Name

Nathaniel Bowditch

Career

Science

Occupation 1

Navigator

Occupation 2

Scientist

Identifier

New American Practical Navigator

Region

NA/New England region

Era

Maritime Republic (1751-1815)

Born

1773

Died

1838

Source

Astronomer and mathematician� In 1785 he became an apprentice clerk in the ship-chandlery shop of Hodges and Ropes in Salem; five years later he moved to the shop of Samuel C. Ward. Between January 1795 and December 1803, Bowditch made five voyages on merchant ships, including four to the East Indies and one to Europe, serving on the last voyage as master and part owner.

In 1804 Bowditch became head of the Essex Fire and Marine Insurance Company in Salem. Although his term as president included the embargo years and the War of 1812, the company flourished�


New American Practical Navigator

Nathaniel Bowditch Society website --

Text

Bowditch's first major contribution was his revision of John Hamilton Moore's The Practical Navigator . Working in collaboration with his brother William, Bowditch corrected the errors in the thirteenth English edition and produced in 1799 the first American edition. A second edition appeared in 1800, and what would have been the third was prepared in 1801. Because Bowditch's alterations were so extensive, however, this third edition was instead published under his own name as The New American Practical Navigator (1802). By the time of Bowditch's death, The New American Practical Navigator was in its tenth edition. Widely used throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, this handbook� was more of a practical manual than a scientific contribution

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