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    Re: Historical Magnetic Variation/Declination
    From: Jim Thompson
    Date: 2004 Jun 14, 07:21 -0300


    Interesting that:
    1. During all of this period China enjoyed very low magnetic variation 0*-10*, and that by popular theory this was the first culture to use magnetic compasses.  Connection?
    2. During the 1500's Europe and the Atlantic enjoyed very low variations (down to zero), when European navigators were taking their first bold oceanic steps.  They needed all the help they could get. given the state of navigation technnology in those days.
    3. During the great European expansion periods of the 1700's and 1800's much of the USA, southern Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia also had relatively low variations (0* - 20*), except for a time in the north Atlantic at the end of the 1700's for several decades when variations were quite high.  Must be a story there.  Good thing that by then celestial navigation was improving.  I can only imagine how easy it would have been to get off course during those decades in the north Atlantic with variation so large and changing year to year relatively rapidly, but how easy it would have been to use a compass to travel by land and sea over many other regions where economy spurred history.

    Jim Thompson
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