image
image

image
image
 

THE LIFE AND TIMES OF
WILLIAM A. BURT,

BY GEORGE H. CANNON.
June 7, 1882.

This idea came to him gradually and assumed practical shape in the construction of the solar compass, the name he gave the new instrument. At first a rough model was made, and many difficulties were found in its mechanical construction. These were at length overcome, and the first instrument was made in the shop of William J. Young, of Philadelphia, mathematical instrument maker of that city. Subsequently some changes were made in the construction of some of its parts, but it remains to-day substantially the same as when first put together, and received on its silver plate the sun's image through its lenses. The completed instrument was submitted to a scientific committee of the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, who awarded the inventor a premium of twenty dollars, and a Scots' legacy medal; and in its report spoke in flattering terms of the capacity and adaptation of the instrument. At first its inventor thought that its main use would consist in the facility with which he could obtain the true meridian and the deflection of the magnetic needle and for this purpose it was to be carried along the surveyed line and used as often as necessary. On account of the timber and foliage, it was not expected that it could be used in actually running the lines unless the obstructions were cut away, which would render the instrument quite impracticable on the public land surveys, aside from the mineral region, and hence for some years the solar compass performed its mission in giving the latitude of the place, the variation of the magnetic needle, and the time of day, whenever the sun shone. Seldom, indeed, is it, that the possibilities of an invention are at first apparent. Burts Solar Compass

Michigan


Page 8


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
 






If you find this information helpful please consider making a donation
Thank you
Thank you



image
image
image

Site Map | Chapter Index | MICHIGAN
State College | Alpena 2 3|Branch County | Quincy | Calhoun County | Eaton County | Detroit 1820 | Detroit 1838 | Grand Blanc | Indians | Water town | Misc|Michigan 1820 | Hillsdale College 2 | Horticulture |
image