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1Author:  Alexander, William, 1726-1783Requires cookie*
 Title:  Variation of the compass, 1773     
 Dates:  1773 
 Abstract:  This slender volume is an essay by William Alexander, a prominent figure in New Jersey politics and business. Alexander wrote this essay with the hope that it would spur the American Philosophical Society to support the study of variations in compasses. Alexander's interest in this subject likely had to do with his background as a merchant. He realized compass variations created inefficiencies and risks for captains and the merchants that relied on them. Alexander appeals specifically to the APS's mission by stating that such a study would be "useful to mankind." Alexander's essays shows that he is conversant in many of the current theories about variations. He also proposed a plan for the APS to facilitate a systematic study of compass variations that he believed would produce a clear general law for variations in compasses.

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 Call #:  Mss.522.76.Al2 
 Extent:  1 item(s) 
 Topics:  Science and technology | Surveying and Maps | Trade 
 Genre:  Scientific Correspondence | Scientific Data 
 Subjects:  Astronomy -- 18th century | Compass. | Learned institutions and societies.