we seek are out there somewhere. Attached to a string or two.  ;)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on September 13, 2013, 12:22:02 PM
Looks like Navy 348 / Brandis 2763 just popped up on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/F-E-Brandis-Sons-Co-Sextant-Antique-1911-United-States-Navy-Original-Case-/390659293992?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:3160

I'll going to ask about numbers on the box.

He has a narrative about Brandis sextants and their numbering that I haven't fully digested yet.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on September 13, 2013, 12:48:29 PM
I'll going to ask about numbers on the box.

OK.  I'll put them in when you've got all the details.

Quote
He has a narrative about Brandis sextants and their numbering that I haven't fully digested yet.

It's material taken from this thread.  Cf. reference to the Ameliapedia article toward the end.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on September 13, 2013, 02:29:11 PM
Looks like Navy 348 / Brandis 2763 just popped up on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/F-E-Brandis-Sons-Co-Sextant-Antique-1911-United-States-Navy-Original-Case-/390659293992?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:3160

I'll going to ask about numbers on the box.

He has a narrative about Brandis sextants and their numbering that I haven't fully digested yet.

Andrew

Andrew, as I squint at the brass plate that bears the NO number (and I hate to sound like someone who sees what isn't there amongst all the coral), I swear that I can see a faint fourth digit of 7. The spacing after the 8 is suspect, though. Just a curiosity on my part.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Greg Daspit on September 13, 2013, 09:20:07 PM
Looks like Navy 348 / Brandis 2763 just popped up on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/F-E-Brandis-Sons-Co-Sextant-Antique-1911-United-States-Navy-Original-Case-/390659293992?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:3160

I'll going to ask about numbers on the box.

He has a narrative about Brandis sextants and their numbering that I haven't fully digested yet.

Andrew

Very Interesting! A Brandis case with what appears to be actual dovetail joints. See the 16th picture down.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on September 13, 2013, 09:49:31 PM
In response to numbers on the box near the hinge, or a NO calibration sticker, Seller says:

"Sorry I don't see either one, other than the number on the box is the same as the sextant...."

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Greg Daspit on September 13, 2013, 10:02:31 PM
The tag says the style of instrument is an Octant
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on September 14, 2013, 04:46:06 AM
In response to numbers on the box near the hinge, or a NO calibration sticker, Seller says:

"Sorry I don't see either one, other than the number on the box is the same as the sextant...."

The same as the Brandis serial number or the same as the N.O. number?  ::)

Edit: OK, I see that the N.O. is on a brass plaque on the box.
 
I've added 2763/348 to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).  It is right next to 3547/173.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on October 20, 2013, 04:10:35 PM
Another Brandis on Ebay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-US-NAVY-BRANDIS-SONS-SEXTANT-MARITIME-4028-4572-OBSERVATORY-/271300851978?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2aca790a (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-US-NAVY-BRANDIS-SONS-SEXTANT-MARITIME-4028-4572-OBSERVATORY-/271300851978?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f2aca790a)

Looks like the box is

USNO 4572 imprinted into the wood, with
Brandis 4029 stencilled

But the instrument carries USNO 4296.  Can't see the Brandis number

I'll ask the seller if he can tell us the Brandis number on the arc.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on October 24, 2013, 08:27:08 PM
OK, here is what the seller has to say:


<<<<<<<<<<<
Hi There -
The number on the left end of the arc is 4750.
The number stamped in black on the bottom right of inside lid is 4029.
The number etched in the wood on bottom right of the inside lid is 4572.
The number etched in the wood on the top right corner of the bottom part of box is 4572.

Hope this helps.

Thanks!
>>>>>>>>>>

so that would make two pairs of numbers

USNO 4572
Brandis 4029
for the box

And

USNO 4296
Brandis 4750
for the instrument

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on October 25, 2013, 04:18:24 AM
Cool Andrew - thanks for the follow-up on this.

I enjoy following this string - so many boxes, so many old sextants - but that box we know of on Gardner came from somewhere and just maybe, one day...

One haystack at a time - it is good to see people continuing to go after these details.  I hope for the 'big prize' but in a world the size of ours we may never have anymore than bits and pieces, and maybe enough of them one day to push this over the top.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 25, 2013, 05:41:08 AM
USNO 4572
Brandis 4029
for the box

And

USNO 4296
Brandis 4750
for the instrument


Thanks, Andrew.

Added to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 09, 2013, 10:51:28 AM
For the third time in the past couple of months this sextant is up for sale on eBay.  This is Brandis 4750 / USNO 4296 in the box originally for 4029/4572.


http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-US-NAVY-BRANDIS-SONS-SEXTANT-MARITIME-4028-4572-OBSERVATORY-/271316504995?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:3160  (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-US-NAVY-BRANDIS-SONS-SEXTANT-MARITIME-4028-4572-OBSERVATORY-/271316504995?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:3160)

Current bid:    $249.99 - (Looks like it was set by the seller)
Shipping: $19.99

Looks like a nice instrument with all the parts, and given that it hasn't sold in the last 2 sales, this might be an opportunity for all you TIGHAR Forumites who have coveted owning a Brandis Sextant just for the pure joy of holding in your hands a close relative of the sextant that we suspect was contained in the box Gallager found on Nikumaroro.

Oooooh, the mystery and intrigue of it all, right in your own hands !!!  Brings out your inner navigator as you channel Fred Noonan….

I know I've enjoyed owning one - Brandis # 4297 / USNO #1880, and it cost me more than the instrument in this eBay auction, so the price is about right.  Makes for a nice conversation piece.

Go for it!

Andrew


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Brad Beeching on November 13, 2013, 04:50:13 PM
For what it's worth, my wife and I were watching "Storage Wars - Texas" last night. One of the auctioned storage containers held a little surprise! A sextant, complete with all the lenses and a box. After rerunning the segment several times (thank goodness for DVR) I was able to read the label:
"Hezzanith Observatory" "London" embossed on a round coat of arms. Bellow that was the Certificate of Examination for sextant No. P-202, dated August, 1945. We were not able to see any othe numbers or details...

Brad
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 13, 2013, 06:14:40 PM
"Hezzanith Observatory" "London" embossed on a round coat of arms. Bellow that was the Certificate of Examination for sextant No. P-202, dated August, 1945.

Thanks, Brad.

We're looking for sextants with pairs of numbers, one from the manufacturer and the other from the Naval Observatory.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 14, 2013, 10:18:39 PM
Well, actually we're looking for sextants with a pair of numbers.

We only suspect that one is from the manufacturer, and the other from the Naval Observatory.

We don't know for example, that the Hezzanith Observatory didn't assign a number separate from the mfgr serial number, so in Brad's example P-202 could be the observatory number, not the mfgr number.

We suspect that the pair of numbers comes from the USNO, and that is bolstered by the fact that we've not found sextants with pairs of numbers that don't include a USNO number (have we?).

Nit picking, I know, but ….

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 15, 2013, 05:46:04 AM
We only suspect that one is from the manufacturer, and the other from the Naval Observatory.

Isn't it stronger than a suspicion?

Isn't it the case that all of the sextants we have found with an extra number have the "NO" mark engraved before the number?

I know that the "NO" mark is not found on most of the boxes, but where we have a box that matches the sextant in it, and where there is a pair of numbers on the box, one of the numbers on the box matches the "NO" number.

I think that is what we have observed.  This does not mean that the Niku box had a "NO" number on it, but it does suggest how two numbers could have come to be placed on that box.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 18, 2014, 09:09:09 AM
New Brandis on eBay

No numbers evident in the photos, but I've asked the seller some questions.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=251478321644&fromMakeTrack=true&ssPageName=VIP:watchlink:top:en

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 19, 2014, 05:58:58 PM
Seller says:

"hi , i see a 5953 on left hand side of arc, and a 184 imprinted twice , on the lens bracket, Thats all the numbers I can see . Thank you"

So that would be Brandis 5953

And a box with 184, imprinted, but not necessarily a USNO number, and not in the usual place near the hinge.

5953 is beyond the current list of numbers we have, so perhaps this unit was never sold to the Navy, and therefore does not have a USNO number etched into the arc.

I've asked if they could post close up photos of the numbers.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 28, 2014, 11:08:54 AM
Marty - this is a reminder to get the numbers in the last post into the Wikipedia if you haven't already done so.

New Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRANDIS-SONS-NY-ANTIQUE-SEXTANT-IN-ORIGINAL-CASE-/221403378803?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRANDIS-SONS-NY-ANTIQUE-SEXTANT-IN-ORIGINAL-CASE-/221403378803?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

No mention of numbers of any type.  Has a plate on the box that says:

Fiala Outfits, Inc
Complete Equipment for Engineers, Explorers, Campers, Etc
New York City

Fiala Outfits of NY apparently was an expedition outfitter for several projects going to the Poles in the early 1920s.  Somewhere along the line the bought out the Fiala Arms Co.  Seems to still have been in business in the 1940's.

http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Fiala%200044%20%20Anthony (http://www.newyorker.com/search/query?keyword=Fiala%200044%20%20Anthony)

More of Fiala - a bit of a character larger than life
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Fiala (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthony_Fiala)
http://brooklynology.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/post/2011/06/13/One-Bad-Dude.aspx (http://brooklynology.brooklynpubliclibrary.org/post/2011/06/13/One-Bad-Dude.aspx)

I'll ask the seller if there are any numbers to be noted.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 28, 2014, 11:12:15 AM
Marty - this is a reminder to get the numbers in the last post into the Wikipedia if you haven't already done so.

I was waiting for further clarification on the second number.

I guess we won't find out whether it is an N.O. number ...

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 28, 2014, 11:23:44 AM
Not sure we're going to get any more info.  The seller indicated they would send me more photos, but I haven't seen them.  I'm not sure the sextant actually sold.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 29, 2014, 06:13:43 AM
Marty - this is a reminder to get the numbers in the last post into the Wikipedia if you haven't already done so.

Numbers added to sextant table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 31, 2014, 01:33:19 PM
More info on the Fiala Brandis

Seller says:

"HI,
THE ONLY NUMBER I FOUND WAS ON THE ARC OF THE SEXTANT.5687.
THANKS, "

see image attached, I hope.

Brandis 5687 is now the third highest Brandis number we have, and two of the last three numbers do not seem to have a USNO calibration numbers.  I'm thinking that these may have been produced at the end of the Navy purchasing run, and perhaps never made it into the Navy inventory.

Given that Anthony Fiala was a polar explorer and expedition outfitter, it would make sense that he'd be purchasing sextants for use in that line of work. 

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 31, 2014, 05:33:43 PM
More info on the Fiala Brandis

OK.  Table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) updated.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 27, 2014, 12:10:08 PM
Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-MARITIME-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SONS-NEW-YORK-/231214691689?ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-MARITIME-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SONS-NEW-YORK-/231214691689?ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123)

I asked the seller about numbers and got this response:

"I did find the number 3243 written in pencil above the left hinge.............I found none on the piece itself.........."

Hard to know if 3243 is the Brandis number or a USNO number, could be either.  I don't know that we've seen a number written in pencil over the left hinge before.  Usually the numbers are stenciled near the right hinge.  You can just see the pencilled number in the photo closeup on eBay.

I suggested that they re-examine the end of the arc for the serial number and included a link to a photo of what that should look like.  No reply yet.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 27, 2014, 12:33:48 PM
looks like the number 3243 is the Brandis number as seen in the photo attached - it just isn't printed on the arc in the usual spot, but rather on the frame under the Brandis name.

Seems this us Brandis # 3243 with matching box, but without a USNO number.

Not sure what that means.  When did Brandis change from putting maker's number on the frame to the arc, or vice versa?

Andrew

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on April 27, 2014, 02:38:17 PM
When did Brandis change from putting maker's number on the frame to the arc, or vice versa?

My Brandis sextant has a maker's number of 4313 (later than this one you've written about) and that maker's number only appears on the extreme left of the arc. On the frame is only the Brandis & Sons, Brooklyn, N.Y. info, with no number.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 27, 2014, 03:56:34 PM
updated posting

Mine is #4297, and like yours, has the number on the arc.

I don't remember seeing a Brandis with the number anywhere else, but I'm also not sure we were thinking about it much in the early days of collecting this data.  We have 8 Brandis Sextants on the list with numbers lower than 3243:  1146, 1844, 1982, 2734, 2763, 3193, 3227, and 3239.  5 of those have USNO numbers.  Interestingly enough, 4 of those have 3 digit vs 4 digit USNO numbers, so perhaps some early Brandis numbers also got early USNO numbers, but not all as we see in the pattern.

Not sure we have imagery of any of them and no notations on where the numbers were located.  One is listed as being with the Mariner's Museum, but I can't find it in a quick search of their collection.

My guess is that this one pre-dates the USN purchases during WWI, and never made it into the USNO inventory.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 30, 2014, 02:40:26 PM
Two Brandis Sextants showed up on eBay

This one has USNO # 4812. In one of the photos, I think I see the Brandis number 3298.  I've asked about the serial number to verify.  Doesn't appear to be a box with this unit.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=131202642055&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=131202642055&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)



Next one is a unit in a box, no numbers are noted.  The box has a calibration sticker, but it is unclear whether this is a USNO sticker or not, the Maker is listed as Brandis, but the number simply says HIGH GRADE and is dated 11/15/38.

Photos supplied are of low resolution, so it is impossible to see any detail where the serial number ought to be.  I've asked the seller to look for numbers and perhaps upgrade his photos.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=231245054066&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=231245054066&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 02, 2014, 09:38:56 AM
Two Brandis Sextants showed up on eBay

This one has USNO # 4812. In one of the photos, I think I see the Brandis number 3298.  I've asked about the serial number to verify.  Doesn't appear to be a box with this unit.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=131202642055&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=131202642055&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)


Update 6/2/14 - Seller verified that the Brandis number is 3298, USNO 4812


[/quote]
Next one is a unit in a box, no numbers are noted.  The box has a calibration sticker, but it is unclear whether this is a USNO sticker or not, the Maker is listed as Brandis, but the number simply says HIGH GRADE and is dated 11/15/38.

Photos supplied are of low resolution, so it is impossible to see any detail where the serial number ought to be.  I've asked the seller to look for numbers and perhaps upgrade his photos.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=231245054066&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=231245054066&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

Andrew
[/quote]

Seller indicates that the number "5859 is stenciled on the inside of the box."  Frustratingly, they didn't verify if the same number was at the end of the arc, but my guess is that it is there.  If so, it would be a pretty high Brandis number in our list, and perhaps never made it into the USNO inventory.  I've asked for verification.  Appears not to have a USNO number.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: richie conroy on June 06, 2014, 03:19:52 PM
Sorry if this has been posted previously

 :)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MARINE-SEXTANT-BY-COOKE-OF-HULL-NO-1668-IN-ORIGINAL-BOX-AND-IN-GOOD-CONDITION-/351083732093?pt=UK_Antiques_Marine_RL&hash=item51be389c7d

Thanks
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 06, 2014, 08:57:35 PM
Sorry if this has been posted previously

 :)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MARINE-SEXTANT-BY-COOKE-OF-HULL-NO-1668-IN-ORIGINAL-BOX-AND-IN-GOOD-CONDITION-/351083732093?pt=UK_Antiques_Marine_RL&hash=item51be389c7d (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MARINE-SEXTANT-BY-COOKE-OF-HULL-NO-1668-IN-ORIGINAL-BOX-AND-IN-GOOD-CONDITION-/351083732093?pt=UK_Antiques_Marine_RL&hash=item51be389c7d)

Thanks

It doesn't fit the profile that we are investigating: sextants with two numbers, one from the manufacturer and one from the Naval Observatory.  I don't see any NO number on this one.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 16, 2014, 10:04:08 AM
Different Brandis on eBay, this one made into a lamp!!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221466836499&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221466836499&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

I asked the seller if there are any numbers to be found.

Update

Seller says:
"Hello I found on the one backside of the piece of wood 5391 and on the other side of the piece of wood it says you USED looks like I added those two photos to the auction I hope this helps you"

I don't think we've ever seen a Brandis with the numbers in the wood of the handle.  This would be a fairly high serial number,second highest one we've seen, and one that perhaps never made it into the USNO inventory.

I think the USED is actually U.S.E.D, as in United States, E..... D...... as it appears to me that there are periods between the letters.  No idea what the U.S.E.D. might be.  Education Department?

will attempt to post photos


Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Hal Beck on June 17, 2014, 11:16:12 AM
Hello,

I've read Tighar reports and Ameliapedia about the sextant box. From what I've read here (and in the 2001 edition of the Tom King et. al book) I understand that in the late 90's and even until 2001, it was not yet clear that the two numbers seemed to be Brandis/USNO numbers.  When did the breakthrough occur, and how?  Is there a report on this that I missed?

Thanks
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Steve Lyle Gunderson on June 17, 2014, 12:33:14 PM
Different Brandis on eBay, this one made into a lamp!!

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221466836499&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221466836499&ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

I asked the seller if there are any numbers to be found.

Update

Seller says:
"Hello I found on the one backside of the piece of wood 5391 and on the other side of the piece of wood it says you USED looks like I added those two photos to the auction I hope this helps you"

I don't think we've ever seen a Brandis with the numbers in the wood of the handle.  This would be a fairly high serial number,second highest one we've seen, and one that perhaps never made it into the USNO inventory.

