Rude Star Finder (2102-C)


This star finder, designed for aeronautical use, was based on the Rude form as modified by Elmer Collins of the United States Hydrographic Office. It consists of a white plastic planisphere with the northern sky on one side and the southern on the other that shows all the stars in the American and the British Air Almanacs; nine clear plastic altitude-azimuth templates for use at different latitudes up to 85° north and south; an instruction card; and a leatherette container. It was published in March 1942 under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy, and cost $2.50. The Hydrographic Office transferred this example to the Smithsonian in 1957. The instrument bears the inscription "No. 2102-C / A-N TYPE 1 / STAR FINDER AND IDENTIFIER / PATENT Nos. 2304797 - 2337545 / U.S. NAVY HYDROGRAPHIC OFFICE."

Ref: Elmer B. Collins, "Star Finder," U.S. patent #2,304,797

Elmer B. Collins, "Star Finder," U.S. patent #2,337,545

Nathaniel Bowditch, American Practical Navigator (Washington, D.C.: Unted States Hydrographic Office, 1943), pp. 212-214.

"Elmer B. Collins," Washington Post (2 October 1958), p. B2.

Date Made: 1942

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences, Navigation, Measuring & Mapping


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: PH.315071.3Catalog Number: 315071.3Accession Number: 214422

Object Name: star finder

Measurements: overall: 8 1/2 in; 21.59 cmoverall: 10 1/4 in x 10 1/2 in x 3/4 in; 26.035 cm x 26.67 cm x 1.905 cm


Record Id: nmah_1253891

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.