Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Sunday April 29, 1894

Mr E. Buller & Mr Gray called about Mr Buller’s method of using[?] azimuths for navigation & to see the new buildings &c.

William Christie, Astronomer Royal
RH says..... I have not been able to find out who Mr Buller and Mr Gray were, or anything about the former's navigational method. However, this entry is a good illustration of the Royal Observatory's role as one of the Admiralty's scientific departments, testing equipment and commenting on navigational methods. The ROG had, of course, been founded "for perfecting the art of Navigation".

1 comment:

  1. Ernest Wentworth Buller, MRAI, MRUSI, MIEE published 'Semi-Azimuths, a new method of Navigation' in 1893, with an article about his method appearing in ‘Nature’ in January 1894. This described Buller as ‘equally earnest in denouncing the shortcomings of the existing systems of navigation, and in advocating the merits of his own’.

    Reviewing Buller’s pamphlet in ‘The Observatory’ in July 1893, George Pulsford of the Greenwich Hospital School commented that ‘the assertions of the Preface and in the body of the work show a limited experience of actual navigation’. While complimentary about much of Buller’s working, Pulsford felt that his ‘levity … as to Special Tables ’ was ‘quite out of place’ and was not impressed by Buller’s poor opinion of navigators.