I think the USED is actually U.S.E.D, as in United States, E..... D...... as it appears to me that there are periods between the letters.  No idea what the U.S.E.D. might be.  Education Department?

will attempt to post photos


Andrew

Looks like 5931 to me. I googled U.S.E.D. (http://www.acronymfinder.com/USED.html) and got this. United States (Army) Engineering Department?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: James G. Stoveken on June 17, 2014, 02:46:29 PM
Hal,
Info regarding the sextant box and numbers can be found here (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/52_NumbersGame/52_NumbersGamePref.html) and here (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro).

A lot of information can be found using the TIGHAR site map (http://tighar.org/sitemap.html), TIGHAR search (https://www.google.com/cse/home?cx=009580785602718212762%3Anmcmqnbv5de), and the Ameliapedia (http://tighar.org/wiki/Ameliapedia).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 17, 2014, 03:18:45 PM
Now that I look at it closer, you are right, does look like 5931.

I've asked the seller to verify which.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 17, 2014, 03:22:07 PM
Hal

It was only after we started examining sextant boxes in detail and collecting the numbers that we were able to see that the pattern of two numbers per sextant was predominately reserved for Brandis sextants.  When did this occur?  I'm not sure of the exact time frame we came to that realization, but I think it was shortly after the 2001 expedition during which we found the little serrated "giddies".  If memory serves, we thought those might be parts from a sextant box that held parts in place, and research into sextant boxes followed.

Best.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 17, 2014, 06:06:47 PM
Seller of the sextant / lamp verifies that the number is 5931, not 5391.

Puts this sextant even farther down the serial numbers, although there is # 5953 on our list.  I think these later sextants never made it into the USNO inventory, and the U.S.E.D. could very well be the US Army Engineering Dept.

See photo

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on July 04, 2014, 11:15:21 AM
Here is an interesting item that showed up on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/F-Brandis-C-O-Transit-ANTIQUE-IN-ORIGINAL-CASE-WITH-ORIG-label-/121376562755?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/F-Brandis-C-O-Transit-ANTIQUE-IN-ORIGINAL-CASE-WITH-ORIG-label-/121376562755?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

A Brandis & Co Transit with box.  We haven't thought much about what other instruments were contained in boxes that might be mistaken for a sextant box, but note how the box for this transit is constructed substantially the same as the boxes for the Brandis sextants with the same latches, keyhole, interwoven corners, and hinges.  The shape is certainly different - considerably larger for one thing, and I would have to believe that anyone very familiar with sextants and their boxes would recognize that this was not a sextant box, but was Gallagher that familiar?  Certainly Harold Gatty who examined it later was.

Serial number on the unit is 1648, blurry in the photo, but confirmed by the seller who also verified that there were no other numbers imprinted, etched, or stenciled anywhere on the instrument or the box.

See Photos attached.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Monty Fowler on July 04, 2014, 01:55:20 PM
So that begs the question, Would Fred have used some other type of box for his "preventer" sextant? Or was it for something else entirely?

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189ECSP
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 02, 2014, 12:29:25 PM
Latest Sextant on eBay

Brandis 4182
USNO 2868
No Box

Fits right into the pattern.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/U-S-NAVAL-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SONS-BROOKLYN-N-Y-4182-ARC-READS-TO-185-/331277784216?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/U-S-NAVAL-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SONS-BROOKLYN-N-Y-4182-ARC-READS-TO-185-/331277784216?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:1123)

see photos attached

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 02, 2014, 09:11:45 PM
Latest Sextant on eBay

Brandis 4182
USNO 2868
No Box

Thanks, Andrew.  Added to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).

DRAT!  We've gone wrong somewhere.  I've tried to figure it out, but I can't decide which number is wrong.  We've got two 4180s:

Brandis  4180    2859 eBay; (no box) N/A
Brandis   4182    2868 eBay; (no box)
N/A
Brandis  4180    2895
Bill Morris (http://sextantbook.com/)
no
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 02, 2014, 10:24:18 PM
I noticed that too.

My guess is that the one with the link to Bill Morris is probably correct, and the numbers of the other one are simply transposed 59 instead of 95.

We could try to contact Bill Morris, or look through his book to see if we can verify the right number.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 03, 2014, 06:24:31 AM
I noticed that too.

My guess is that the one with the link to Bill Morris is probably correct, and the numbers of the other one are simply transposed 59 instead of 95.


OK.  That makes sense.  I'll color the questionable line and footnote it.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 03, 2014, 10:46:02 AM
Marty

Searching the Forum for Bill Morris, I find this post from yourself, below.  Would appear that 2895 is the right Navy number.


Join the search / Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
« Message by Martin X. Moleski, SJ on July 21, 2010, 06:24:07 PM »
I've heard back from Bill Morris in New Zealand already (!).

He added two pairs of numbers to the list:

http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro

Brandis 4180,  N.O. 2895
Brandis 4144,  N.O. 4449   

He doesn't have a lead on the master list but invited me to post on NavList: A Discussion Group Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Position-Finding.
ReplyQuoteNotify
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 03, 2014, 09:34:18 PM
Searching the Forum for Bill Morris, I find this post from yourself, below.  Would appear that 2895 is the right Navy number.

Yes, I had found that, too, last night.  I'll get rid of the 2859 entry.

It's not as though it is a make-or-break pair of numbers in any event!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on August 04, 2014, 08:16:44 AM
Got to love the puzzle that this whole thing is.  Thanks Marty and Andrew and others who keep these details trickling forward - incredible patience.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 05, 2014, 10:24:52 PM
It's only been 24 years so far....

A good puzzle keeps you interested doesn't it!

AMCK
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on September 26, 2014, 11:47:35 AM
New Brandis on eBay.  Notes indicate US Navy No 2959, which if accurate is not on our list, and fits right in the middle of several that are on the list.

I sent a question asking them if they could locate the Brandis number, and any other numbers on the box etc.  I also asked for better photos in general, and photos of the numbers.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/BRANDIS-SON-SEXTANT-U-S-NAVY-ORIGINAL-BOX-BROOKLYN-NEW-YORK-/321533771378?

Will let you know what they say.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on September 26, 2014, 11:49:21 AM
Will let you know what they say.

Thanks, Andrew!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on September 26, 2014, 12:54:15 PM
Seller says:

"HI NANY RTCHED IN CENTER OF ARC ANND ON THE FAR LEFT IS 5289 WILL PUT NEW PICTRES UP SHORTLY"

Which I presume to mean that the Navy number was etched in the center of the arc as I had asked, and the Brandis number at the left end of the arc is 5289. 

Must have big fingers and a small phone.

Navy 2959
Brandis 5289

Fits nicely in the matrix of numbers

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on September 26, 2014, 05:17:48 PM
Navy 2959
Brandis 5289

OK, I've added that to the table of sextant numbers (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on December 23, 2014, 04:56:17 PM
another Brandis listed on eBay today

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-amp-SON-039-S-SEXTANT-STAMPED-U-S-NAVY-ORIG-BOX-PRICED-2-SELL-/311227938621?ssPageName=ADME:SS:SS:US:1120 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-amp-SON-039-S-SEXTANT-STAMPED-U-S-NAVY-ORIG-BOX-PRICED-2-SELL-/311227938621?ssPageName=ADME:SS:SS:US:1120)

I've asked the seller for the Brandis number, and any other numbers they can find.  Here is what came back:
 
USNO 2687
Brandis 4934
Box # 4934

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ryan Lavender on December 30, 2014, 08:54:48 AM
I wasn't sure if this sextant was relevant to your database, but i didn't see it listed while searching the TIGHAR forums and wiki.

I am guessing it was not a calibrated US Navy item, but I'm not sure.

http://collections.si.edu/search/tag/tagDoc.htm?recordID=nasm_A19570637000

It was from the ‘Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co.’ era, from 1916 to 1932.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on December 30, 2014, 09:14:15 AM
I wasn't sure if this sextant was relevant to your database, but i didn't see it listed while searching the TIGHAR forums and wiki.

I am guessing it was not a calibrated US Navy item, but I'm not sure.

It's the make that we've been investigating but, as you say, not the right kind of number.

We've been studying pairs of numbers (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) to test the idea that the sextant found on Niku may have been a Navy or ex-Navy sextant. 

If a sextant doesn't have an "NO" number on it or on or in the box, then it doesn't help.

Even having more pairs of numbers will never be conclusive, unless we find an existing sextant box with one or the other of the numbers from Niku (Brandis 3500, NO 1542).  That would disqualify the box found on Niku as being part of this series, I suppose.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on December 30, 2014, 09:26:39 AM
What is curious to me about the Smithsonian sextant is that it supposedly includes a Wilson Bubble Telescope (supposedly making it usable from an aircraft) but I don't see anything in the box that looks like it might be a bubble telescope.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on December 30, 2014, 09:56:13 AM
another Brandis listed on eBay today

...
 
USNO 2687
Brandis 4934
Box # 4934

Andrew

Added to sextant table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant#Sextant_Box_Numbers).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ryan Lavender on December 30, 2014, 01:42:51 PM
What is curious to me about the Smithsonian sextant is that it supposedly includes a Wilson Bubble Telescope (supposedly making it usable from an aircraft) but I don't see anything in the box that looks like it might be a bubble telescope.

the bubble telescope I believe is the T-fitting eyepiece that is bronze colored.  I am basing that off the callouts in this image:

http://sextantbook.com/category/unusual-left-handed-sextant/

You can see this in the lower left corner of the box (hidden underneath the curved scale)

http://airandspace.si.edu/webimages/collections/full/A19570637000Cp06b.jpg
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on January 28, 2015, 06:08:41 PM
Another Brandis on eBay today

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SUNS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-/171660383803?ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SUNS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-/171660383803?ssPageName=ADME:X:RTQ:US:1123)

Photos aren't good but you can barely see the USNO #3806 in one, and this number was verified by the seller, but I haven't been able to get them to relate if there is a Brandis number on the unit.  I've emailed a photo of where to find it and I hope to get a reply.  Seller does not seem to be a native English speaker.

Andrew

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 11, 2015, 12:15:04 PM
This Sextant was purchased by a TIGHAR member, who reports the following numbers:

Brandis Box #3806

Brandis # 127
US Navy # 1879

I don't think we've seen a 3 digit Brandis number before.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on February 11, 2015, 12:52:37 PM
I don't think we've seen a 3 digit Brandis number before.

I agree.  As far as I know, Brandis numbers were sequential.  If so, this is an unusually early Brandis with a typical Naval Observatory number in a typical Brandis box.




modified to correct markup symbols
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 11, 2015, 02:03:09 PM
Brandis Box #3806

Brandis # 127
US Navy # 1879

OK, I've added it to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).

It sits right next to 1880.

Code: [Select]
Brandis   127  1879                      purchased by TIGHAR member
Brandis  4297  1880  1939-09-18  TIGHAR - McKenna                 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on February 13, 2015, 09:57:00 AM
Another Brandis has turned up on eBay.  Facebook reader Barbara Olds says, " The box is stamped Brandis and there's a stencilled 4934 near the hingess.   The sextant has a NO number 2687.  I can't see the Brandis number on the sextant and I can't see an NO number on the box."
http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-amp-SON-039-S-SEXTANT-STAMPED-U-S-NAVY-ORIG-BOX-PRICED-2-SELL-/311227938621?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4876a1773d&nma=true&si=FEQ7%252BIpQKlh6Pzfrq4q2AyhoCtw%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 13, 2015, 10:51:01 AM
Another Brandis has turned up on eBay.  Facebook reader Barbara Olds says, " The box is stamped Brandis and there's a stencilled 4934 near the hingess.   The sextant has a NO number 2687.  I can't see the Brandis number on the sextant and I can't see an NO number on the box."
http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-amp-SON-039-S-SEXTANT-STAMPED-U-S-NAVY-ORIG-BOX-PRICED-2-SELL-/311227938621?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4876a1773d&nma=true&si=FEQ7%252BIpQKlh6Pzfrq4q2AyhoCtw%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-amp-SON-039-S-SEXTANT-STAMPED-U-S-NAVY-ORIG-BOX-PRICED-2-SELL-/311227938621?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4876a1773d&nma=true&si=FEQ7%252BIpQKlh6Pzfrq4q2AyhoCtw%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557)

We've got that one in the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) already.  You can tell that Andrew was there--see the intelligent question in the comment field.   ;D
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jerry Germann on February 13, 2015, 02:17:31 PM
http://www.westsea.com/05navmilitary.html

Item 5.58 ....

Number 3832    Navy Number 4831

Was this one added, don't know info on it.

http://www.antiquesnavigator.com/d-802087/rare-wwii-us-navy-brandis-sextant-naval-navigation-instrument-antique-1942-2.html



Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 13, 2015, 03:08:43 PM
http://www.westsea.com/05navmilitary.html (http://www.westsea.com/05navmilitary.html)

Item 5.58 ....

Number 3832    Navy Number 4831

Thanks.  That's new.  Added to table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).

Quote
Was this one added, don't know info on it.

http://www.antiquesnavigator.com/d-802087/rare-wwii-us-navy-brandis-sextant-naval-navigation-instrument-antique-1942-2.html (http://www.antiquesnavigator.com/d-802087/rare-wwii-us-navy-brandis-sextant-naval-navigation-instrument-antique-1942-2.html)

Without one number or the other, I can't tell whether it's been added or not.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 13, 2015, 04:24:27 PM
Marty

We have a correction on the numbers of this sextant.  Seems that the Brandis number is actually 3806 to match the box, with 127 imprinted elsewhere on the sextant.  Not sure what this means as I don't think we've seen a third number pop up on a sextant before.  In any case, we're back to only 4 digit Brandis numbers.

Brandis 3806
Navy 1879

I'll actually get a chance to see this instrument a week from now and will have a better idea after that.

Andrew


Brandis Box #3806

Brandis # 127
US Navy # 1879

OK, I've added it to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).

It sits right next to 1880.

Code: [Select]
Brandis   127  1879                      purchased by TIGHAR member
Brandis  4297  1880  1939-09-18  TIGHAR - McKenna                 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 13, 2015, 04:33:33 PM
We have a correction on the numbers of this sextant.  Seems that the Brandis number is actually 3806 to match the box

OK.  Fixed. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)

Quote
... with 127 imprinted elsewhere on the sextant.  Not sure what this means as I don't think we've seen a third number pop up on a sextant before.

Not that anyone has mentioned, at any rate, as far as I can recall.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on February 13, 2015, 04:35:00 PM
In any case, we're back to only 4 digit Brandis numbers.

That's rather comforting.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 28, 2015, 12:19:39 PM
New eBay listing

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SONS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-Original-Box-Amazing-L-K-/191524090278?ssPageName=ADME:SS:SS:US:3160

Looks to me like the serial number is on the right end of the arc and it indicated NO 2539.  Typically the Brandis numbers are 4 digits at the left end of the arc.

And it has a hand etched number on the frame of 161-U(?)SN-252222.  Usually the USN number is hand etched at the middle of the arc.

This one is interesting.  It is an F.E. Brandis, Sons & Co, Brooklyn NY unit, which would seem to pre-date the Brandis & Sons Mfgr Co.  Here is a quick history from the Smithsonian site:

http://amhistory.si.edu/surveying/maker.cfm?makerid=5 (http://amhistory.si.edu/surveying/maker.cfm?makerid=5)

Frederick Ernest Brandis (1845–1916) was born in Germany, came to the United States in 1858, worked for Stackpole & Brother for a few years, and then opened his own instrument shop in 1871. The firm became F. Brandis & Co. in 1875, F. E. Brandis, Sons & Co. in 1890, and Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co. in 1916. The Pioneer Instrument Company purchased control of Brandis in 1922, and sold it to the Bendix Aviation Corporation in 1928. The manufacture of Brandis instruments ceased in 1932.

So, it would seem that this unit had to be manufactured between 1890 and 1916.  Perhaps it pre-dates most of the sextants we've seen, hence the unusual placement of the serial number.

I've asked the seller if there are any other numbers on the instrument or the box.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 28, 2015, 12:39:03 PM
Here is another curio on eBay, a 1947 Russian Navy sextant

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Old-1947-Russian-Navy-brass-sextant-with-2-telescopes-Fleuriais-Astronomic/251832763370?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D777000%26algo%3DABA.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131227121020%26meid%3D84045c8378cd4433b5a4749aa20ed7f5%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D311120554396 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Rare-Old-1947-Russian-Navy-brass-sextant-with-2-telescopes-Fleuriais-Astronomic/251832763370?_trksid=p2047675.c100009.m1982&_trkparms=aid%3D777000%26algo%3DABA.MBE%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131227121020%26meid%3D84045c8378cd4433b5a4749aa20ed7f5%26pid%3D100009%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26sd%3D311120554396)

there is a prominent number on the frame- 4341, and there are some other numbers associated with it that I don't really understand, but include 253 on what looks like a 1957 tag of some sort, and 162 on an older card of some sort. 

The little brass plate on the box also has several numbers including  901, No. 162, and 338, along with 1947.

My guess is that 162 is an instrument serial number, and 4341 may be a Russian Navy number.  901 a model number?

