Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898 | SUBSCRIBE

Your independent source for Harvard news since 1898

Staff Pick

Finding Our Way

March-April 2015


Photograph © Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, Harvard University

Using relatively simple tools, early explorers navigated the archipelagos of the southern Pacific and many other dangerous, uncharted corners of the world. Finding Our Way: An Exploration of Human Navigation traces such endeavors by mariners from the fourteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Items both functional and beautiful are on display: compasses, scaled models of canoes, nautical atlases, and astrological texts, as well as an astrolabe, octant, and cross-staff. The marine chronometer (above) is a very precise clock made by William Bond & Son, Boston, circa 1860. Navigators used them “to keep the time at their port of origin or at a designated starting point, such as Greenwich, England,” says Sara J. Schechner, Wheatland curator of the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments. “By comparing the local time at their current geographical position with the time on the chronometer, they could find their longitude in hours, minutes, and seconds.”

 

Harvard Squared

A guide to the arts and culture, history, cuisine, and natural beauty of Cambridge, Boston, and beyond

You Might Also Like:

A colorful Byzantine funerary tunic fragment depicts faces and vegetal patterns with a border of gemstones.

Photograph courtesy of Dumbarton Oaks

Byzantine Beauties

Hinton arranges materials for the Angela Davis exhibit with (from left) Radcliffe arts program manager Meg Rotzel, gallery coordinator Joe Zane, and Pforzheimer fellow Jackie Wang.

Hinton arranges materials for the Angela Davis exhibit with (from left) Radcliffe arts program manager Meg Rotzel, gallery coordinator Joe Zane, and Pforzheimer fellow Jackie Wang.
Photograph by Stu Rosner

"Angela Davis: Freed by the People" exhibit at Schlesinger Library

A child’s horse-drawn carriage from 1907

Click on arrow at right to view full image gallery
(1 of 6) A child’s horse-drawn carriage dating to1907, from the Wenham Museum’s new exhibit
Photograph courtesy of Peter G. Gwinn/Wenham Museum

Wenham Museum’s “Equestrian Histories”

You Might Also Like:

A colorful Byzantine funerary tunic fragment depicts faces and vegetal patterns with a border of gemstones.

Photograph courtesy of Dumbarton Oaks

Byzantine Beauties

Hinton arranges materials for the Angela Davis exhibit with (from left) Radcliffe arts program manager Meg Rotzel, gallery coordinator Joe Zane, and Pforzheimer fellow Jackie Wang.

Hinton arranges materials for the Angela Davis exhibit with (from left) Radcliffe arts program manager Meg Rotzel, gallery coordinator Joe Zane, and Pforzheimer fellow Jackie Wang.
Photograph by Stu Rosner

"Angela Davis: Freed by the People" exhibit at Schlesinger Library

A child’s horse-drawn carriage from 1907

Click on arrow at right to view full image gallery
(1 of 6) A child’s horse-drawn carriage dating to1907, from the Wenham Museum’s new exhibit
Photograph courtesy of Peter G. Gwinn/Wenham Museum

Wenham Museum’s “Equestrian Histories”