A PERSONAL HISTORY OF H.M. NAUTICAL ALMANAC OFFICE
30 October 1930 - 18 February 1972


By Donald H. Sadler

Edited by George A. Wilkins


PART 1. AT GREENWICH 1930-1936   Chapters 1-3

This part covers the period after Sadler's appointment when L. J. Comrie was the Superintendent. Comrie was a leading exponent of the use of commercial calculating machines for scientific computations and the compilation of mathematical tables. He introduced major changes in the working practices in the Office and initiated the preparation of new publications. Unfortunately, his enthusiasm was incompatible with Admiralty procedures.

Chapter 1   First impressions
Appointment in H. M. Nautical Almanac Office
Staff and accommodation in 1930
Early work in the N.A.O.
The Daniels and Richards
Emden's equation and other tasks
Work of the junior staff
Chapter 2   Mainly about the work of the Office
The method of cyclic packs
The use of punched-card machines
More on the use of cyclic packs
The use of Brown's Tables
Status of N.A.O. work in 1935
Various incidents involving Comrie
The occultation programme
Eclipse and comet work
Navigational work
Use of National machines
Chapter 3   Mainly about L. J. Comrie and his work
Comrie and mathematical tables
Comrie and calculating machines
Comrie's approach to computing
Comrie as a 'consultant'
More on Comrie and mathematical tables
Comrie and the International Astronomical Union, etc.
Comrie's personal relations
Comrie and bureaucracy
Comrie's marriages
Comrie's relations with N.A.O. staff
Comrie and the N.A.O. complement
A note on my establishment and appointment
Other appointments
'Winds' - a job for the War Office
Comrie's final bid for more staff
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