Lindbergh's New Tools


Weems used this sextant in training Charles Lindbergh and Lincoln Ellsworth. The National Bureau of Standards designed it for the Navy in 1924, and Bausch & Lomb manufactured it.
Weems used these tools—a Bureau of Standards bubble sextant, a second-setting watch, and star altitude curves—to tutor Charles Lindbergh in the art of celestial navigation at night.
In 1933, Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh undertook a demanding five-month, four-continent airline survey flight from the North Atlantic to Europe, Africa, and South America that tested the viability of the Weems System of Navigation. Their open-cockpit Lockheed Sirius Tingmissartoq was far better outfitted for navigation than the Spirit of St. Louis. Charles and Anne demonstrated that long-range air navigation could be safe, practical, and reliable.
Charles Lindbergh made daytime celestial observations with this octant while Anne flew the Tingmissartoq from the rear seat. The bubble level was problematic and leaked during their flight.
This book of graphical solutions provided nighttime celestial calculations five times faster than other techniques. It required the sighting of Polaris and at least one other well-known navigational star.