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. This map is an important contribution in the history of the visual display of quantitative information.

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.

It is important to note that the Whale Chart was a product of its time and was created with the intent of aiding the whaling industry. Today, such practices would be considered ecologically unsustainable, and the conservation of whale species is a priority. Modern research and understanding of marine ecosystems have led to the establishment of international regulations protecting whales from excessive hunting and ensuring their conservation.

Third issue (of five). Published by Hydrographic Office of the US in the mid 20th century. 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" Mid-20th-century electrotype on wove paper. Bottom margin with a purple hand stamp bearing a manuscript ink date of 1959.

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: $3500


Next shipping date is 01/02/2024. Happy Holidays!

This web site provides security by Rapid SSL

Use Visa credit card Use Discover credit card
Use MasterCardcredit card Use American Express credit card

Similar items: