A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Noell Wilson
Date: 2015 Oct 21, 08:32 -0700
I agree in general with Rommel's idea that those higher up often get the credit. A long time ago there was the idea that those in high positions had an obligation to use their efforts more for the public good. That idea has suffered recently.
I don't think that's true for Matthew Fontaine Maury. Please read about him on Wikipedia. I had to confirm my memory but, after an injury left him unfit for sea duty, he became the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory and ended up taking sea conditions out of thousands of old ships logs, establishing a reporting system for all U.S. Shipmasters, expanding that reporting to other nations representing 75% of the worlds shipping, and publishing for all sailors an early version of what would become ( my words) the Pilot Charts.
He was certainly in a position to distribute a "new" twist on celestial navigation but, as Frank, says, it was not earthshaking in general and it was a minor item for Maury. He made extraordinary contributions to the world of sailing.