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Map of the Grounds
Nautical Instruments Shop
|Map Location: 23|
A seaport town large enough to have different captains and mates arriving and embarking on a daily basis would very likely have a business like our Nautical Instruments Shop. Here the ships' officers could purchase or have adjustments made to their precise and somewhat delicate navigational tools.
To find their way at sea far from the sight of land, captains depended upon their quadrants and sextants - used to measure the angle between the horizon and a star (frequently the sun) - and their ultra precise time piece - a marine chronometer - along with nautical charts and tables to determine their exact location on the watery world.
A person skilled enough to adjust that most precise clock could also repair the family mantlepiece clock. One will find plently of examples of both types of timepieces along with tall case clocks, compasses, barometers, quadrants, sextants, telescopes and charts from the 19th century in this exhibit.
Visitors to the Nautical Instruments Shop can learn from the Interpreter on duty how those tools all work together in the skill called navigation. A large scale sextant that is available to try is in the Planetarium Lobby. Navigation demonstrations are also scheduled on a seasonal basis.