Sea History 089 - Summer 1999

Page 42


..£a !Boi1a :bi d?oma ON LY ONE PLACE

ror Lunch &Dmner 0~ A U NIQUE CuuNARY ExPERIENCE



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CRUISE BY FREIGHTER EurO QC, South America! Africa, Australia & NZ, etc. Co mfo rtab e accommodatio ns fo r just 12 passengers. Reasonab le prices.

On Monday, 7 June 1999, rhe ribbon was cur on rh e Museum 's new Sperry Navigatio n W ing. This long-awa ited exhibition area houses on e of rh e fi nes t nautical instrument collections in rhe co untry. Instruments in the museum's coll ection date fr om th e mid1600s to the present. T h rough the generosity of Geo rge Sawye r, General Partn er at John F. Lehman & Co. , a trip to the Sperry N avigation W ing will give visitors th e opportun ity to travel through over 400 yea rs of navigational hi sto ry. Two galleries in the wing will display historical ins truments from the Abeles, Bj orn so n and Kleiman Coll ections. Also fea tured in this area wi ll be an ongoing fi lm on ea rl y navigation which was prod uced by rhe Ponce DeLeo n Inlet Lighthouse. The third gall ery wi ll be devo ted to the inn ovati ons and co ntributions of Elme r Sperry, one of Am eri ca's fo remost inventors and entrepreneurs. T hanks to the inn ovations of Elmer Speny and the many inve ntors who fo llowed in his path , 20th -ce ntury navigation has made tremendous strides . In h is lifetim e, Elmer Ambrose Sperry found ed eight compan ies and earned more rhan 360 patents. In 1908, his mos t notable patent was iss ued fo r th e first ball istic gyroco mpass. Once a mere curios ity, gyroscopes were li ttle m o re than a child's toy when Sperry started experi menting in 1900. It was Elmer Sperry w ho, along with German in ve nto r Dr. H . Anschutz, applied rhe 19th-century inve n tions of C. A. Bohn enberger, L. Foucault and G. M. Hopki ns to usefu l technologies for the 20th centu ry. Sperry met the technological challenges that arose when rhe increasi ng use of steel in shi p building brought about a need to overcome the unreliabi lity of rhe magnetic co mpass within a steel ship . Sperry's ingenui ty all owed him to see the gyro's potential as bo rh a co mpass and as a stabilizer on the steel-hulled ships. T hanks to rhis noted engineer and inve n to r from C orrland, New York, today, the gyroscope is the bas ic element in navigati on, av iati on, missiles, satelli tes and spacecraft. Forrhe lay perso n, navigation is a mys tery. To rhe seaso ned m;i rin er, ir is both a science and an art. T hro ugh a series of changing exh ibi ts in the new Sperry Navigation W ing the American Merchant Marine M useum will unravel the mystery fo r the nov ice and introd uce th e seaso ned mariner to dynamic, emerging technologies th at affec t our rap idly -LI DA FAS BACH, Executive Directo r changing society. (AMMM, US Merchant Marine Academy, Kings Point NY 11 024; 516 773 -5515)

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SPUN YARN In January Mystic Seaport received 13 Iroko (African teak) logs harvested in Sierra Leone, Africa, home of the Africans involved in the Amistad incident in 1837. T he wood will be used to plank the schooner Amistad, currently un de r co nstruction at Mystic. (M SM, 75 Greenmanville Avenue, PO Box 6000, M ys ric CT 06355-099 0; 86 0 572-53 17; WWW. mysricseaport. org) ... The C hristeen O yster Sloop Preservation C or po ration must fi nish restoration wo rk on rhe 38-foo t oyster sloo p of 1883 in Long Island NY by September 1999 as New York State plans to tear down the Jakobson Shipyard and th e bui lding rhar no w houses rhe sloop. (COSPC,

West E nd Ave nue, PO Box 146, Oys ter Bay N Y 11 77 1; 51 6 922- 1098) . . . T he Netherl ands continu es to bui ld h igh -quality replicas using tradi tional methods while trai ningyo ung people in shipbui ldin g skills. T he cur re nt project is a 163-foo t replica of the Zeven Provincien of 1664-5 , in the same yard in Le iys tad whe re th e D utch Easr Indiaman re plica Batavia was built. (Batavia-ya rd, Postbus 11 9, NL 8200AC Lelys tad , T he N etherlands; 31 320 26 1 4 09 ; fax : 3 1 320 26 1 360; e- mail: info @bataviawe rf. nl; we b site: www. b a t a v i awe r f. n I I zeprov.h tm) . .. A replica

Iroko wood arrives at Mystic for the schooner Arnistad. (Courtesy Mystic Seaport, Inc.)


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