Also interesting that it appears there is some sort of light with wires going to the handle where there is a button switch.  Copy of a Byrd design?


Anyone read Russian?

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 01, 2015, 07:50:55 PM
Correction to the correction

Upon closer inspection, it would appear that this unit is Navy 4879 rather than 1879, see attached photos

Andrew


Marty

We have a correction on the numbers of this sextant.  Seems that the Brandis number is actually 3806 to match the box, with 127 imprinted elsewhere on the sextant.  Not sure what this means as I don't think we've seen a third number pop up on a sextant before.  In any case, we're back to only 4 digit Brandis numbers.

Brandis 3806
Navy 1879

I'll actually get a chance to see this instrument a week from now and will have a better idea after that.

Andrew


Brandis Box #3806

Brandis # 127
US Navy # 1879

OK, I've added it to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).

It sits right next to 1880.

Code: [Select]
Brandis   127  1879                      purchased by TIGHAR member
Brandis  4297  1880  1939-09-18  TIGHAR - McKenna                 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 01, 2015, 08:45:11 PM
Upon closer inspection, it would appear that this unit is Navy 4879 rather than 1879, see attached photos

Fixed. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 01, 2015, 08:56:19 PM
Anyone read Russian?

My vocabulary never was good enough for this kind of text.

But I can transliterate some of it for Google translate.

You can see that the date of one certificate from the workshop was 1957. 

The heading on that certificate is Исправлен, which means "corrected."
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jerry Germann on March 02, 2015, 02:19:53 PM
Found this article;

http://uiobservatory.omeka.net/items/show/40
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 02, 2015, 03:08:06 PM
Found this article;

http://uiobservatory.omeka.net/items/show/40 (http://uiobservatory.omeka.net/items/show/40)

Thanks, Jerry.  Added to table. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 03, 2015, 09:34:33 AM
Update on this sextant

Seller indicates that there is a number stamped into the wood of the box between the hinges 2827

There is also a US Navy stamped into the left end of the arc, but no number.

see photos below.

So, what we have here is an oddity
Brandis 2539 at the right end of the arc
Navy 25222 etched on the frame
in Box # 2827 stamped into the wood
with US Navy stamped at the left end of the arc


Andrew





New eBay listing

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SONS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-Original-Box-Amazing-L-K-/191524090278?ssPageName=ADME:SS:SS:US:3160

Looks to me like the serial number is on the right end of the arc and it indicated NO 2539.  Typically the Brandis numbers are 4 digits at the left end of the arc.

And it has a hand etched number on the frame of 161-U(?)SN-252222.  Usually the USN number is hand etched at the middle of the arc.

This one is interesting.  It is an F.E. Brandis, Sons & Co, Brooklyn NY unit, which would seem to pre-date the Brandis & Sons Mfgr Co.  Here is a quick history from the Smithsonian site:

http://amhistory.si.edu/surveying/maker.cfm?makerid=5 (http://amhistory.si.edu/surveying/maker.cfm?makerid=5)

Frederick Ernest Brandis (1845–1916) was born in Germany, came to the United States in 1858, worked for Stackpole & Brother for a few years, and then opened his own instrument shop in 1871. The firm became F. Brandis & Co. in 1875, F. E. Brandis, Sons & Co. in 1890, and Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co. in 1916. The Pioneer Instrument Company purchased control of Brandis in 1922, and sold it to the Bendix Aviation Corporation in 1928. The manufacture of Brandis instruments ceased in 1932.

So, it would seem that this unit had to be manufactured between 1890 and 1916.  Perhaps it pre-dates most of the sextants we've seen, hence the unusual placement of the serial number.

I've asked the seller if there are any other numbers on the instrument or the box.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 03, 2015, 10:44:17 AM

So, what we have here is an oddity

Brandis 2539 at the right end of the arc
Navy 25222 etched on the frame
in Box # 2827 stamped into the wood
with US Navy stamped at the left end of the arc

I put it in the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) twice.

2827 looks like a normal N.O. die-punched number

I see the hand-etched string as ""161 - USN - 252222"

Older Navy numbering system?  Predecessor to the 4-digit system?

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 23, 2015, 09:48:40 AM
for those of you itching to get your hands on a Brandis Sextant, this one is for sale again on eBay at a fixed price of $279.  It has been listed twice at that price and not sold.  Doesn't look like there is a way to make an offer.  Prices for these have ranged from $200 to $350, so this is about in the middle.

Andrew


So, what we have here is an oddity

Brandis 2539 at the right end of the arc
Navy 25222 etched on the frame
in Box # 2827 stamped into the wood
with US Navy stamped at the left end of the arc

I put it in the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) twice.

2827 looks like a normal N.O. die-punched number

I see the hand-etched string as ""161 - USN - 252222"

Older Navy numbering system?  Predecessor to the 4-digit system?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 14, 2015, 08:50:08 AM
Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-US-NAVY-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SON-BROOKLYN-NY-/281661274832?

This one has USNO # 1110 etched on the arc.

I've asked the seller to look for the serial number at the end of the arc, and any other numbers on the box.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 14, 2015, 09:52:20 AM
http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-US-NAVY-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SON-BROOKLYN-NY-/281661274832? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-US-NAVY-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SON-BROOKLYN-NY-/281661274832?)

This one has USNO # 1110 etched on the arc.

I like the little screwdriver hack on the bottom of the box.

I haven't noticed that before.

There also seems to be a "5851" in this photo on the edge of an interior piece.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 14, 2015, 11:38:19 AM
Good catch on the 5851.

One of the eyepieces seems different than most as well, with the flared ending.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 18, 2015, 05:15:53 PM
Update on this sextant.

Seller relates that the number on the instrument matches the number on the box, 5851.

So we've got

Brandis 5851
Navy 1110

This will be the second to highest Brandis number we've seen, but with a relatively low USNO number.  Go figure.

Sure would be interesting to locate the Naval Observatory archives.

Andrew

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on April 18, 2015, 06:58:44 PM
Update on this sextant.

Seller relates that the number on the instrument matches the number on the box, 5851.

So we've got

Brandis 5851
Navy 1110

This will be the second to highest Brandis number we've seen, but with a relatively low USNO number.  Go figure.

Sure would be interesting to locate the Naval Observatory archives.

Andrew

Table in Ameliapedia (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant) has been updated with this record.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 18, 2015, 07:03:12 PM
Brandis 5851
Navy 1110

This will be the second to highest Brandis number we've seen, but with a relatively low USNO number.  Go figure.

It makes 3500/1542 (Niku box) and 3547/173 (Pensacola box from Noonan) seem less weird.

We knew that the relationship between the two kinds of numbers was pretty random--but not THAT random! 

Quote
Sure would be interesting to locate the Naval Observatory archives.

Yup.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Dave Thaker on May 02, 2015, 03:57:14 PM
Brandis 5851
Navy 1110

This will be the second to highest Brandis number we've seen, but with a relatively low USNO number.  Go figure.

It makes 3500/1542 (Niku box) and 3547/173 (Pensacola box from Noonan) seem less weird.

We knew that the relationship between the two kinds of numbers was pretty random--but not THAT random! 

Quote
Sure would be interesting to locate the Naval Observatory archives.

Yup.

A Google search on Brandis sextants brings up this site (http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/), which seems to explain a lot about Brandis and USNO serial numbers.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 02, 2015, 10:56:06 PM
Very interesting.  Some great work there, and maybe some questions. I've recently become aware that there also may be a change in the Brandis frames at some point that might be useful to analyze as well.

Any idea who put that together?  Would be great to collaborate with them.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 04, 2015, 06:37:24 AM
Newly added Brandis on eBay this am

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SONS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-Navy-836-/141656162631? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SONS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-Navy-836-/141656162631?)

Would appear to be
Brandis 3249 with the number printed on the frame under the Brandis name
Navy 836

No numbers on the box are visible.

The instrument frame is different than many others we've looked at, and I suspect that it is older.  The Brandis and the Navy numbers are pretty early in the matrix.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 04, 2015, 06:44:20 AM
Brandis 3249 with the number printed on the frame under the Brandis name
Navy 836

Added to the table. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 04, 2015, 09:48:03 AM
OK, so here is something interesting I've noticed.  There are several different frames to Brandis Sextants - The frame such as the one seen in the latest eBay sextant, a larger and "lighter" framed unit, and a "heavier" framed version.  See photos below.

Brandis 3249 / USNO 836 with what appears to be an older generation frame
Brandis 3987 / USNO 1584 with the lighter weight frame
Brandis 4297 / USNO 1880 with the heavier frame

We know from the "Ghost of Gardner" site previously linked 

http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2015/04/what-do-numbers-3500-and-1542-tell-us.html (http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2015/04/what-do-numbers-3500-and-1542-tell-us.html)

That Brandis was awarded a contract with the Navy in or around October 1917 to produce 1000 sextants, and that they eventually produced 2400 sextants in the two year period between the contract and sometime in 1919.

Apparently, the "lighter" frame has an armature radius of 7.5 inches, while the heavier frame is a 6 inch radius, and this is mentioned in the 1920 advertisement found here.
http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2015/04/what-do-numbers-3500-and-1542-tell-us.html (http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2015/04/what-do-numbers-3500-and-1542-tell-us.html)

I've tried to look at the images of the sextants we have available, and it appears to me that all the Brandis sextants prior to Brandis 3987 are of the 7.5 inch lighter frame, and all the Brandis sextants after 4297 are the 6 inch radius heavier frame.  Sometime during that run of 310 instruments between those two numbers, Brandis shifted production from primarily the 7.5 inch instruments to the 6 inch instruments.

My guess is that the Navy contract was for 6 inch radius instruments, and that is the model that got mass produced during the war with 100% of the production going to the Navy.  I don't think the Navy would order up two different types instruments.

By this reasoning the Nikumaroro Sextant - Brandis #3500 is most likely a 7.5 inch radius instrument, manufactured before the Navy Contract got awarded in October of 1917.  This is contrary to the conclusion of the author of the Ghost of Gardner Island blog (who remains nameless at this point) but obviously there is a lot of room for variation and I haven't been able to look at images of all sextants post #4297.  I can imagine that the Navy was buying all of Brandis' inventory before awarding the contract to make the additional 1000, and #3500 went into the Navy inventory probably during 1916 or 1917 just prior to those units made under the contract.

Any way to figure out if the Navy contract was for 6 inch radius instruments vs 7.5 inch instruments? 

Andrew

PS - Note to Myself, Marty, and anyone else interested.  We need to capture screenshots of these instruments and their numbers while the images are available on the web, particularly those that pop up on eBay.  Many of the images of units we've linked to in the Ameliapedia matrix are either not functional, or the images have been removed, so there is no way to now go back and verify either the numbers, the frame types, or anything else.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 04, 2015, 12:32:02 PM
We need to capture screenshots of these instruments and their numbers while the images are available on the web, particularly those that pop up on eBay.  Many of the images of units we've linked to in the Ameliapedia matrix are either not functional, or the images have been removed, so there is no way to now go back and verify either the numbers, the frame types, or anything else.

Message rec'd.

It will have to be a "from now on" policy for me.  I haven't been snagging images in any systematic fashion whatsoever--one here, one there, once in a while.

Of course, I don't think that any of the information we have collected or ever could collect along these lines would settle the question of ownership of 3500/1542.  We need a whole different kind of documentation from a table of numbers in order to have some confidence that it was or wasn't Fred's instrument.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 04, 2015, 01:26:06 PM
Understood. We don't know what we don't know, and who knows what we'll want to find out later, so collecting the info and imagery is probably worth doing from now on.

Agreed, this will probably not solve whether or not 3500 / 1542 is connected to Noonan.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 04, 2015, 07:04:55 PM
Newly added Brandis on eBay this am

http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SONS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-Navy-836-/141656162631? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SONS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-Navy-836-/141656162631?)

Would appear to be
Brandis 3249 with the number printed on the frame under the Brandis name
Navy 836

No numbers on the box are visible.

The instrument frame is different than many others we've looked at, and I suspect that it is older.  The Brandis and the Navy numbers are pretty early in the matrix.

Andrew

Seller confirms that the number 3249 is on both the outside and inside of the box.

see attached

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 05, 2015, 01:47:02 AM
Seller confirms that the number 3249 is on both the outside and inside of the box.

The pencil inside the box is quite clear.

The ink (?) on the outside is not as clear.  I see "324" without difficulty, but the final character doesn't look like any "9" of my acquaintance.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 05, 2015, 09:10:33 AM
I think the 9 is there as I see it.  Looks a bit like an S, but keep looking at it and the 9 will pop out if you close in the top of the S.

3249 on the unit, 3249 written inside the box, 324? on the outside of the box, and the seller indicating that it is 3249 on both the inside and outside of the box.

I don't think it takes the WIX braintrust or forensic photo analysis to figure this one out.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 05, 2015, 10:21:35 AM
I think the 9 is there as I see it.  Looks a bit like an S, but keep looking at it and the 9 will pop out if you close in the top of the S.

Yes, I see it now.

There is a deep scratch in the wood that I was seeing as part of the "9." 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on May 05, 2015, 10:36:24 AM
I think the 9 is there as I see it.  Looks a bit like an S, but keep looking at it and the 9 will pop out if you close in the top of the S.

3249 on the unit, 3249 written inside the box, 324? on the outside of the box, and the seller indicating that it is 3249 on both the inside and outside of the box.

I don't think it takes the WIX braintrust or forensic photo analysis to figure this one out.

Andrew

Careful now, Andrew... you probably need to be more qualified in 'forensic photo analysis' to say such a thing...

One might ask one's self as well, 'does it matter if it is a 9 or not?'  Realizing you two are putting quite a puzzle together, for sure, but...   :D  Seriously, it appears that enough of a pattern of randomness is evolving to well affirm what was said above - that this isn't likely to establish much true assurance of the Gardner-found box fitting the pattern, much less of giving any real certainty to Fred's ownership... but maybe I'm missing something.

Enjoy.

What ever happened to the guy that was actually going to go through old boxes of records from the observatory?  Wasn't there someone here a few years ago who had access / knew of old storage, or is my memory playing tricks?  Seems like the express route (in relative terms) would be finding out who the reported box was assigned to via a primary record, surely enough. 

Was that effort exhausted, not materialize, or given up on?  Thought I remembered some good soul agreeing to got dueling with dustmites to make it happen.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 05, 2015, 10:59:23 AM
What ever happened to the guy that was actually going to go through old boxes of records from the observatory?

I don't know.

He never said good-bye.

He did not post in the relevant thread: "Where are the Naval Observatory records of sextant numbers?" (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,15.0.html)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 05, 2015, 10:49:20 PM
I think the 9 is there as I see it.  Looks a bit like an S, but keep looking at it and the 9 will pop out if you close in the top of the S.

3249 on the unit, 3249 written inside the box, 324? on the outside of the box, and the seller indicating that it is 3249 on both the inside and outside of the box.

I don't think it takes the WIX braintrust or forensic photo analysis to figure this one out.

Andrew

Careful now, Andrew... you probably need to be more qualified in 'forensic photo analysis' to say such a thing...

Honestly Jeff, are you really challenging that the numbers are 3249?  Do you really believe it is not a 9 given that the numbers on the box match the numbers on the instrument itself, verified by the seller of the unit?  Or are you simply challenging anything that anyone on the Forum puts forth these days?

[/quote]
One might ask one's self as well, 'does it matter if it is a 9 or not?'  Realizing you two are putting quite a puzzle together, for sure, but...   :D  Seriously, it appears that enough of a pattern of randomness is evolving to well affirm what was said above - that this isn't likely to establish much true assurance of the Gardner-found box fitting the pattern, much less of giving any real certainty to Fred's ownership... but maybe I'm missing something.
[/quote]

Whether or not the number is a 9 won't solve the AE mystery.  That is not the point.  What it is about is basic research to understand the overall context of what was reported by Gallagher in 1940.  When TIGHAR first got that report (a result of other basic research), we had no idea what the numbering system on the sextant box was all about, what did the two numbers have to do with each other, and whether or not it made any sense in the context of the castaway, AE, and TIGHAR's hypothesis.  At first they seemed insignificant and certainly obscure.

Only through a bunch of persistent work over a long period of time looking for and documenting sextant numbers and the patterns they reveal, did the big picture emerge that the numbers on the sextant found with a castaway on Gardner Island meant that the sextant was most likely a US made, USN surplus Brandis sextant - exactly the kind that Noonan apparently used as a backup unit on the Pan Am Clippers.  This is not only indicated by TIGHARs work, but also the work of whoever is blogging on http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com who has made a pretty convincing chronology that shows the likelihood that 3500 / 1542 was a Brandis sextant issued to the USN, and even narrowed down the date of manufacture to 1917.  Through my own analysis of the frame styles, it looks like Brandis 3500 was a 7.5 inch radius instrument vs a 6 inch radius instrument. 

This dreary research on sextant numbers over many years is pretty boring, I agree, but it has pretty convincingly revealed that the Gardner Isle sextant box contained a USN surplus 7.5 inch radius Brandis sextant manufactured in 1917, something we didn't know when we started collecting information about sextants.  Pretty amazingly precise information, don't you think?  Who would have guessed we'd know so much about that sextant when we started collecting numbers.

