Patents, click on any image to see larger image!
According to "The McNab Encyclopedia of Marine Appliances", by Alexander McNab, The McNab Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, three
different models were made and two different sizes of the basic model, Model 1 for private yachts, Model 2 for airplanes and smaller units
of the Nary, vessels of the mercantile marine, and aircraft; and Model 3 for the capital units of the Navy, and larger vessels
of the mercantile marine. Model 1 was manufactured in two different sizes, 12 and 15 inches in diameter; model 2 measured 13 inches, and
Model 3 was 19 inches in diameter. The model offered here has a diameter of 15 inches.
Poor's computers were sold by T. S. & J. D. Negus of New York City which was founded in 1850.
Despite the extensive references in the literature, Poor's Line of Position Computer was not a commercial success and only very few examples are known to exist, "[t]he scarcity of surviving examples suggests the government and general public had little interest in the instrument. Indeed, aviators preferred inspection tables over slide rules for navigation," The National Museum of American History. There is an example in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, to see that example with a description click here!
This fine example is in all original condition, free of defects or repairs of any kind.
Charles Lane Poor (January 18, 1866 – September 27, 1951) was born in Hackensack, New Jersey, the son of Edward Erie Poor.
He graduated from the City College of New York and received a Ph.D. in 1892 from Johns Hopkins University. Poor became an
American astronomer and professor of celestial mechanics at Columbia University from 1903 to 1944, when he was named Professor
Emeritus. He published several books on astronomy and a monograph disputing the evidence for Einstein's theory of relativity in
the pre-war years before the
theory became firmly established. Poor published a series of papers that reflect his lack of understanding for the theory
For 25 years, Poor held different positions as officer of the New York Yacht Club ("NYYC"). Poor was rubbing shoulders with many influential personalities who were also officers of the NYYC at the same time, such as: Cornelius Vanderbilt, Commodore; A Curtis James, Vice-Commodore; Frederick F. Brewster, Rear-Commodore; George A Cormack, Secretary; Tarrant Putnam, Treasurer; H. de B. Parson, Ernest F. Lorillard and Walter C. Kerr, Regatta Committee; Thomas A. Bronson, Hunter Wykes, and George A. Freeman, House Committee; Henry C. Ward, Edward F. Whitney, Alexander S. Cochran, George A. Adee and George A. Armour, Committee on Admissions; Greenville Kane, Nelson Macy and James A Metcalf, Library Committee; A. Bradlee Hunt, Paul E. Stevenson and James D. Sparkman, Model Committee; Augustus C. Taylor, Alfred C. Harrision, Cord Meyer, Charles Lane Poor, Henry H. Rogers, Henry C. Ward, J. Harvey Ladew, Maximilian Agassiz, William H. Thomas, William Lanman Bull and Paul G. Thebaud, Committee on Club Stations and Anchorages (the flag officers ex-officio); and last but not least, Poor himself who was Measurer in 1906 of the NYYC.
Poor was also a Class A Governor of the Aero Club of America, 11E. 38th St. New York City, NY, and served together with other influential personalities, such as Eddie Rickenbacker (Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, October 8, 1890 – July 23, 1973) who was an American fighter ace in World War I and Medal of Honor recipient. With 26 aerial victories, he was America's most successful fighter ace in the war. He was also a race car driver and automotive designer, a government consultant in military matters and a pioneer in air transportation, particularly as the longtime head of Eastern Air Lines.
Poor in addition, was a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and an associate fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He served several terms as mayor of the town Dering Harbor on Long Island, New York, was an avid yachtsmen, and owned the yacht Myra. His passion for yachting, astronomy, and science in general lead to his invention of the "Line of Position Computer" for maritime and also for aviation navigation.
Poor received the US Patent number 1,308,748 issued July 1, 1919 for his invention, see images above.
At Columbia University, Poor was a teacher of the astronomer Samuel A. Mitchell, who went on to become director of the Leander McCormick Observatory at the University of Virginia.
Poor's son, Edmund Ward Poor, was one of ten co-founders of Grumman Aircraft on Long Island.
Poor was an avid yachtsmen, owned the yacht Myra, and authored the book, "Men Against the Rule. A Century of Progress in Yacht Design," 1937. (only 950 copies were printed in the First Edition! However, the book is available as re-print)
Inventory Number 09242; package 7 lb, 16 by 16 by 6 inches.