Exhibition - Charting Your Course: Cutting-Edge Navigation and Seafaring

Wednesday, Apr 24, 2024 from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Pequot Library
720 Pequot Avenue

Until the late 1700s, sailors and navigators had no reliable way to measure longitude at sea, costing time, money, and lives. When the British Longitude Act of 1714 offered an impressive £20,000 reward to anyone who could solve this problem, self-taught carpenter John Harrison began a decades-long pursuit of the solution. Unlike renowned scientists including Galileo and Newton, who believed the answer could be found by measuring the celestial movements of the clockwork universe, Harrison created a mechanical alternative: the marine chronometer. Charting Your Course: Cutting Edge Navigation and Seafaring explores the revolutionary inventions and advancements of Harrison and others, pairing Pequot Library’s 16th to 19th century manuals, maps, and atlases with manuscript workbooks in which students in Connecticut learned the latest principles of navigation. Together, these materials illuminate the ways that ideas, innovation, and geography shaped Connecticut’s culture and economy in ways still felt today.

This exhibition and all related programming are supported by the Connecticut Humanities. It remains on view through May 11, 2024.

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