The overall context is that a sextant box (and presumably sextant) with a particular number set was found with a known castaway from a particular era in a particular remote area of the world where at least two persons are known to be have gone missing, one of whom was known to use a Brandis Sextant as part of his navigational tools.  These are incontestable facts.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  Can you argue alternate sources?  Sure.  However, in the overall context of AE and FN, it makes sense that a Brandis sextant might be fond there.  If it were a Russian sextant, it would not fit with the rest of the context.  But it is not a Russian sextant, it is a US made, USN surplus Brandis sextant found on a British colonial island where it doesn't belong.  Odd, don't you think?  Isn't that worth trying to figure out?

We don't know what information might collected now might be important in the future.  Maybe it won't be important - lord knows we've collected a lot of information that doesn't seem to be related - but that should not stop us from collecting the information.  The more info we collect, the more likely we'll finally figure out if there was a sextant with that number combination, whether it was related to Noonan, and where the USNO archives are, and what they hold.  Just because you and others think it frivolous to continue doesn't mean we shouldn't continue to do this and other basic research.  Who knows what we might find.  At least we're trying to figure it out.

With all due respect, as they say.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on May 06, 2015, 12:24:34 AM
Andrew, really... You're losing your sense of humor when your posts exceed mine in length!  ::)

Not to mention cool...

Calm down, big daddy - I'm not gonna hotfoot your swimmin' fins!

I thought it was OK to challenge here, point in fact, but no - I'm not challenging anything, I think it's moot. 

But I also see room for doubt - and that the hand marked number 9 could be an error.  Don't really know.

I admire yours and Marty's efforts on this, but it dawns on me that all the bracketing done to date only drives us more toward the realization that we can never rationalize "3500/1542" into a constructive pigeon hole that way.  That and we seem to have gained more than enough evidence to now understand the system (more random than systematic) and the context of Gallagher's find.

Now one wonders whether that historic box was truly numbered "3500/1542" or whether there was ambiguity.  Alas, no pictures...  ;)

You took a poke at the 'trust' - cool, so don't let your own skin get too thin.  After the public whackings that have happened here over photogrammetry amateurs and the like, seems like that's fair enough game too - especially when yes, I now think it's irrelevant whether that's a nine or an s in terms of finding Earhart.   

But carry on guys, nothing like being busy!  ;D

But hey, that's just me.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 06, 2015, 08:18:37 AM
For those who are interested, another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-U-S-Navy-4510-Brandis-Sons-Nautical-Sextant-AS-IS-/261877816552?fromMakeTrack=true (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-U-S-Navy-4510-Brandis-Sons-Nautical-Sextant-AS-IS-/261877816552?fromMakeTrack=true)

Brandis 3596
Navy 4510
No box
7.5 inch radius

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on May 06, 2015, 08:41:19 AM
For those who are interested, another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-U-S-Navy-4510-Brandis-Sons-Nautical-Sextant-AS-IS-/261877816552?fromMakeTrack=true (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-U-S-Navy-4510-Brandis-Sons-Nautical-Sextant-AS-IS-/261877816552?fromMakeTrack=true)

Brandis 3596
Navy 4510
No box
7.5 inch radius

Andrew

What does one like this / in this condition typically go for at final bid, Andrew, do you know?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 06, 2015, 11:00:48 AM
Jeff

Hard to say.  Without a box or any of the eyepieces, it isn't really a functional instrument and that certainly degrades the value. 

As a curio, I don't think it will bring more than $100.  Units with matching boxes, telescopes, tools, and filters etc have gone for between $200 and $350.

Go for #3249 with the box.  They you'll be able tell us definitively whether you think the 9 is a 9.  :-)

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on May 06, 2015, 11:38:23 AM
Thanks!  Was curious and figured you'd seen a few go on Ebay, etc.

"Go for..." - LOL!!!  Heck, I just might!!!  ;)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 06, 2015, 08:38:07 PM
Brandis 3596
Navy 4510
No box
7.5 inch radius

OK.  In the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jeff Scott on May 06, 2015, 09:46:46 PM
Any idea who put that together?  Would be great to collaborate with them.

Andrew, did you read this part of the site? It may temper your enthusiasm:

Quote
It's all very impressive in a way, but I think Tighar has been merely chasing a ghost.  I'm afraid that believing that the Nikumaroro Hypothesis is true is just wishful thinking...

I also have a suspicion about who the author is, and if I'm correct, he's part of that "WIX brain trust" you recently commented upon.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 06, 2015, 10:36:50 PM
Andrew, did you read this part of the site?

The internet is a really cool place.

It is possible to provide links from one part of it to another.

So, for example, this is a link to the "part of the site" (http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/p/why-ghost-of-gardner-island.html) to which you wish to direct your readers' attention.

And here is a link to a post that explains how to insert links into posts (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,127.0.html).

Quote
It may temper your enthusiasm:

Quote
It's all very impressive in a way, but I think Tighar has been merely chasing a ghost.  I'm afraid that believing that the Nikumaroro Hypothesis is true is just wishful thinking...
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 06, 2015, 10:49:03 PM
Sure, I read that.  Having doubts about the TIGHAR hypothesis is OK with me.  Makes for a healthy dialog as long as both sides remain open minded about what is being discussed.

What is different is that this Blogger is actually doing some thoughtful research, not just casting doubt as in "could be an error.  Don't really know".  Sure, "could be" is something that can be applied to anything.  "Could be" that the Electra landed at Rabaul, and AE transferred to a flying saucer that took her near Howland.  Meanwhile the Electra flew itself to East New Britain and crashed in the hills where David Billings is convinced it resides.... "Could be, don't really know"  - can't prove it didn't happen.  Not very productive.

I'm not sure Mr. Blogger is entirely correct in his conclusions, but at least he's working on it unlike a lot of critics, and he spurred me to think differently about the sextant box issue, and in so doing I've noted a few things that might actually be productive lines of research to consider going forward that could link 3500/1542 with Noonan.  Too early to tell, but that is how science works.  Seemingly useless things sometimes turn out to be catalysts for moving forward.

I'm willing to collaborate with people who are trying to analyze data they've collected.

Andrew


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on May 07, 2015, 04:40:55 AM
Andrew, Marty,

Yes, self-correction is admirable and yes we should admire and be willing to work with those who work at real analysis.  It is actually the great hope of many critics that TIGHAR would embrace those things even more aggressively, so I applaud your having made those points as a positive thing.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Gary Vance on June 01, 2015, 12:39:52 PM
I haven't heard back yet from the seller about numbers/identification marks, but this sextant is for sale on Craigslist up here in Seattle.  Can anyone tell by the pictures if it's of interest for our sextant numbering research?

I will post the link as well, but since it's a Craigslist ad it might expire.    http://seattle.craigslist.org/est/boa/5039043715.html

"This sextant comes in the original wooden box with brass hardware. It looks virtually un issued with no damage and looks like a more advanced model that uses the longer style scope. The case measures approximately 5 inches tall, x 11 inches across There are 5 different moveable filters that are built on the main body and it still has the original brass adjustment knob."


(http://)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on June 01, 2015, 01:58:17 PM
That certainly appears to be a Brandis & Sons Navy Surveying Sextant. 
The "Maker's Number" will be etched in small numbers on the arc toward the end. 
The "Naval Observatory Number", if it has one, will be etched in large numbers on the arc.
The "Maker's Number" will be stenciled on the inside edge of the box.
The "Naval Observatory Number", if it has one, will be stamped not the inside edge of the box.

In many cases, the numbers on the sextant and the numbers on the box do not agree.  Sextants often got swapped around.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on June 01, 2015, 07:43:14 PM
According to my 'deep throat' sextant source, the rig has the following information on it –

"The wood box has a ink stamp as follows:

Brandis & Sons Inc

764-753 Lexington Avenue

Brooklyn, New York

Etched into the Sextant it reads

U.S. Navy 1446

There are no other markings."

Said to want $445 for it.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on June 01, 2015, 07:48:11 PM

There are no other markings."


I'll betcha anything there's a Maker's Number on the arc. It's down toward the end, really tiny, much smaller than the Navy number.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 01, 2015, 07:53:13 PM
Number on the arc should look like the attached

you can see in the photos that there is a number near the right hinge as seen with the box open. It should look like the second photo attached



amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on June 02, 2015, 07:13:25 AM
Might want to follow-up with the seller on that. 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 02, 2015, 07:36:43 AM
OK, so I checked with this seller and he reports the following:

<<<<<<<<<<<

Hi:

Below is what is either on the box or sextant:

The wood box has a ink stamp as follows:

Brandis & Sons Inc
764-753 Lexington Avenue
Brooklyn, New York

It has a ink stamp above the right hinge that reads # 4131

Etched into the Sextant it reads

U.S. Navy 1446

There are no other markings.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

The inked number on the box should be the Brandis number of the sextant originally in that box, but at this point we don't know what the Brandis number on the current instrument is.  I've asked him to double check the left end of the arc and sent him a photo so he knows what to look for.

So far we have Box only for Brandis 4131, and sextant with USN 1446.


Andrew

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Gary Vance on June 02, 2015, 08:08:35 AM
FYI I received the same reply from the seller:

The wood box has a ink stamp as follows:

Brandis & Sons Inc
764-753 Lexington Avenue
Brooklyn, New York

Etched into the Sextant reads

U.S. Navy 1446
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 02, 2015, 09:18:34 AM
The photo help him locate the Brandis number on the instrument:

<<<<<<<<<
Thanks Andrew – that helped.
 
The serial number is 3360
>>>>>>>>>>>

So if I got this straight, we have

Brandis 3360
USN 1446

With box for Brandis 4131
Apparently no USN number on the box.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on June 02, 2015, 09:22:38 AM
Nice work, another for the list.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on June 02, 2015, 10:53:58 AM
The photo help him locate the Brandis number on the instrument:

<<<<<<<<<
Thanks Andrew – that helped.
 
The serial number is 3360
>>>>>>>>>>>

So if I got this straight, we have

Brandis 3360
USN 1446

With box for Brandis 4131
Apparently no USN number on the box.

Andrew
Earlier today I had predicted to myself that the serial number would begin with "33" or "34".  ;D
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 02, 2015, 11:30:35 AM

Brandis 3360
USN 1446

With box for Brandis 4131
Apparently no USN number on the box.

OK.  In the table. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: JNev on June 02, 2015, 02:01:10 PM
The photo help him locate the Brandis number on the instrument:

<<<<<<<<<
Thanks Andrew – that helped.
 
The serial number is 3360
>>>>>>>>>>>

So if I got this straight, we have

Brandis 3360
USN 1446

With box for Brandis 4131
Apparently no USN number on the box.

Andrew
Earlier today I had predicted to myself that the serial number would begin with "33" or "34".  ;D

Are you clairvoyant, or is there a pattern emerging, sho' nuff?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on June 02, 2015, 02:19:15 PM
Are you clairvoyant, or is there a pattern emerging, sho' nuff?

My new nom de plume: Klair Voyant!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on June 11, 2015, 03:32:52 AM
New listing on eBay Ebay Brandis Listing (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1969-U-S-NAVY-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-MADE-BY-BRANDIS-L-A-TO-HAWAII-TRANSPAC-RACE-/11169)
Brandis 4707 The Number is very faint on arc. The number 4707 is listed on the paper certificate of eccentricity.
NO number 1969 on arc plus stamped on box plus listed on certificate.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 11, 2015, 12:32:04 PM
New listing on eBay Ebay Brandis Listing (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1969-U-S-NAVY-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-MADE-BY-BRANDIS-L-A-TO-HAWAII-TRANSPAC-RACE-/11169)
Brandis 4707 The Number is very faint on arc. The number 4707 is listed on the paper certificate of eccentricity.
NO number 1969 on arc plus stamped on box plus listed on certificate.

Thanks, Daniel.  I'm just doing a quick check-in to make sure that the server hasn't collapsed.  I'm on retreat until tomorrow and probably won't get back into the full swing of things until Saturday or Sunday.    ::)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on July 16, 2015, 09:39:27 AM
Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Vintage-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-Sextant-US-Naval-Issue-2676-1916-1932-/231623412413? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Vintage-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-Sextant-US-Naval-Issue-2676-1916-1932-/231623412413?)

Photo shows Navy 2676, but no Brandis serial number.  No Box.

I've asked the seller to look for a serial number and will let you know what I hear.

Andrew

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on July 16, 2015, 10:03:28 AM
Too bad that the second picture has the end of the arc covered up where the Brandis manufacturer's number is usually stamped.

I'm betting that number will turn out to be in the range 4750-4825.  :)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 20, 2015, 04:32:04 PM
Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/291542847610?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2661&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

According to the seller, the instrument has serial #3692 at the left end of the arc. No NAVY number.

Box has 883 in big painted numbers on the outside of the box, and 3657 stamped near the hinge.  No NAVY number, unless 883 is it, but that is unclear.

So we have
Brandis Sextant# 3692
Brandis Box # 3657
No Navy Number
Misc number 883 on the outside of the box

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 20, 2015, 04:35:19 PM
To follow up on this thread re Navy # 2676, the seller was not able to locate a serial number at the left end of the arc, and apparently sold the unit and I've not heard anything since.

Navy 2676
Brandis ??

Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Vintage-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-Sextant-US-Naval-Issue-2676-1916-1932-/231623412413? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-Vintage-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-Sextant-US-Naval-Issue-2676-1916-1932-/231623412413?)

Photo shows Navy 2676, but no Brandis serial number.  No Box.

I've asked the seller to look for a serial number and will let you know what I hear.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 20, 2015, 04:49:20 PM
Here is another one

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-WWII-U-S-NAVY-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-4834-c1930s-/201411583015?

Looks like the box is
Brandis #4834
Navy # 2564

On the instrument it looks like Navy 2564 as well.  I've asked the seller to verify the numbers on the instrument itself

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ted G Campbell on August 20, 2015, 08:28:46 PM
Andrew,

We know you have been following this subject like a wolf on the scent, have you seen any pattern emerging?

Ted Campbell
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ted G Campbell on August 20, 2015, 08:46:47 PM
Andrew,

To expand on my last post here:  Is there a grouping number around the A.E. box number and the Brandis number that may indicate a large government (Navy) purchase?

Is there a grouping number around the A.E. box and the Navy's Observatories recallabration inspection numbers?

Ted
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 21, 2015, 02:30:25 PM
Here is another one

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-WWII-U-S-NAVY-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-4834-c1930s-/201411583015? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-WWII-U-S-NAVY-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-4834-c1930s-/201411583015?)

Looks like the box is
Brandis #4834
Navy # 2564


OK.

I've put the two sextants and the extraneous sextant box into the list (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).  Also inspection date 1941-06-28 for this sextant.

I love the little list of heights at various places on the boat.  Haven't seen that before.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on August 25, 2015, 03:35:03 AM
Another Brandis on eBay Brandis 5687 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-SONS-FIALA-OUTFITTERS-OAK-BX-/221862959223?hash=item33a8101877)

Message sent to seller requesting info on any possible additional numbers on instrument or box.
I do not see a hint of a NO number on the center of the arc.

Seller replied. No additional numbers available on instrument or box.
Metal label on box suggests civilian use.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 25, 2015, 01:54:51 PM
Seller confirms that the numbers on the instrument match the box

Brandis 4834
Navy 2564

Here is another one

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-WWII-U-S-NAVY-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-BRANDIS-4834-c1930s-/201411583015?

Looks like the box is
Brandis #4834
Navy # 2564

On the instrument it looks like Navy 2564 as well.  I've asked the seller to verify the numbers on the instrument itself

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 25, 2015, 09:57:00 PM
Andrew,

To expand on my last post here:  Is there a grouping number around the A.E. box number and the Brandis number that may indicate a large government (Navy) purchase?

Is there a grouping number around the A.E. box and the Navy's Observatories recallabration inspection numbers?

Ted

Ted

These are good questions.

On a high level scale, what we've been able to discern is that the sextant box found on Nikumaroro with two numbers fits a pattern of sextants that were once part of the US Navy inventory, i.e. they have both a Manufacturer's serial number, and also a second number that we now know was issued by the USNO upon being submitted for calibration at the USNO.  There is at best only a rough correlation  between USNO calibration numbers and Brandis numbers, so it would appear that the Navy numbers were issued not upon purchase by the Navy, but upon submission to the USNO for calibration, which may have been significantly after purchase and induction into the Navy inventory.  I imagine that new sextants were "calibrated" upon purchase and immediately sent to sea, and only after they'd been dinged and abused by swabees at sea and demonstrably off, were they then sent to be calibrated by the USNO.  Hence the USNO sequence of numbers being out of synch with the Brandis numbers.

What has become apparent recently is that there is a point where Brandis apparently moved from manufacturing 7.5 inch radius instruments to 6.5 inch radius instruments, and it seems likely that the move to the smaller radius instrument corresponds with the Brandis contract from the Navy in October 1917 to provide 1000, later expanded to 2400, new sextants to the Navy.

