Exhibition | Time and Navigation

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on April 14, 2013

Press release (10 April 2013) for a new permanent exhibition at the National Air and Space Museum:

Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., opening 12 April 2013

Curated by Paul Ceruzzi, Roger Connor, Andrew Johnston, and Carlene Stephens

Bond chronometer

Bond Chronometer, 1812. This was the first American-made marine timekeeper taken to sea. William Cranch Bond, a 23-year-old Boston clockmaker, crafted it during the War of 1812 (Smithsonian, National Museum of American History)

If people want to know where they are, they need a reliable clock. It might seem surprising, but knowing the accurate time is essential for determining position. A major exhibition opening April 12, Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There, explores how revolutions in timekeeping over three centuries have influenced how people find their way. This project is a unique collaboration between two of the Smithsonian’s largest and most popular museums: the National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History.

“Time and Navigation is an ambitious exhibit because it traces the development of very complicated technologies and makes us think about a subject we now take for granted,” said Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, director of the museum. “Today, the technology needed to accurately navigate is integrated into mobile computers and phones: hundreds of years of technological heritage tell your handheld device where you are in a seamless manner. This opens up new possibilities and challenging questions for the next generation of scientists and explorers who visit this exhibit to start thinking about.”

The gallery is organized into five sections and spans three centuries of efforts to travel on Earth and through the solar system. In each section the visitor will learn about pioneer navigators facing myriad issues, but one challenge always stands out: the need to know accurate time.

Navigating at Sea is an immersive environment that suggests a walk through a 19th-century sailing vessel. Visitors will learn how centuries ago navigators at sea relied on chronometers and measurements of celestial objects to determine location. This section includes a mariner’s astrolabe, dating from 1602; a Ramsden sextant and dividing engine; several chronometers; a model of Galileo’s pendulum clock, as well as the earliest sea-going marine chronometer made in the United States, produced by Bostonian William Cranch Bond during the War of 1812. It also features an interactive display that allows visitors to use a sextant to navigate with the stars. (more…)

Call for Papers | 2014 Society of Architectural Historians, Austin

Posted in Calls for Papers by Editor on April 14, 2013

From SAH:

Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians
Austin, Texas, 9-13 April 2014

Proposals due by 1 June 2013

sah_header_logoThe Society of Architectural Historians is now accepting abstracts for its 67th Annual Conference in Austin, TX, April 9-13, 2014. Please submit abstracts no later than June 1st for one of the 30 thematic sessions or open sessions. Sessions have been selected to cover topics across all time periods and architectural styles. SAH encourages submissions from architectural, landscape, and urban historians; museum curators; preservationists; independent scholars; architects; and members of partner organizations. (more…)

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