Maury, Matthew Fontaine

Matthew Maury's Whale Chart Third Ed

Scarce chart of whale sightings. M.F. Maury A.M. Lieut. U.S. Navy (Preliminary Sketch) Series F.

DESCRIPTION: Rare world-wide thematic chart of reported whale sightings by Matthew Fontaine Maury. Provides data on whale sightings by season, geographic area, whale species, and relative frequency. First published in 1851 but this 3rd edition printed in 1956.

Maury's Whale Chart provided valuable information about the migratory patterns of various whale species based on data collected from whalers and merchant ships and depicted the seasonal movements of different whale species in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It included information about the regions where whales were most commonly found during specific times of the year, helping whalers optimize their efforts and increase their chances of successful hunts.

The last three editions of Maury's Whale Chart may be identified thus:
  • Third Edition (1956)
    Upper top left position with logo of eagle clutching items in claws surrounded by text: "Hydrographic Office U.S. Navy". Top right position is blank. Bottom right position reads "Price 20 cents / H.O. Miscel. No. 8514".
  • Fourth edition (1960)
    Upper top left position with logo of eagle over an anchor surrounded by text: "United States Hydrographical Office". Top right position reads "Catalog: Introduction. Part 1.". Bottom right position reads "Price 50 cents / H.O. Miscel. No. 8514" .
  • Fifth edition (after 1972)
    Upper top left with logo containing an eagle perched on a globe with text "Defense Mapping Agency". Top right position reads "Catalog P2V10". Bottom right reads "Lith of Wm. Endicott & Co. N. York | 5018 | DMA Stock Number | W0XZC5018.

Matthew Fontaine Maury
(1806 - 1873)

Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806–1873) was an American naval officer, oceanographer, and astronomer known for his pioneering work in oceanography, meteorology, and cartography. He is often called the "Pathfinder of the Seas" and the "Father of Modern Oceanography and Naval Meteorology" and later, "Scientist of the Seas" for his significant contributions to charting wind and ocean currents.

In 1842, Maury became Superintendent of the United States Naval Observatory and the Depot of Charts and Instruments, the forerunner of the United States Hydrographic Office. There, he had access to vast logs of data from naval and merchant marine vessels, which he used for his research.

Perhaps Maury's most notable achievement was the development of the first comprehensive charts of ocean winds and currents, based on logs and reports gathered from thousands of ship captains. His "Wind and Current Chart of the North Atlantic" (1847) dramatically reduced the length of ocean voyages. His system of recording oceanographic data was so effective that it was used internationally to improve sea travel. (1)

(1) Garcia, Christine. Atlan. Online. August 29, 2019.

CREATOR: Maury, Matthew Fontaine




CONDITION: Excellent.  Rolled with no folds. On strong paper. No holes, tears or major condition issues. Slightly dirty upper right corner as shown.



SIZE: 36 " x 24 "


PRICE: $2500


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