We've been collecting info on sextants for quite some time, but we have not been recording the association of instrument radius with sextant numbers - just an example of information we could have collected if we'd known what to collect - but with the small sample I've been able to collect, the switch between 7.5 radius and 6.5 radius instruments seems to have occurred between Brandis serial numbers 3987 and 4297.  All the instruments with serial numbers earlier than 3987 seem to be 7.5 inch radius units, and all the instruments after 4297 seem to be 6.5 inch radius instruments.  If this is correct, then it illustrates that the theoretical sextant Brandis 3500 found on Gardner island was likely a 7.5 inch radius instrument, as it predates the switch by Brandis to a 6.5 inch frame. 

All of this info on the differences in frames is something we did not know or recognize prior to this year.  If we'd abandoned the collection of information last year due to boredom, and I know it can be a bit boring, we'd never have known this bit of information.

So to answer your question, I don't know that the numbers indicate a significant purchase of instruments in and around the theoretical AE instrument #3500.  I rather think that the Navy purchase came later and was fulfilled with 6.5 inch instruments, so the AE theoretical instrument pre-dates the WWI purchase requisition of Oct 1917, and was already in the Navy inventory at the time of the war, but as others have postulated, not by much, as it may be that #3500 was manufactured during 1917.  See the Blog on Ghost of Gardner Island that has been referred to earlier in this string.

What is important is that of all the sextants we've looked at, the vast majority with two numbers are Brandis sextants with a US Navy number.  We're not seeing British, German or Russian sextants with two numbers, so the pattern we see would lead one to conclude that the box found on Gardner / Nikumaroro is a Brandis sextant that was once in the US Navy inventory approximately during WWI. 

The fact that we know Noonan carried such an instrument as his "preventer" make it all the more interesting.  If you think about it, a flying boat probably spent as much time on the water as in the air, and a nautical sextant may have been more practical during those surface intervals than an aeronautical octant (I'm not an expert here, just thinking out loud).  Most stops on the surface they should have known where they were, but what if you had to land in mid ocean, which instrument would be more useful, octant or sextant?

How box #3500 / 1542 got to Nikumaroro is an interesting question, one that has smoking gun potential if we can connect the dots between the US Navy inventory and Fred Noonan.  May not be possible, but sure is interesting to investigate.  If only we had the USNO archives at our disposal. 

I hope this has been helpful in answering your questions.

Best

Andrew



Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 26, 2015, 06:52:55 AM
These are good questions.

Thanks for the great answer, Andrew!

I don't have time to insert this into the Ameliapedia article (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) this week, but I hope to come back to it later.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Frank Hajnal on August 26, 2015, 08:57:09 AM
These are good questions.

Thanks for the great answer, Andrew!

I don't have time to insert this into the Ameliapedia article (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro) this week, but I hope to come back to it later.

Perhaps Andrew could write an updated Tighar Research Bulletin on the sextant box.  The last report was 'Numbers Game' bulletin #52, seven years ago.  We're now up to bulletin #76.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 26, 2015, 09:20:58 AM
Frank says

"Perhaps Andrew could write an updated Tighar Research Bulletin on the sextant box."

Probably worth doing, if only I had the time.  Sigh.....

I'd have to refresh myself on where the search for the archives trailed off.  Maybe something I can tackle later this fall.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Dave Thaker on August 29, 2015, 12:18:21 PM

A Keuffel and Esser sextant with a Naval Observatory number is listed on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231662444989

K&E number 37508, USNO number 1595, and a USN number, 161-USN-252194.


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 29, 2015, 07:33:16 PM

A Keuffel and Esser sextant with a Naval Observatory number is listed on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/231662444989 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/231662444989)

K&E number 37508, USNO number 1595, and a USN number, 161-USN-252194.

OK, I've added it to the table. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)   I may not have been paying strict attention over the years, but I feel that this is the first time I've put in a USN number in addition to a USNO number.

Edit: I do see another in the list:

Brandis
2539
  166 - USN 25222 (?)

ebay (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-BRANDIS-SONS-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-Original-Box-Amazing-L-K-/191524090278?ssPageName=ADME:SS:SS:US:3160); "U.S. Navy on one end of arc; "161 - USN - 25222" hand-engraved;
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on August 31, 2015, 11:57:31 AM
Yet another Brandis on eBay Navy#945 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-ANTIQUE-U-S-NAVY-NAUTICAL-SEXTANT-made-by-BRANDIS-SONS-/231671023233?)
Number on box by right hinge = 3268
Large stenciled number on front of box = 882
U.S. Navy number on arc = 945


Asked seller for Brandis number on left hand end of arc plus radius of arc.

Update: Seller reports Brandis number on arc as 3738.
Seller reports radius as 6&7/8in from the axis to the outer edge of the vernier. (does that count as a 6&1/2" radius?

Seller already answered question about the stenciled "882" by stating they purchased the sextant at a market and thus have no idea of its significance.

What's interesting is in reply #339 of this thread Andrew lists a box with 883 stenciled on the outside.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 31, 2015, 02:12:00 PM
Number on box by right hinge = 3268
Large stenciled number on front of box = 882
U.S. Navy number on arc = 945

OK.  I put it in the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).

Quote
What's interesting is in reply #339 of this thread Andrew lists a box with 883 stenciled on the outside.

Mind-boggling.

They look like the same font to me--same kind of stencil.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on August 31, 2015, 07:45:24 PM
The seller for Andrew's 883 box was located in Chicago.
The seller for  the 882 box is located in Forest Park, IL - a suburb of Chicago.

I'll guess the two instruments shared a common home at some time. Maybe a school teaching navigation. Maybe U.S. Navy (however the instrument in the 883 box did not have a NO number).

Marty, See my update above. Box and sextant numbers do not match. No calibration certificate in box.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 31, 2015, 09:53:43 PM

Number on box by right hinge = 3268
Large stenciled number on front of box = 882
U.S. Navy number on arc = 945

Update: Seller reports Brandis number on arc as 3738.


Seller reports radius as 6&7/8in from the axis to the outer edge of the vernier. (does that count as a 6&1/2" radius?

Seller already answered question about the stenciled "882" by stating they purchased the sextant at a market and thus have no idea of its significance.

What's interesting is in reply #339 of this thread Andrew lists a box with 883 stenciled on the outside.

Marty

I think you need to correct something on the table.  If I understand what we have, it should be:

On the Sextant
Brandis 3738
Navy 945
 
On the box
Brandis 3268
Navy (?) 882 (stenciled on outside of box)

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on August 31, 2015, 10:19:51 PM

I think you need to correct something on the table.  If I understand what we have, it should be:

On the Sextant
Brandis 3738
Navy 945
 
On the box
Brandis 3268
Navy (?) 882 (stenciled on outside of box)

OK.  Table  (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)updated.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on October 22, 2015, 08:59:18 AM
Another Brandis Sextant on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW2-WWII-USN-NAUTICAL-BRANDIS-SONS-SEXTANT-W-ORIGINAL-BOX-LOCK-KEY-/191721005143?&autorefresh=true (http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW2-WWII-USN-NAUTICAL-BRANDIS-SONS-SEXTANT-W-ORIGINAL-BOX-LOCK-KEY-/191721005143?&autorefresh=true)

From the photos, it would appear that we have
Brandis 1899
Navy 159 and or 010852, both on a little brass plate attached to the front of the box

No indication that there is a USNO number etched on the arc where we'd expect it.
No indication of a number stamped or stenciled on the box other than an index card indicating sextant # 1899 from 9/5/44

Interestingly...
The Brandis # is imprinted at the right end of the arc as opposed to the left end.
This instrument is similar to, but not quite the same as the usual 7.5 inch radius units we've been seeing.
On the arc is F.E. Brandis, Sons & Co. which is an early Brandis marking, most likely from between 1880 and 1916.
The serial number would also indicate an earlier manufactured instrument.

I think I'll ping the seller about other numbers that may be visible.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 22, 2015, 11:24:49 AM
The Brandis # is imprinted at the right end of the arc as opposed to the left end.

I read "NO 1899" on the right end of the arc.

I don't think that is the serial number.

Hmm.  It's not the standard, stylized NO seem on other sextants.

There may not be a period after the N (N.0. = Naval Observatory).

And the "1" does not look much like a 1.  Except the maker of the file
card did read it as a "1".

The second number on the brass plate might be read as "January 8, 1952" (010852).

"154" doesn't SEEM like the N.O. number to me.

So bizarre!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on October 22, 2015, 09:52:16 PM
Marty, "159" not "154."
There's a stenciled number 1899 on the face of the box.
There's a small brass plate on the outside top of the box.
If the seller moves the sextant to allow viewing the arc adjacent to the F.E. Brandis inscription, I'm wondering if an additional number may be located there.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 22, 2015, 10:09:21 PM
Marty, "159" not "154."

Yes, I see that now.

And I see that there pretty much cannot be a period after the "N", hence "NO." probably does stand for "Number" (well, "numero") rather than "Naval Observatory."

Still, it is bizarre.


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on February 09, 2016, 02:17:46 AM
New Brandis on eBay. Navy 2743 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW1-NAVY-SEXTANT-MAKER-IS-BRANDIS-SONS-INC-/121886697795?hash=item1c61036943:g:k3MAAOSwL7VWtQkG)
Number on box = 4902
Contacted seller asking if there is a number on the left end of the arc.
No paper in box.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 09, 2016, 04:50:22 AM
New Brandis on eBay. Navy 2743 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW1-NAVY-SEXTANT-MAKER-IS-BRANDIS-SONS-INC-/121886697795?hash=item1c61036943:g:k3MAAOSwL7VWtQkG)
Number on box = 4902
Contacted seller asking if there is a number on the left end of the arc.
No paper in box.


Thanks, Daniel.


I've added it to the table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 09, 2016, 07:05:15 AM
I've taken to capturing the photos of the numbers since they often disappear after eBay auctions so here they are.

Would be good to get the seller to verify the number on the unit itself.  I'll hold off asking redundant questions.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Daniel Paul Cotts on February 09, 2016, 04:01:35 PM
Seller replies the number on the sextant is 4440.
As before, number on box is 4902.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 13, 2016, 08:34:31 AM
Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-F-E-Brandis-Sons-C0-Brooklyn-NY-Sextant-No-2553-/231911000669? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-F-E-Brandis-Sons-C0-Brooklyn-NY-Sextant-No-2553-/231911000669?)

Apparently no box

Seller says it is SN# 2553, but I can't see that in any of the photos.  That would be a very early serial number in our list, perhaps pre WWI, hence no Navy number.

Oddly, seems that it has had the black paint mosly worn or stripped off, so the instrument is very brassy.

I've sent a question asking for a photo of the serial number, and inquiring about any other associated numbers or a box.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on April 13, 2016, 09:21:17 AM
Seller says it is SN# 2553, but I can't see that in any of the photos.  That would be a very early serial number in our list, perhaps pre WWI, hence no Navy number.

I've scrolled the pictures available for the sextant on eBay, to the next-to-last. At the end of the arc I see "NO. 2553"

What's there looks inscribed to me (rather than stamped), although it's not the familiar inscribing of "NO" (for Naval Observatory) that we're used to. Whether that's "N O." or "NO." or "N.O." I can't make out.

Is it a Brandis serial number or a Navy number? It'll be interesting what you hear back from the seller.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 13, 2016, 09:42:06 AM
Bruce

I missed that, thanks.  I think that the NO. is Number as in Brandis Serial Number. 

There are other sextants with the NO. with the serial number down thread, such as my post #359 about sextant #1899

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 13, 2016, 10:54:07 AM
This guy emailed me privately asking about the history of Brandis sextant said. I asked him if he had the box and I explained about maker's number versus N.O. Number.  I asked which number 2553 represented.  He thanked me for the information but didn't answer my questions.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 14, 2016, 10:06:43 AM
Photos of the serial number and the Brandis Mfgr mark have been added to this listing.

I believe the F.E. Brandis, Sons & Co. mark is a pre WWI marking for the company, and probably pre 1914.  Most of the sextants with USN marks say Brandis & Sons.  This consistent with the idea that the low serial number and lack of a USN number means this is a pre WWI sextant that never made it into the Navy inventory.

see attached.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 02, 2016, 03:19:27 PM
Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-Antique-Brandis-Sons-Precision-Instrument-Brooklyn-NY-Brass-WW1-era-/152190285976? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-Antique-Brandis-Sons-Precision-Instrument-Brooklyn-NY-Brass-WW1-era-/152190285976?)

I've sent a question to the seller re any numbers to be found.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on August 03, 2016, 08:23:20 AM
Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-Antique-Brandis-Sons-Precision-Instrument-Brooklyn-NY-Brass-WW1-era-/152190285976? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-Antique-Brandis-Sons-Precision-Instrument-Brooklyn-NY-Brass-WW1-era-/152190285976?)

I've sent a question to the seller re any numbers to be found.

Andrew
The description of this sextant says it has two names engraved on its arc, presumably by its owner. One of the names is H. W. Hill.

Harry Wilbur Hill (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_W._Hill) (1890-1971) was an Annapolis graduate who served in WWI. Later in his naval career he rose to the rank of Admiral. He served as navigator on the battleship USS Wyoming during WWI, and for a while, just after the end of WWI, as navigator on the battleship USS Arkansas.

A destroyer commissioned in 1979 was named for him. USS Harry W. Hill (http://www.navysite.de/dd/dd986.htm) was decommissioned in 1998 and sunk in target practice in 2004.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 09, 2016, 12:47:14 PM
So the seller of the unit on eBay indicated that the only numbers on this "sextant" are:

206C-145

Well, it turns out that this Brandis is an interesting and somewhat unusual instrument.  Something about it just didn't seem right and it took me a while to figure it out.  All the sextants we've seen up to now were held in the right hand and sighted through the tube mounted the right side (when viewed handle side down).  This one is to be held in the left hand and sited through the tube from the left.  When I studied the grip, I realized it was designed to be held in the left hand.  In addition, the arc was much smaller than sextants we've looked at, and it has various wires indicating that it utilized a light of some sort.

What we have here is a left handed Brandis aeronautical octant.

According to this website:
https://sextantbook.com/category/unusual-left-handed-sextant/ (https://sextantbook.com/category/unusual-left-handed-sextant/)

it is a model 206C, serial number 145 out of an estimated total of about 200 units made.  This one is missing the bubble telescope, and what we see is the sighting tube.  It is also missing the legs that allow it to be set down with the handle side up.

The same website dates #125 to 1931, so presumably #145 is somewhat later in date.

Compare the photos attached.  The third photo shows a right handed Brandis sextant with the bubble telescope for comparison.

Doesn't really help us move the thread forward, but it is interesting to me that new information about the Brandis product line (and Amelia's flight in general) keeps popping up.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Arthur Rypinski on September 20, 2016, 08:25:51 AM
Yet another Brandis Sextant on Ebay today:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW1-Era-Brandis-Sons-Sextant-Complete-in-Box-Naval-Observatory-1919-NICE-/272382922128?
Maker's number as shown on collimation sheet is 5317, NO number on sextant bow and box is 4193, shown in photos.
Date of inspection by USNO:  April 2, 1919

adr
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on September 20, 2016, 10:05:48 AM
Yet another Brandis Sextant on Ebay today:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW1-Era-Brandis-Sons-Sextant-Complete-in-Box-Naval-Observatory-1919-NICE-/272382922128? (http://www.ebay.com/itm/WW1-Era-Brandis-Sons-Sextant-Complete-in-Box-Naval-Observatory-1919-NICE-/272382922128?)
Maker's number as shown on collimation sheet is 5317, NO number on sextant bow and box is 4193, shown in photos.
Date of inspection by USNO:  April 2, 1919

adr


It's a real hodgepodge.


"The US Naval Observatory Cert. is dated April 2nd, 1919.   It shows a makers number of 5317, the box is marked with the number 4193 as is the sextant.  There is the U. S. Navy and the N inside of the O for Naval Observatory and the number 4161 all etched on the sextant arc."

I think the correct Maker's number is 4193--on the sextant and on the box.

NO: 4161.

The certificate does say that it is for 5317, but there is no photo showing that number on the arc.

What a mess!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Arthur Rypinski on September 20, 2016, 01:35:14 PM
Marty-
It is isn't what I don't know that gets me in trouble, it is the things I do know that aren't true.  My recollection was that the NO number was generally placed on the sextant arc, and the maker's number elsewhere. 

Not exactly.  If the number is in the middle of the arc, and hand etched, it is probably an NO number.  If it is at the end of the arc and die stamped, it is probably a maker's number.  So the number at the end of the arc and printed on the case is likely the maker's number, "4193," just as you say.

That leaves open the question of the reference to the maker's number of USNO ticket, 5307.  We can see it isn't 5307.  Is the ticket for a different sextant, or did the USNO guy put the USNO number in the wrong place on the form?   Then there is the seller's reference to "4161" as the USNO number, but no photo.  Is 4161 the "real" USNO number, and 5307 just a red herring?   

Sigh.

adr



Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on September 20, 2016, 05:04:14 PM
It is isn't what I don't know that gets me in trouble, it is the things I do know that aren't true.  My recollection was that the NO number was generally placed on the sextant arc, and the maker's number elsewhere. 

I agree that the NO number is generally placed on the sextant arc.  I've got a couple of photos of nice numbers on arcs in the photo gallery (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Photo_Gallery).

In this case, the "5317" is on the Certificate of Inspection--but there is no inscription for the NO number on the slip--that line was left empty:

(http://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/P5EAAOSw4shX4Dmi/s-l500.jpg)

Quote
If the number is in the middle of the arc, and hand etched, it is probably an NO number.

