Arlt, R. Sol Phys (2008) 247: 399. doi:10.1007/s11207-007-9113-4
Original drawings by J.C. Staudacher made in the period of 1749 – 1796 were digitized. The drawings provide information about the size of the sunspots and are therefore useful for analyses sensitive to sunspot area rather than Wolf numbers. The total sunspot area as a function of time is shown for the observing period. The sunspot areas measured do not support the proposition of a weak, “lost” cycle between cycles 4 and 5. We also evaluate the usefulness of the drawings for the determination of sunspot positions for future studies.