New Instruments for the Collection

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We added two really interesting navigating instruments to our collection this month.  Both were designed to help navigators plot a tropical storm’s circulation so the ship could navigate around the zones where the worst weather was occurring—essentially “navigating by storm.”

The first, extremely rare instrument is called a Paracyclone. It was designed by Captain François Louis Roux of the French Navy in the 1870s and constructed by A. Santi of Marseille. This particular instrument was for use in the Southern hemisphere although Santi also developed a supplemental semicircle for Northern hemisphere use. Unfortunately this piece is missing the compass plate that would help determine the course of the storm. Only two other instruments of this type are known—one is in the Science Museum in London and the other is at the Observatory of San Fernando in Madrid.   Read more

Behind the Scenes Tour

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Very rarely am I asked to give behind-the-scenes tours as Jeanne and Cindi usually do them, but this past Friday I got to take a small group of Ukrainian journalists on one.  They were here as part of a media partnership program with The Daily Press.  You can read more about that HERE.

Wanting to pull something from their country, I searched and searched and was only able to come up with one piece, a print of Odessa, which actually shows the city at a time when it was part of Russia.   Read more

Visiting Family History

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One of my favorite things to do is take someone to an artifact that has personal meaning to them and watch their face light up as they see the piece and reminisce about it and their family history.  Very recently this happened (although to another co-worker this time) as we had a woman come in looking for two carvings her grandfather, William Geggie, had done.

Thankfully a staff member was able to direct her to where they are displayed in our business entrance and we were able to send her more information about the pieces and her grandfather.  The museum hired Geggie to carve these pieces in 1957 to compliment a couple of our figureheads that were being displayed at the front of the museum.  Working full time, he was able to complete them in four months.   Read more