Agreed.  The seller describes the hand-etched NO number with the stylized "NO" symbol.  Though the seller does not provide a picture, I think the claim is reliable.  Here is an example from 3987/1584:

(https://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/2/21/Numbers08.jpg)

Quote
If it is at the end of the arc and die stamped, it is probably a maker's number.  So the number at the end of the arc and printed on the case is likely the maker's number, "4193," just as you say.

Agreed.  Here is 3987:

(https://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/0/0d/Numbers07.jpg)

Quote
That leaves open the question of the reference to the maker's number of USNO ticket, 5307.  We can see it isn't 5307.  Is the ticket for a different sextant, or did the USNO guy put the USNO number in the wrong place on the form?   Then there is the seller's reference to "4161" as the USNO number, but no photo.  Is 4161 the "real" USNO number, and 5307 just a red herring?   

If I had to bet, I would bet against 5307 being the real maker's number, though I cannot come up with a plausible fairy tale to account for how the wrong number wormed its way into the box for 4193.  A correction slip for the wrong sextant must be worse than useless, I would think.

The anomaly doesn't destroy the observation that there were a lot of Brandis sextants that had two numbers assocated with them.  The Niku box, 3500/1452, is still in the running.  This box does not have the NO number on it, as some other boxes do, but I don't see what conclusion, if any, could be drawn from that oddity.

(https://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/5/5e/Numbers09.jpg)

Quote
Sigh.

Life is like that!
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on October 31, 2016, 05:10:00 PM
Brandis on Ebay - not sure this one got reported

scroll down to bottom of this page
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-SEXTANT-Brandis-amp-Sons-Brooklyn-NY-Brass-WW1-US-Navy-Excellent-complete-/172389193228?ul_noapp=true&nma=true&si=whEmfF3LcXt9%252BK6R7YKZy5k4i1I%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Antique-SEXTANT-Brandis-amp-Sons-Brooklyn-NY-Brass-WW1-US-Navy-Excellent-complete-/172389193228?ul_noapp=true&nma=true&si=whEmfF3LcXt9%252BK6R7YKZy5k4i1I%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557)

Looks to be Brandis 2864 with no USNO number on the instrument or the box.

This one is interesting in that the name and the serial number are found in the center of the arc, rather than off to the left end.

I suspect that this unit never made it into the USN inventory of sextants.

Sale is over, so not sure I can ask seller any questions.

Andrew

photos here
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 31, 2016, 05:28:00 PM
Brandis on Ebay - not sure this one got reported

If reported, I didn't enter it into the table. (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)

Quote
This one is interesting in that the name and the serial number are found in the center of the arc, rather than off to the left end.

"F. E. Brandis & Sons" seems to be associated with pre-1925 instruments. 

Quote
I suspect that this unit never made it into the USN inventory of sextants.

I think what it means is that it was not sent to the Naval Observatory to be calibrated (collimated).  The random nature of N.O. numbers probably reflects a random submission of instruments to the Observatory. 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 04, 2016, 11:38:49 PM
Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/371781166363?ul_noapp=true (http://www.ebay.com/itm/371781166363?ul_noapp=true)

All I can see is the USNO number etched on the arc - # 1648.  The box has a USNO 1918 calibration sticker, but no numbers written on it.

I've sent a message to the seller asking about any maker's number at the left end of the arc, or on the box anywhere.

This one has the thicker frame that I believe was the model made for the USN during WWI.


Here is a research project for the Forum - Who was the man with initials H.K. who signed many of the USNO calibration stickers?  I wonder if the USNO calibration logs are in his grandson's attic somewhere....

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 05, 2016, 10:37:45 AM
Update on this latest from the sellers:

"Hello, The number on the arc is 1648.The Brandis number is 4521 on the left end. Box is numbered 58281on a paper label, photo added. No numbers on the label. Thanks for shopping with us.........................Chris and Deb"

Brandis 4521
USNO 1648
With 58281 in pencil inside the lid on what looks like a repair or addition.  see the photo.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 05, 2016, 03:39:21 PM
Brandis 4521
USNO 1648
With 58281 in pencil inside the lid on what looks like a repair or addition.  see the photo.

Table (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) modified.


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Gary Vance on January 05, 2017, 10:05:50 AM
I think I found another sextant to add to the list:  "In the brass part of the scale is engraved US NAVY N 4516. Case is also marked with the number 4516. Made by Brandis and Sons, Brooklyn NY, instrument makers from 1890 till 1920. Serial number of Brandis 3920 on the left side of the scale"

The sextant is for sale here: http://www.fleaglass.com/ads/wwi-us-navy-quartant-sextant-brandis-brooklyn-ny/

I didn't see it reported in our list, so I hope I'm not repeating a previous find.

Gary
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on January 05, 2017, 11:27:04 AM

... US NAVY N 4516.

Case is also marked with the number 4516.

... Brandis 3920 on the left side of the scale

...

I didn't see it reported in our list, so I hope I'm not repeating a previous find.

Looks new to me.  I've added it to the table. (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on January 05, 2017, 04:15:42 PM
That is a nice looking instrument, and more complete than most including the key to the box, but the price at 1250 Euros is way optimistic.

Looks like one of the 7.5" radius instruments with the thinner frame members which I believe are older than those constructed for the Navy Contract during WWII.

Too bad the photo resolution isn't good enough to really see the numbers, but I think we can trust the seller's description.

Happy New Year!
Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 03, 2017, 10:05:09 AM
Brandis on eBay, posted this am, but ended a few hours later.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-amp-Sons-Sextant-/132084187552?ul_noapp=true&nma=true&si=whEmfF3LcXt9%252BK6R7YKZy5k4i1I%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-amp-Sons-Sextant-/132084187552?ul_noapp=true&nma=true&si=whEmfF3LcXt9%252BK6R7YKZy5k4i1I%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557)

Seller's description includes:

The inscriptions read "BRANDIS & SONS, BROOKLYN, N.Y." and "5670." The words "U.S. Navy-N-4705" are scratched onto the arc.

Hard to see any numbers in the photos.  Looks like there may be another number on the box, but unreadable.

AMCK
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 03, 2017, 04:09:43 PM


The inscriptions read "BRANDIS & SONS, BROOKLYN, N.Y." and "5670." The words "U.S. Navy-N-4705" are scratched onto the arc.


We have N.O. 4705 /  Brandis 5760 in the table already.


Must be a typo somewhere.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on February 04, 2017, 07:40:51 AM
I'm curious whether N.O 4705 / Brandis 5760, which is documented as in the Smithsonian collection (http://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1087501), has somehow ended up in private hands and is now listed on eBay, under consignment to Blue Pelican Marine. The exact wording of the description from the SI webpage is used in the eBay description.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 08, 2017, 04:23:45 PM
That is a good question.

Possible that it got surplussed, but does the Smithsonian do that?

Anyone got a contact at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History?

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 08, 2017, 04:40:30 PM
So, I went to the SI NMAH website and surfed about.

Checking in the Departments, I found a link to "email Collections Management Services" which took me to a page where I could submit my email and ask a question.  It tells me that the email will go to Robert Horton who is the Chair of the Archives Center.  Not sure he's the right guy, but I wasn't given a choice.

here is what I posted:

<<<<<<<<<

Greetings. 

I track the sales of Brandis Sextants on the web, and noted recently this eBay sale that ended rather abruptly:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-amp-Sons-Sextant-/132084187552?ul_noapp=true&nma=true&si=whEmfF3LcXt9%252BK6R7YKZy5k4i1I%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Brandis-amp-Sons-Sextant-/132084187552?ul_noapp=true&nma=true&si=whEmfF3LcXt9%252BK6R7YKZy5k4i1I%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557)

scroll down to the bottom half of the page.

Tracing that Sextant, I also found that it is currently listed in the collection of the SI NMAH found here:

http://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1087501 (http://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1087501)

I note that the description given in the eBay listing is identical to the description from the NNAH collections site.

How is it that an object listed in the collections of the NMAH ends up being offered for sale on eBay?  Was it sold as surplus to the public?  Stolen?  What?

I retained a screenshot of the eBay listing and the photos that were posted in the event that you would care to have them.

Looking forward to hearing how and why this sextant got out of the NMAH collection.

Best regards

Andrew McKenna

>>>>>>>>>>>

Will be interesting to see what kind of response I get.

AMCK
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 08, 2017, 05:27:47 PM
Odd, but I found this same Smithsonian sextant on the following site, also related to the NMAH:

http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1087501 (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1087501)

The description includes the serial number 5670 (rather than 5760 found on the other site) along with Navy 4705, but this description also mentions that it is in box number 3946, and also includes a photo of the sextant in the box where the number is visible.  see below.

DESCRIPTION
This sextant was probably made for use in World War I. Brandis termed it a "U.S. Navy surveying sextant, 6 inch radius, reading 30 seconds of arc." New it cost $120. The frame is anodized brass. The silvered scale is graduated every 10 minutes from -5° to +182° and read by vernier with tangent screw and magnifier. The inscriptions read "BRANDIS & SONS, BROOKLYN, N.Y." and "5670." The words "U.S. Navy-N-4705" are scratched onto the arc. The serial number inside the wooden box is 3946.
Ref: Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co., Catalogue No. 20. Instruments of Precision (Brooklyn, n.d.), p. 298.

Unfortunately, the photo is not of high enough resolution to see the serial number, so it is hard to tell whether the actual serial is 5670 or 5760.  My guess is that 5670 is a typo.

Can anyone find a copy of this publication?

Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co., Catalogue No. 20. Instruments of Precision (Brooklyn, n.d.)

AMCK

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 09, 2017, 09:26:37 AM
Here is a reply from Robert Horton of the Smithsonian:

"Thank you for contacting us about this. I’ll forward your message to the Division of Medicine and Science, which holds the sextant in its collection and can answer your question; a curator will respond to you directly."

AMCK
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 09, 2017, 12:06:04 PM
And the reply from the Curator:

Mr. McKenna:
 
Immediately upon receiving your recent email, we looked on the shelf in our Reference Room and found our Brandis sextant right where it belongs. Thanks so much for bringing this matter to our attention.
 
Deborah Jean Warner
Curator, Physical Sciences Collection
National Museum of American History
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012

>>>>>>>>

So, I guess the eBay listing was some sort of bogus posting.  Go figure.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 09, 2017, 02:48:50 PM
So, I guess the eBay listing was some sort of bogus posting.  Go figure.

OK.

5760 or 5670?

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Karen Hoy on February 09, 2017, 04:22:49 PM
This is the closest record to the Brandis catalogue that appears in WorldCat:

http://www.worldcat.org/title/strictly-first-class-instruments-of-precision-illustrated-and-descriptive-catalogue-and-hand-book-of-instruments-of-precision-for-civil-and-mining-engineers-surveyors-and-astronomers/oclc/6116423&referer=brief_results

Karen Hoy
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Matt Revington on February 14, 2017, 01:15:21 PM
I have been requested by the author of this blog, The Ghost of Gardner Island,  to post a link to it

gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-brandis-sextant-taxonomy-surveying.html (http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-brandis-sextant-taxonomy-surveying.html)

It contains (among other things) some discussions of  Brandis sextants that are relevant to this thread.



Edited by MXM to make the link work.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 14, 2017, 03:23:49 PM
The plot thickens

Marty asks "5760 or 5670?"

Sextant 5760 listed on the Smithsonian site
http://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1087501 (http://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1087501)

Vs number 5670, as indicated on this site:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1087501 (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1087501)


I asked Deb Warner of the Physical Sciences Collection if she could verify the actual serial number, and here is her reply:

<<<<<<<<<<<<
Andrew:
 
I just looked again at the Brandis sextant. The correct s/n is 5670. I would like to correct listing on the NMAH collections site, but the technology behind that site is so old that changes are now impossible.
 
Deborah
>>>>>>>>>>>

So it is
Brandis 5670
Navy 4705
in box # 3946
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 14, 2017, 03:26:31 PM
I have been requested by the author of this blog, The Ghost of Gardner Island,  to post a link to it

gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-brandis-sextant-taxonomy-surveying.html (http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2016/11/a-brandis-sextant-taxonomy-surveying.html)

It contains (among other things) some discussions of  Brandis sextants that are relevant to this thread.



Edited by MXM to make the link work.

Yes, for those interested in all things Brandis, this site has a lot of good information about the different variants and some reasonable thoughts on dates of manufacture that might help guide us to understanding what type of Brandis may have been found on Nikumaroro (assuming the serial numbers of the box match the sextant it held).

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Bruce Thomas on February 14, 2017, 03:52:14 PM
The plot thickens

Marty asks "5760 or 5670?"

Sextant 5760 listed on the Smithsonian site
http://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1087501 (http://amhistory.si.edu/navigation/object.cfm?recordnumber=1087501)

Vs number 5670, as indicated on this site:
http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1087501 (http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1087501)


I asked Deb Warner of the Physical Sciences Collection if she could verify the actual serial number, and here is her reply:

<<<<<<<<<<<<
Andrew:
 
I just looked again at the Brandis sextant. The correct s/n is 5670. I would like to correct listing on the NMAH collections site, but the technology behind that site is so old that changes are now impossible.
 
Deborah
>>>>>>>>>>>

So it is
Brandis 5670
Navy 4705
in box # 3946

I updated the entry in the table within Ameliapedia.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 22, 2017, 02:11:08 PM
Different Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-Brandis-1941-WWII-Navy-with-case-/322430590749?hash=item4b125c5f1d:g:HkAAAOSw32lYrEi8 (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-Brandis-1941-WWII-Navy-with-case-/322430590749?hash=item4b125c5f1d:g:HkAAAOSw32lYrEi8)

Calibration Label indicates
Brandis 3898
Navy 4842

Looks like 3898 on the Box as well.

I asked the seller to confirm the numbers on the instrument match the box.

Added 2/27/17 - Seller confirmed the numbers as follows:

"Yes, I confirm the numbers on the card are the numbers engraved on the instrument
Also - please look at the additional pictures (7) I added to the listing.
Thank you for your interest. vonposen"

AMCK
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 22, 2017, 04:27:41 PM
Calibration Label indicates
Brandis 3898
Navy 4842

Looks like 3898 on the Box as well.

I've updated the table. (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)

I put the inspection date as 1941.  The last digit seems to me to be obscure.  I suppose it could be part of a 4 or a 7.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 18, 2017, 11:14:30 AM
Couple of Brandis popped up on eBay today.

First looks like Serial 6028 in Box 3850

http://www.ebay.com/itm/122449968517?ul_noapp=true (http://www.ebay.com/itm/122449968517?ul_noapp=true)

From the photos, I can't see any USNO number etched on the arc.  I'll ask the seller if there is one.

Interesting that the serial number is in its own little polished "bubble".  I would take that, along with the high serial number, and no USNO number to mean that this unit is a later manufactured instrument compared to most of the sextants we've seen, and probably was never in the Navy inventory.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 18, 2017, 11:43:05 AM
The second sextant is listed on eBay, but is also part of a live auction this weekend.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/332184487778?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (http://www.ebay.com/itm/332184487778?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)

From what I can see, it has a Navy number of sorts - 161-USN-25219 - hand etched into the frame rather than the arc.

I can't see a serial number, or any number etched into the arc. 

The box has a stenciled number starting with 57XX, but the last two numbers are illegible in one photo, or cut off in another.

I've sent questions to the seller to see if they can provide further info on numbers.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 18, 2017, 04:08:29 PM
Seller of this first sextant says the following

"Hi. Yes, the number is 6028 and the box says 3850. There are no numbers etched on the arc or on the box. It appears that a label may have been removed from the inner lid, but it is no longer with the set. Thanks for your interest."


Couple of Brandis popped up on eBay today.

First looks like Serial 6028 in Box 3850

http://www.ebay.com/itm/122449968517?ul_noapp=true (http://www.ebay.com/itm/122449968517?ul_noapp=true)

From the photos, I can't see any USNO number etched on the arc.  I'll ask the seller if there is one.

Interesting that the serial number is in its own little polished "bubble".  I would take that, along with the high serial number, and no USNO number to mean that this unit is a later manufactured instrument compared to most of the sextants we've seen, and probably was never in the Navy inventory.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 18, 2017, 06:05:38 PM
Seller of this first sextant says the following

"Hi. Yes, the number is 6028 and the box says 3850. There are no numbers etched on the arc or on the box. It appears that a label may have been removed from the inner lid, but it is no longer with the set. Thanks for your interest."


Couple of Brandis popped up on eBay today.

First looks like Serial 6028 in Box 3850

http://www.ebay.com/itm/122449968517?ul_noapp=true (http://www.ebay.com/itm/122449968517?ul_noapp=true)

From the photos, I can't see any USNO number etched on the arc.  I'll ask the seller if there is one.

Interesting that the serial number is in its own little polished "bubble".  I would take that, along with the high serial number, and no USNO number to mean that this unit is a later manufactured instrument compared to most of the sextants we've seen, and probably was never in the Navy inventory.

Andrew


Andrew, do you mean Brandis 6028?  I can't tell whether the 3850 is from Brandis or N.O.  Offhand, it sounds like two Brandis numbers to me, with no N.O. intervention in the case.
[/size]
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 19, 2017, 01:09:12 PM
Marty asks (I had to get my magnifying glass out to read the teeny tiny print !)

