Arithmetic for sailors | State Library of New South Wales

Arithmetic for sailors

This is an original manuscript of a student's course in mathematics bound into brown paper covers, from 1763. It is beautifully written, and contains elaborate and skilled diagrams. 

The name 'James Cook' is written in Roman capitals on the page before the title page, along with the date, 10 November 1763. It was orignally thought that the book belonged to Captain James Cook, but the handwriting is not like his, and there is no signature in the book. Unfortunately, the connection with Captain Cook is unlikely.

Trigonometry and dialling were essential mathematical skills for the navigator. Dialling is the mathematics needed to understand and construct a sun-dial. Trigonometry was used to calculate distances and directions. 


 > View the entire manuscript via the Library's catalogue catalogue link