This is a metal instrument shaped like a rectangular box. On the top, it has a flat metal plate that is affixed to the box below by a hinge along one edge. When flapped down, this plate sits horizontally over the top of the box. On the plate, there is a circular metal disk with a non-linear scale around the rim, labelled in “Minutes” and “Km Minutes”. There is a circular scale on the metal plate around the edge of the disk; this is labelled in “True Alt.” “Miles” and “True A.S.”. On the interior of the disk, there are two arc-shaped holes each with short scales drawn on the disk above or below the arc. These permit conversion from “Air Temp. Centigrade” to “Ind. Height Thousand Feet” and the reverse.
This plate flaps up to reveal the rectangular box-shaped instrument underneath. It consists of a top metal plate with a circular hole in it. This is covered by a plastic window. Visible through the window there is a red grid pattern printed on a paper or fabric sheet. This can be moved up and down along its x-axis by turning a ridged knob on one side of the box. Around the edge of the window on a silver-coloured circular rim there is a scale graduated in degrees, and with cardinal directions indicated. This rim can be rotated by turning a ridged metal handle on one side of the box.
On one edge of this rotating disk, there is an arc-shaped section with a scale along the bottom edge, graduated in units from 0 in the centre to 40 on each side. One side of this is labelled “Drift Port Var. East” and the other “Var. West Drift Strbd”. In the centre of this arc, pointing towards the rotating circle there is an indicator arrow labelled “True Course”.
Attached to one side of the box there is a hollow cylindrical tube. On the underside of the flat top, there are two plastic rods for holding something flat. Tucked into these is a brown card tag, with a reinforced hole punched at one end. The tag is two-sided and has spaces for information about the instrument and, on the other side, its calibration. The information side has been filled out by hand.
On the rear, there are four round holes in the backplate. Through them, the internal rolling grid is visible.
Accession Number: 2019.ast.177
Metal: Iron Alloy, Metal: Aluminum Alloy?, Card, Textile (Grid).
Engraved and enamelled on the lid: “I.C.A.N.
Engraved and enamelled next to the grid window: “DALTON DEAD RECKONING COMPUTER
STANLEY MANUFACTURING CO. LIMITED
Printed/written on the paper label: “RETAIN THIS TAG”
“Section… 6-B Ref. No…. 425 Part. No….
Description… Computers[?] Navigation Type “D”
Serial No…. O’Hauled by…
Unit… I-E D Date… 17/10/46 Remarks… Visual Inspection’s
Certified Serviceable… Date…”
“R.C.A.F.- W H
H.Q.–885 – W 11”
“To be used with all instruments, etc.
subject to calibration or checking before issue.
Ensure all information required is entered.”
On a stamp stamped over this tag: “R.C.A.F.
Rear of label: “TO BE WITH ARTICLE
RETURNED AT OVERHAUL”
“Running Time Since New”
“Running Time Since O’Haul…
Installed in… Date…
Returned for O’Haul… Reason…
Signature and Rank…”
On the rear: “X.Y.6360”
Scratched into the paint on the rear: “↑RCAF”
Scratched into the metal on the rear of the lid plate: “Gro[?]ulding[?]
Dimensions (cm): Height = 3.5, Width = 16, Length = 16.
The Dalton Dead Reckoning Computer is a mechanical calculator designed to aid with flight planning, including (according to the Wikipedia page on the similar <a href=”https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E6B”>E6B</a>) “fuel burn, wind correction, time en route, and other items.”
Good: The instrument’s surface shows some evidence of use. The black paint is chipped and worn off some of the surfaces of the lower part of the box, particularly on the edges and corners. On the base and top of the box, there are scratches in the paint/metal.
The hinges of the lid are in good condition. The continuous rotating grid inside the instrument functions, as does the rotating disk. The plastic window covering it is somewhat yellowed and scratched on the surface. The cardboard label is bent but in good condition.
Stanley Manufacturing Co. Limited, Toronto, Canada
Date of Manufacture: c. 1939-1942
This artifact appears to have been in use by the Royal New Zealand Air Force (R.N.Z.A.F.) during WWII. was purchased as surplus following WWII, and may have been used for teaching at the Department for the Astronomy & Astrophysics or at the David Dunlap Observatory, possibly as a slide rule. If the former, it was probably moved at some point to the Observatory for storage. The sphere was kept at the David Dunlap Observatory until 2009. Upon the sale of the Observatory, it was moved to the University of Toronto’s Department of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the St George Campus. In 2017 it was moved to a new storage location in McLennan Physical Laboratories.
Additional Information and References:
- Donated to UTSIC