<<<<
Andrew, do you mean Brandis 6028?  I can't tell whether the 3850 is from Brandis or N.O.  Offhand, it sounds like two Brandis numbers to me, with no N.O. intervention in the case.
>>>>>

Yes, the first is Brandis 6028, found on the left end of the arc, inside box #3850, which I take to be also a Brandis number as it is stenciled onto the box as other Brandis numbers are.

Apparently there is no USNO number for this instrument.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 19, 2017, 01:22:17 PM
Seller of the second sextant has the following to say

"Hi.
There are no numbers at the left end of the arc. All numbers are shown in images, some of which are new. The number on the box is 5756."

Checking the posting again,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/332184487778?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (http://www.ebay.com/itm/332184487778?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)

there are some new photos of the USNO number on the arc, and the calibration stickers from 1935 and 1937.  The numbers on the stickers and the instrument of course do not match, so bear with me.

The sextant
Serial unknown
USNO # 1142

The Box
5756 stenciled (Brandis)

The calibration sticker
USNO 1114
Brandis 5756

So, the box matches the sticker and originally held Brandis 5756, USNO 1114

Instrument in the box is Brandis ????, USNO 1142.

I've asked the seller to please eyeball the instrument again for the serial number at the end of the arc or elsewhere.

Andrew


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 19, 2017, 02:05:39 PM
Marty asks (I had to get my magnifying glass out to read the teeny tiny print !)


Sorry about that!


There is some bug (or feature) in Chrome that does not play well with the Forum software.   :(

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 19, 2017, 02:14:31 PM
So, the box matches the sticker and originally held Brandis 5756, USNO 1114


OK.  I've put Brandis 5756 NO 1114 into the table (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Jerry Germann on April 19, 2017, 10:58:17 PM
Has anyone been able to search through this collection; http://rs5.loc.gov/service/mss/eadxmlmss/eadpdfmss/2013/ms013013.pdf
Though born in a foreign land, he immigrated to the U.S. and started a navigational school in California. I believe it was he who was shown the box found on Gardner and was asked for his opinion concerning it.  Mr Gatty may have been familiar with Brandis boxes, and the sextants within, having resided in the U.S. for some time before that event. It would be interesting to see if there is any reference to the Gardner box in his papers. I wish I were closer to the collection.
Box 22 has some photographs , but I suppose the chance that the Gardner box would be included in one would be small.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 20, 2017, 09:36:38 AM
Seller of the second sextant has the following to say

"Hi.
There are no numbers at the left end of the arc. All numbers are shown in images, some of which are new. The number on the box is 5756."

Checking the posting again,

http://www.ebay.com/itm/332184487778?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT (http://www.ebay.com/itm/332184487778?_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT)

there are some new photos of the USNO number on the arc, and the calibration stickers from 1935 and 1937.  The numbers on the stickers and the instrument of course do not match, so bear with me.

The sextant
Serial unknown
USNO # 1142

The Box
5756 stenciled (Brandis)

The calibration sticker
USNO 1114
Brandis 5756

So, the box matches the sticker and originally held Brandis 5756, USNO 1114

Instrument in the box is Brandis ????, USNO 1142.

I've asked the seller to please eyeball the instrument again for the serial number at the end of the arc or elsewhere.

Andrew

Seller of this sextant sent me the following:

<<<<<<<<
Great news! Not having ever held one of these before, I was holding it upside down, so there were no numbers on the "left" end. Having righted the world, and removing a bit of smutz, I find 5981 in tiny numbers in the silver band. Thank you for sticking with me on this!

Kimberly
>>>>>>>>>>>>

So this instrument is
Brandis 5981
Navy 1142

in Box originally for
Brandis 5756
Navy 1114

It is interesting that these relatively high Brandis numbers have relatively low Navy numbers.  Sure would love to find the USNO calibration archives....

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Arthur Rypinski on April 23, 2017, 05:44:35 AM
Re:  Gatty papers

Harold Gatty has many different connections with the Earhart saga.  I had no idea that his papers even existed, much less that they are in the Library of Congress in Washington.  Gatty was an Australian, and a a famous navigator on several early long-distance flights.  He was a proselytizer for the use of celestial navigation in aviation.  Along with Weems, he worked on several inventions to make it more practical.  He was hired by Pan Am, circa 1935, to organize their air service in the South Pacific.  I don't know exactly how and when he first went to Fiji, but he was consulted on the sextant box when it turned up.  Gatty certainly lived in Fiji after World War II, where, among other activities, he started an airline.  He died in 1957.   
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Paul Blackman on April 25, 2017, 08:26:44 AM
Hi Ric, Hi fellow TIGHARs

Greetings from Warsaw, Poland ! Have just joined so apologies in advance if this post is in the wrong place.

Have been fascinated by the Niku hypothesis for a while now and having had some time on my hands over the weekend decided to take a look at the whole sextant piece. Maybe our search filters work a little better over here or maybe being mildly autistic helps :) but I may have found an additional 13 sextants online, 11 with USNO numbers and 8 with both USNO and Makers Number.

Have prepared a detailed Table using the same headings as the Ameliapedia Sextant Table and have tried very hard to find a way to attach a screenshot with details or a file but can't seem to figure that out. Table has links to the relevant websites. Anyone able to help me out with how to share this ?

In the meantime, I guess the really good stuff is as follows in the following format:        Maker / Maker Number / USNO Number, - = Unknown, K&E = Keufel & Esser, B&B = Buff & Buff, B= Brandis

- / - / 33
K&E / 470 / 107
K&E / 14279 / 330
K&E / - / 350
K&E / - / 438
B&B / 13024 (Box), 13135 (Sextant) / 1365
B&B / 13029 (or 13020) / 14XX
- / 3126 / 3126 (either or, Listing Unclear)
K&E / 37305 / 3277
B / 2551 (or 2561) / 4244
K&E / 3884 (Crossed Out) and replaced with 8737 / 5225
B&B / - / - Only partly visible
B / 5996 on Box. Crossed out and replaced with 6006 / -

Haven't tried to analyse these, will leave that to others far more qualified.

Anyway, hope useful. Will post full details including links as soon as someone lets me know how. That being said I'm just leaving for the airport for a flight to Moscow but have tomorrow morning free so would try to do then.

Hope useful and Happy Hunting.

Best

Paul



Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 25, 2017, 03:10:37 PM
Anyway, hope useful. Will post full details including links as soon as someone lets me know how.

You mail email me (moleski@canisius.edu) the file with the links--spreadsheet or pdf or html or whatever.

There are tutorials on how to attach images, insert links, etc.

Putting tables in these Forum posts is nearly impossible.  I've tried many times, with unsatisfying results.


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Paul Blackman on April 25, 2017, 11:41:25 PM
Hi Marty
Can't make that work either.
Shall I just send to the general Tighar email address ?
Paul
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 26, 2017, 10:22:52 AM
Hi Marty
Can't make that work either.
Shall I just send to the general Tighar email address ?
Paul

moleski@canisius.edu is where I get the email from TIGHAR.

moleski@canisius.edu has been in service for me since 1990.

It is a working email address.

All that this link (moleski@canisius.edu) does is to let you access that email address with your default email client.

Trying to send formatted material via our "contact us" form might
work, too.



Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Paul Blackman on April 26, 2017, 11:29:22 PM
Hi
Done, sent to this mail.
The issue is not the address but rather that the link opens up in Microsoft Outlook whereas I'm running a Zoho system.
Best
Paul
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 27, 2017, 06:37:52 AM
Done, sent to this mail.

Thanks.  I'll work on updating the sextant table after breakfast, all things being equal.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 01, 2017, 08:46:45 AM
OK, this took a while to sort out.

I've done a temporary sextants table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Temporary_sextant_table) so that Andrew and others can see the new items that you proposed to add to the big table.

With any luck, I've also attached the spreadsheet that Paul emailed me, with coloring and comments.  I've made some corrections in inspection dates and made decisions about various numbers.

The last entry, Brandis 5996/6006 is most interesting.  I think it is an aviation quadrant, with an electric light (see the wires and the on/off switch on the handle.  I suspect that the inspection certificate was for 5996 and that 6006 got placed in the wrong box.  The mysterious "Weems 805W" on the inspection certificate is tantalizing.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 01, 2017, 08:56:39 AM
The mysterious "Weems 805W" on the inspection certificate is tantalizing.

I did a Google search for "Weems 805W," which turned up one result:
"The One That Got Away" (http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-one-that-got-away.html) by "The Ghost of Gardner Island."

He identifies the instrument as a Byrd sextant. 

"A Byrd sextant was aboard the NC-4, the U.S. Navy Curtiss seaplane that made the first-ever flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1919.  But by the mid-1920s, the Byrd sextant had been replaced by other types of bubble sextants."

The Ghost reads the class on the inspection certificate as "aeronautical."  I think "aviation" is a better reading of the handwriting.  But the idea is the same.  The Ghost and I both think that the instrument in the box is Brandis 6006, while the inspection certificate is for the (now lost) 5996. 

The article is well worth reading for the other information it gives about Weems, Byrd, and the development of bubble sextants.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 12, 2017, 01:42:42 PM
Another Brandis on eBay today

http://www.ebay.com/itm/222542741960?ul_noapp=true

Seller confirms that the instrument is
Brandis #5524
USNO #4374
in Box #4065

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 12, 2017, 02:26:25 PM
Brandis #5524
USNO #4374
in Box #4065

Thanks.

I put it in the table. (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Steve Lyle Gunderson on June 13, 2017, 04:27:35 PM
Another Brandis on eBay today

http://www.ebay.com/itm/222542741960?ul_noapp=true

Seller confirms that the instrument is
Brandis #5524
USNO #4374
in Box #4065


amck


Little fuzzy, but looks like #5584?
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 13, 2017, 04:30:55 PM
Little fuzzy, but looks like #5584?


Looks that way to me, too.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 13, 2017, 06:45:11 PM
Seller said it was 5524, but you are right, does look like 5584.

I'll ask him to verify which.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ted G Campbell on June 13, 2017, 07:55:17 PM
Marty,

Regarding the “sextant box table” you have been maintaining; are there enough entries today to conduct a statistical analysis to determine the odds of the Niku box i.e. #3500/1542 coming out of the Navy’s laboratory around the time of AE’s flight?

Note to all, are there any statistical analysts in our group that may be able to take on such a task?

Ted Campbell
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on June 13, 2017, 08:26:23 PM
Here is a photo I got from the seller

pretty clearly 5524 vs 5584

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 13, 2017, 09:12:00 PM
Here is a photo I got from the seller

pretty clearly 5524 vs 5584


Yes.  Different angle from the one that makes the "2" look so much like an "8"!

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 13, 2017, 09:15:50 PM
Regarding the “sextant box table” you have been maintaining; are there enough entries today to conduct a statistical analysis to determine the odds of the Niku box i.e. #3500/1542 coming out of the Navy’s laboratory around the time of AE’s flight?

I am not a statistician.

I am doubtful that statistics would help.

The Brandis sextants show 4-digit serial numbers and 4-digit Naval Observatory numbers.

Where we have certificates glued to the box, they show that some of the instruments were calibrated LONG after they were constructed.

The table also shows that there is no correlation between serial numbers, which suggest time of construction and purchase, and the Naval Observatory numbers. 

So far as I can tell, nothing in the table rules out the numbers from Niku being from a Brandis sextant box that had been used by the Navy.

Neither does anything in the table guarantee that this is so.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ted G Campbell on June 14, 2017, 08:51:48 PM
Marty,

Thanks for the response.  What I was suggesting is, let’s sort out all the Brandis 3XXX boxes and analyze the Navy numbers on those boxes.  Hopefully, we have some Navy dates associated with their numbers that would narrow the date period.

Ted Campbell
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 14, 2017, 10:10:01 PM
Thanks for the response.  What I was suggesting is, let’s sort out all the Brandis 3XXX boxes and analyze the Navy numbers on those boxes.  Hopefully, we have some Navy dates associated with their numbers that would narrow the date period.

Help yourself.

All the data is in the table. (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)

Click on the sort symbol next to or under the headings to sort on the values in that column.

The table will then become resorted according to the ascending or descending values in that particular column.

You can then browse through the thirty Brandis 3xxx entries and see what you can see.

It is extremely difficult to make tables work in this Forum.  It is easier to see the columns in the wiki.

Brandis   3193   none      Smithsonian      yes
Brandis   3227   845      Mariner's Museum   no   
Brandis   3239   850      Dominic Winter Book Auctions; "circa 1918." "Brandis & Sons Mfg. Co. Brooklyn."   no   
Brandis   3249   836      ebay   no   "3249" in pencil inside box lid and in ink on box top
Brandis   3268   882 (?)      ebay; 882 is stenciled on front of the box.   no   882 stenciled on front; box only; contains 3657
Brandis   3320   4799      eBay (reported 11/22/2011 on AE Forum by D.P.Cotts)   no   no
Brandis   3331   1421      Land and Sea; in box for 4551   No   No.
Brandis   3336   4773      eBay (no box)   no   
Brandis   3339   1415   1942-12-26   Antique Helper   No   Yes
Brandis   3360   1446      in box for 4131, which is stamped in ink above right hinge. Also stamped in ink: Brandis Lamp; Sons Inc 764-753 Lexington Avenue Brooklyn, New York No   No
Brandis   3444   1461      eBay.   no   No, box is for a Buff & Buff
Brandis   3483   1567   1932-01-27   ebay; box only.   no   
Brandis (theoretical)   3500   1542      Niku    ?   maybe
Brandis (sextant only)   3511   1585      TIGHAR (sextant only)   no   
Brandis   3527   1599   1933-05-04   TIGHAR; large box; box only   yes   
Brandis (theoretical)   3547   173      Pensacola    ?   
Brandis   3596   4510      ebay; 7.5" radius   no   no box
Brandis   3657   883 (?)      box holding sextant 3692; ebay      no; 883 stenciled on box
Brandis   3692   none      ebay      no; in box for 3657
Brandis   3702   none      e-bay. Large "916" stenciled in gold on box.   no   "916"?
Brandis   3738   945      ebay; In box for 3268.   no   
Brandis   3806   4879      purchased by TIGHAR member Jim Linder   no   
Brandis   3826   4603      eBay   no   Brass plaque on box: "248 US Navy 101009"
Brandis   3832   4831   1937-09-30   WestSea.com   no   No?
Brandis   3893   4569   1941-03-14   ebay; sold in 1946 as war surplus   no   
Brandis   3898   4842   1941-04-18   Last digit in inspection year uncertain: 194? ebay   no   3898 on box; no NO No. seen in ebay pictures.
Brandis   3920   4516      Fleaglass.com   no   seller says "yes"
Brandis   3946         Box only. Holds Brandis 5670.      No.
Brandis   3985   4826      eBay (reported on AE Forum 6/30/2012 by Walter Runck)   no   No
Brandis   3987   1584   1938-11-30   TIGHAR   no   yes


Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ted G Campbell on June 15, 2017, 02:17:17 AM
Marty,

Thanks for the table.

Please explain the entries for:  Box no. 3511/1585 – TIGHAR and Box no. 3527/1599 – TIGHAR.

I thought we were working on Box 3500/1542 where did these other numbers come from?

Ted Campbell
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 15, 2017, 06:30:51 AM
Please explain the entries for:  Box no. 3511/1585 – TIGHAR and Box no. 3527/1599 – TIGHAR.

I thought we were working on Box 3500/1542 where did these other numbers come from?


I think those sextants were purchased by TIGHAR or by a TIGHAR member.


ALL of the "other numbers" in the table came from the process illustrated in this very thread.


People find Brandis sextants with two numbers inscribed on them, or else boxes with two numbers on them.


One is a Brandis serial number.


The other is a Naval Observatory number, issued at the time that an instrument passed through the hands of the N.O. techs.


Where there is a date, that means that we have seen the certificate written up by the N.O., which shows when the instrument was last calibrated  by the techs.  Those certificates are all glued inside the lid of the boxes, as far as I remember. 


Not all of the boxes with two numbers have certificates glued inside, so we don't have dates for the last calibration for all of our pairs of numbers.



Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Paul Blackman on June 16, 2017, 08:24:21 AM
OK, this took a while to sort out.

I've done a temporary sextants table (http://tighar.org/wiki/Temporary_sextant_table) so that Andrew and others can see the new items that you proposed to add to the big table.

With any luck, I've also attached the spreadsheet that Paul emailed me, with coloring and comments.  I've made some corrections in inspection dates and made decisions about various numbers.

The last entry, Brandis 5996/6006 is most interesting.  I think it is an aviation quadrant, with an electric light (see the wires and the on/off switch on the handle.  I suspect that the inspection certificate was for 5996 and that 6006 got placed in the wrong box.  The mysterious "Weems 805W" on the inspection certificate is tantalizing.

Hi
If we're going down the statistical analysis road, are any of the 13 sextants I sent through some weeks back going to make the main table ? Might make sense...
Best
Paul
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 16, 2017, 09:18:10 AM
If we're going down the statistical analysis road, are any of the 13 sextants I sent through some weeks back going to make the main table ? Might make sense...

