Kaster Spherant c 1932, w/Chester Nimitz Letters (SEXT11)
This is a museum piece. Three Kaster Spherants were made and the other two are lost. The designer, Ensign Howard Kaster, had an ongoing relationship with Admiral Chester Nimitz in the 1930's regarding its development. The actual correspondence between Nimitz, Kaster, and his associates is included with the signature of Chester Nimitz, including photos, two manuals, and the processed check written by George Fulford to Howard Kaster when the only remaining Spherant was purchased from its inventor.
From George Fulford's notes:
Kaster and Nimitz, then a junior officer, met when both were at Berkeley in the late 1920’s when Nimitz was there to set up Berkeley’s first Naval ROTC.
Kaster showed Nimitz his prototype Spherant who was impressed enough to ask for a finished product to take to Washington. He came back and told Kaster that the Navy liked it very much but that there was no money available to buy any at the price of $975(!) set by the manufacturer. So, only two were manufactured after the prototype. Kaster told me the Navy had lost one and the other was in the vaults at Berkeley. I looked into that one and it too is missing. So my prototype is the only one left.
More about this unique and rare instrument can be found in a 1930 article written by Howard Kaster, located here.