The quest for longitude at the Maritime Museum
If you are interested in technology, maths, and science (and what geek is not?) then you can’t help be fascinated by the story of how we pinned down longitude for navigational purposes. Every part of the story from the misguided use of Venus through to the creation of clocks that will hold their time while at sea is perfect geekery. And of course there’s an Australian connection through Captain Cook.
I’ve been entranced by the story of longitude ever since I read Dava Sobel’s wonderful book which details not only the development of technology but the politics involved in finding longitude. Even that political fight when the senior scientists hung on to their out-dated theories in the face of all evidence to the contrary has lessons for today.
Anyway, the point of all this is that the Maritime Museum has imported an award-winning exhibition from the National Maritime Museum in London. The show received excellent reviews elsewhere:
…simply one of the most engaging and thought-provoking shows I have ever seen, re-creating in thoughtfully designed displays the intense atmosphere of creative scientific enquiry in the Georgian era.
There’s a precisely navigated set of information on the exhibition here, or you can just jump in and buy tickets here.
Image: Maratime Museum.