I indicated in a post in this thread (https://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,183.msg41491.html#msg41491) that I had organized a temporary wiki table (https://tighar.org/wiki/Temporary_sextant_table) and a spreadsheet (https://tighar.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=183.0;attach=10581).

In those tables, I showed where there were problems with your data.  I marked those rows in red and yellow.  You have not replied to the questions I ask there. 

I can add some of the sextants you listed.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on June 16, 2017, 09:37:54 AM
I have added the following to the part of the table where we have reasonable good evidence of two numbers (maker's serial number and N.O. number):

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Keuffel & Esser
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 470
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 0107
|<!--                      Inspection Date --> 1942-12-31
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [http://www.sharingthepast.com/blog/2015/1/8/vintage-us-navy-sextant-keuffel-esser-made-1887-or-1888-inspected-1942 Manufactured 1887/1888?]  Class: survey.  Lacks stylized N+O.
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box --> Engraved in two places on instrument.  Punch-stamped twice on hingeline of box.  Class: Survey.


|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Keuffel & Esser
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 14279
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 330
|<!--                      Inspection Date --> 1931-06-11
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/34350185 Live Auctioneers.]  Class: H.G.  Stylized N+O.  Unusual inlaid U.S. Navy shield with N+O and N+O 330 on it.
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box --> Unusual engraved brass plaque on top.


|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Buff & Buff
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 13135
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 1365
|<!--                      Inspection Date -->
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [http://www.la-timonerie-antiquites.com/en/antique/620/antique-sextant-1908-buff-amp-buff-us-navy La Timonerie Antiquities.] Manufactured 1908?  Maker number and NO number on instrument.
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box -->


|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Keuffel & Esser
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 37305
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 3277
|<!--                      Inspection Date --> 1940-09-20
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [https://www.cloudynights.com/classifieds/item/98780-very-nice-1919-keuffel-esser-sextant-for-us-navy/ Cloudy Nights.] "1919 K&E Sextant."  Class: Survey.
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box -->


|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Brandis
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 4244
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 2561
|<!--                      Inspection Date -->
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [https://www.moinat.ch/en/miscellanea/11546-sextant-us-navy-n-2551-par-brandis-son.html Moinat SA,] "Sextant 'US NAVY'' N° 2551 par Brandis & Son."  I read 2561 in the photo.
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box --> "4244" (?) is in ink on the hingeline.  Not visible on photos of instrument.

I put these three in the part of the table that has no NO numbers:

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Buff & Buff
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 13024
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. -->
|<!--                      Inspection Date --> 1919-04-24
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [http://www.la-timonerie-antiquites.com/en/antique/620/antique-sextant-1908-buff-amp-buff-us-navy La Timonerie Antiquities.] Manufactured 1908?  Class: Survey
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box --> 13024 on box & inspection. Inlaid shield--seems to be blank.

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Brandis
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 5996
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. -->
|<!--                      Inspection Date --> 1920-10-08
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/37227113#&gid=1&pid=1 Live Auctioneers.] Maker's No.: 5996 crossed out on inspection certificate.  6006 written in green ink.
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box --> 5996 punch-stamped on box in large numbers near hasp.  "Weems 805W" in upper-right corner of certificate--pencil? different ink?  Class: Aviation.  Sticker: "Directional Laboratory Instrument Service, Nautical - Aeronautical - Industrial, Ivanhoe, Baltimore, MD." 

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Brandis
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 6006
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. -->
|<!--                      Inspection Date -->
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/37227113#&gid=1&pid=1 Live Auctioneers.] In box for 5996?  Quadrant?
|<!--                               Bubble --> Yes?  Wired with on/off switch, light.
|<!--                        N.O. # on box --> 5996 punch-stamped on box in large numbers near hasp.  "Weems 805W" in upper-right corner of certificate--pencil? different ink?  Class: Aviation.  Sticker: "Directional Laboratory Instrument Service, Nautical - Aeronautical - Industrial, Ivanhoe, Baltimore, MD." 

== Not added to either list ==

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> ?
|<!--                            Maker No. --> ?
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 33?
|<!--                      Inspection Date -->
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [https://www.bidsquare.com/l/293/8-inch-radius-brass-sextant Bidsquare.] The "No." is not the stylized N+O found on other instruments. 
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box --> yes? "33" stamped on front in large characters. Inked?  No other indication that it is a U.S. Navy instrument.

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Keuffel & Esser
|<!--                            Maker No. -->
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 350
|<!--                      Inspection Date -->
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-us/auction-catalogues/clars-auction-gallery/catalogue-id-srcl10018/lot-b7aed445-891d-40fb-a038-a43000b1110a The Saleroom]
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box -->

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Keuffel & Esser
|<!--                            Maker No. -->
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 438''
|<!--                      Inspection Date -->
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [http://sailing.adventures.gr/navigation/antique-wwi-us-navy-keuffel-esser-brass-stadimeter-nautical-sextant-ship-compass/ "Antique Keuffel & Esser Co WWI US NAVY Brass Stadimeter Nautical WW1 Sextant Ships Maritime Compass."] "The stadimeter was designed in 1895 for gunnery purposes, but its first sea tests, showed that it was equally useful for fleet sailing and for navigation. Since it does not require a large instrument, it was ideal for hand-held implementations on US Navy Warships or installation in a submarine’s periscope.  ... A stadimeter is an optical device for estimating the range to an object of known height by measuring the angle between the top and bottom of the object as observed at the device."
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box -->

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> ?
|<!--                            Maker No. -->
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. --> 3126
|<!--                      Inspection Date -->
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> [https://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/2248/lots/310 Skinner Inc.] sys "Mark II, No. 3126, 1940."  Inspection sticker is illegible in photo.
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box -->

|- valign="top"
|align="right"|<!--                  Maker --> Keuffel & Esser
|<!--                            Maker No. --> 8737
|style="background:#C9E8FF;"|<!-- Navy No. -->
|<!--                      Inspection Date -->
|align="left"|<!--                Comments --> "8737" is punch-stamped on box with "Keuffel & Esser Co / New York."  A Keuffel & Esser sticker says "No. 5225.  Serial 3844 (lined through) "8737" (Added in Red Pencil).  "U.S. Navy" "N" (circled) "No, 8737."  No photo of that engraving.
|<!--                               Bubble -->
|<!--                        N.O. # on box --> Inlaid shield.  Seems blank.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on August 09, 2017, 04:41:53 PM
Another Brandis on eBay today. 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-full-size-brass-old-American-made-Brandis-amp-Sons-U-S-Navy-markings-/162622108310?fromMakeTrack=true (http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sextant-full-size-brass-old-American-made-Brandis-amp-Sons-U-S-Navy-markings-/162622108310?fromMakeTrack=true)

USNO # 4070
Brandis # ???  Photos are too blurry to read the Brandis number.

Calibration sticker looks like USNO # 4639 but it is a bit blurry.

Can't see any numbers stenciled or imprinted on the box.

I've asked the seller for the Brandis number and any other numbers he can find.

UPDATE:

Seller has this to say -
 "the small number on the left end is "5106" , the "Brandis # on the calibration sticker is "4639", the line for the Navy # is left blank. The only number on the carrying box is a "5" stamped on the top of the lid. Thanks for your interest. Gary"

So the instrument is
Brandis 5106
USNO 4070

in box that once held Brandis # 4639

AMCK
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on September 15, 2017, 08:24:26 AM
Another Brandis on eBay

http://www.ebay.com/itm/American-sextant-in-case-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-N-Y-missing-lens-early-20-C/263205325195?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2060353.m1438.l2649

Brandis 5965
No Navy #

Looks like it was never in the Navy inventory.

I seem to be having problems posting photos and will try to get a few up shortly.

AMCK
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on October 18, 2017, 09:16:00 AM
Different Brandis on eBay a couple of weeks ago

https://www.ebay.com/itm/SEXTANT-US-NAVY-USN-American-made-Brandis-amp-Son-Brooklyn-NY-PARTS-D40-/122737739254?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&nma=true&si=whEmfF3LcXt9%252BK6R7YKZy5k4i1I%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

Looks like this one is

Brandis 5214 (based upon question answered by seller)
Navy 2900

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 18, 2017, 09:24:02 AM
Brandis 5214 (based upon question answered by seller)
Navy 2900

OK.  Added to the table. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on October 20, 2017, 09:57:07 AM
Another Brandis on eBay

https://www.ebay.com/itm/391909847255?ul_noapp=true

This one looks like

Brandis #370 (or 376?)
Navy #936

in box for
Brandis #366 (?)
Navy # 889

I've asked the seller to confirm the serial numbers on the instrument and the box.

This would seem to be an early instrument in that both numbers are relatively low in comparison to what we've seen up to now.

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 20, 2017, 12:46:51 PM
I've asked the seller to confirm the serial numbers on the instrument and the box.

This would seem to be an early instrument in that both numbers are relatively low in comparison to what we've seen up to now.


Agreed.


The Navy numbers on the box and the sextant seem quite clear--both 3-digit numbers.


The inked numbers inside the box lid look to me as though they could be four digits instead of three.  That splotch of ink at the end looks like a fourth digit to my eye.

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on October 31, 2017, 11:07:39 AM
TIGHAR member Jim Thompson spotted a new Brandis offering on ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/372121687425?ul_noapp=true

Box is for 4798.  N.0. number on tag is obscured. 
Makers number on arc looks like 4836.
N.0. number on arc might be 2607.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on October 31, 2017, 11:49:55 AM
TIGHAR member Jim Thompson spotted a new Brandis offering on ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/372121687425?ul_noapp=true (https://www.ebay.com/itm/372121687425?ul_noapp=true)

Box is for 4798.  N.0. number on tag is obscured. 
Makers number on arc looks like 4836.
N.0. number on arc might be 2607.

Let's see if Andrew will pick this up and run with it.

He has been the driving force in contacting sellers to get clarity about all the numbers (both on the box and on the instrument).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 02, 2017, 05:53:17 AM
A shout out to Jim Thompson!

I think you've got the numbers right

Instrument is
Brandis 4836
Navy 2607

In box originally made or 4798
I don't think the Navy number is obscured on the tag, there just isn't one.  It is the maker's name Brandis that is obscured.

Should this post be moved to the "Can you add to these sextant numbers" thread?

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on November 02, 2017, 06:06:08 AM
Here is what the seller says

<<<<<<<<
Hello! Apologies for the late reply.

Serial number on arm reads 3703
Number stencil above right hinge is 3667 (the seven is partially obstructed by some ink)

Next to right hinge, imprinted in the wood of both upper and lower parts of box is the number 889

Thank you for your interest
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
So it should be

Brandis #3703
Navy #936

in box for
Brandis #3667
Navy # 889
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 02, 2017, 06:32:26 AM
Brandis #3703
Navy #936

in box for

Brandis #3667
Navy # 889

Added to table (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 02, 2017, 06:45:00 AM
A shout out to Jim Thompson!
Hear, hear!

Quote
Instrument is

Brandis 4836
Navy 2607

In box originally made for 4798

Added to table (https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns).

Quote
I don't think the Navy number is obscured on the tag, there just isn't one.  It is the maker's name Brandis that is obscured.

Agreed.  That is a very early inspection date: 30 January 1919.  It's the fifth earliest in our list.  The four earlier instruments all had NO numbers.

Quote
Should this post be moved to the "Can you add to these sextant numbers" thread?

Yes.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on November 02, 2017, 07:43:04 AM

There is something wrong here. The photos do not lie. The seller must be looking at a different sextant and box. 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on November 02, 2017, 07:52:26 AM
Thanks again to Jim Thompson:

Here's the ad for Brandis #936
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Antique-US-Navy-SEXTANT-Brandis-Sons-w-Wooden-Box-936-missing-pieces/391909847255?hash=item5b3fa5b0d7:g:jCgAAOSwLJ9Z6M9Q

Here's another Brandis, but with no numbers anywhere. ???   Curiouser and curiouser.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/American-sextant-in-case-Brandis-Sons-Brooklyn-N-Y-missing-lens-early-20-C/263205325195?hash=item3d4842898b:g:8VgAAOSwNm5ZuZF7
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on November 02, 2017, 09:04:45 AM
Here's another Brandis, but with no numbers anywhere. ???   Curiouser and curiouser.

Jim Thompson says he can see Maker's Number 5965 on the arc and speculates that the box may have been refinished.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on November 02, 2017, 09:13:30 AM
There is something wrong here. The photos do not lie. The seller must be looking at a different sextant and box.

This is what the seller says: (https://www.ebay.com/itm/372121687425?ul_noapp=true)

This item is an Antique 1919 Brandis & Sons U.S. NAVY Maritime Sextant with Case coming from a local estate in very good condition. You will receive all of the shown items...some use wear on pieces...

WOOD CASE...labeled Brandis & Sons of Brooklyn NY...Certificate Of Inspection dated Jan. 30 1919...Model 4798 (also marked on case)...key lock & 2 hook eyes...bottom has use scratching.

SEXTANT...arc marked U.S. NAVY 2607, also 4836( graduated from 0-180).



He doesn't know as much as we do about sextants and sextant boxes.   8)
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on November 02, 2017, 10:31:49 AM
He doesn't know as much as we do about sextants and sextant boxes.

Not many people do. It's one of the many subjects with which we've had to become familiar.
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on February 07, 2018, 08:41:39 PM
Brandis that showed up last week on eBay - Marty you already put this one in the table, but I wanted to document it here.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1917-WWI-Brandis-Sons-US-Navy-Surveying-Sextant-with-Box-Case-/173126547032

Seller’s response to my query about any numbers

"The number on the arch is 4129. The blue stamped number is 4483. Sincerely, Blue Crab Antiques"

I believe that the “blue stamped” 4483 is the faintly visible stenciled number near the right hinge.

so it would look like we have

Brandis 4129
Navy 1530

In box for Brandis 4483
No Navy number
Odd that the box has a USNO calibration certificate, but no Navy number indicated on that cert.

Ric pointed out the following

Brandis 4129 is 629 sextants later then Brandis 3500.
Navy 1530 is only 12 sextants earlier than Navy 1542.

With thanks to Jim Thompson for his sharp eyes.

amck
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 29, 2018, 09:06:22 AM
Another Brandis showed up on Ebay yesterday

https://www.ebay.com/itm/273240849230?ul_noapp=true&autorefresh=true (https://www.ebay.com/itm/273240849230?ul_noapp=true&autorefresh=true)

Based upon the Brandis sticker inside the lid, the instrument is an Octant #2679 delivered 1/19/1911.  No Navy sticker.

I could be wrong, but this seems like the first time we've seen a Brandis Sticker like this inside the box lid.

I've asked the seller if there is a number on the instrument or elsewhere on the box.

Andrew

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on May 29, 2018, 09:19:50 AM
Marty

By the way, in the Ameliapedia table, Brandis #5375 is listed twice for some reason, and also listed as "Yes" for Bubble, which if you look at the photos in the link, it is clearly not a bubble instrument. 

Best

Andrew
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 29, 2018, 04:06:05 PM
Brandis #5375 is listed twice for some reason, and also listed as "Yes" for Bubble, which if you look at the photos in the link, it is clearly not a bubble instrument. 

Fixed.

"Stuff happens."

Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 29, 2018, 04:13:19 PM

https://www.ebay.com/itm/273240849230?ul_noapp=true&autorefresh=true (https://www.ebay.com/itm/273240849230?ul_noapp=true&autorefresh=true)

Octant #2679 delivered 1/19/1911.  No Navy sticker.

OK.  I put it in the table. (http://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro#Sextant_Box_Numbers:_Suggestive_Patterns) 
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Greg Daspit on May 29, 2018, 05:12:39 PM
Another Brandis showed up on Ebay yesterday

https://www.ebay.com/itm/273240849230?ul_noapp=true&autorefresh=true (https://www.ebay.com/itm/273240849230?ul_noapp=true&autorefresh=true)

Based upon the Brandis sticker inside the lid, the instrument is an Octant #2679 delivered 1/19/1911.  No Navy sticker.

I could be wrong, but this seems like the first time we've seen a Brandis Sticker like this inside the box lid.

I've asked the seller if there is a number on the instrument or elsewhere on the box.

Andrew

Another interesting thing about his one is it has actual dovetail joints. Only the second one like it I have seen.
From
 https://tighar.org/wiki/Sextant_box_found_on_Nikumaroro
"Note to file 4439-40 (40). MacDonald to Vaskess (passed along to Sir Harry)
The Secretary
Mnt (39), para. 2, I have spoken to Captain Nasmyth who replied as follows:- "As the sextant box has no distinguishing marks, & since it was discovered that no sextant had been found, all I have been able to find out is that the make of the box – that is – the dovetailing of the corners – makes it appear to be of French origin."
Title: Re: Can you add to the list of sextant numbers?
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 29, 2018, 06:40:21 PM

https://www.ebay.com/itm/273240849230?ul_noapp=true&autorefresh=true (https://www.ebay.com/itm/273240849230?ul_noapp=true&autorefresh=true)

Another interesting thing about his one is it has actual dovetail joints. Only the second one like it I have seen.

I've added that comment to the record for the sextant.  The joints are very strikingly different from the "finger joints" on other Brandis boxes.  Good eyes!