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Men of Invention and Industry

Samuel Smiles

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Book Excerpt: 
. . . forgotten inventors live for ever in the usefulness of the work they have done and the progress they have striven for."—H. M. Hyndman.

One of the most extraordinary things connected with Applied Science is the method by which the Navigator is enabled to find the exact spot of sea on which his ship rides. There may be nothing but water and sky within his view; he may be in the midst of the ocean, or gradually nearing the land; the curvature of the globe baffles the search of his telescope; but if he have a correct chronometer, and can make an astronomical observation, he may readily ascertain his longitude, and know his approximate position—how far he is from home, as well as from his intended destination. He is even enabled, at some special place, to send down his grappling-irons into the sea, and pick up an electrical cable for examination and repair.

This is the result of a knowledge of Practical Astronomy. "Place an astronomer. . . Read More