The word navigation is from a Latin phrase meaning "to drive a ship." Sailors use a combination of three techniques to navigate: maps and charts, a compass, and celestial navigation.
This exhibit explains each of these techniques and showcases navigational devices, such as quadrants, sextants, compasses, chronometers, and charts.
Interesting artifacts in the Navigation exhibit include:
- Fresnel Lens from the Love Point Lighthouse at Kent Island, Maryland
- Celestial navigation devices: Mariner's Quadrant, 1400's (replica); Krongberg Astrolabe, 1600's (replica); Portuguese Astrolabe, 16h Century (replica); Back Staff (Davis Quadrant); Mariner's Cross Staff, early 1500's (replica); Octant by Armstrong of Liverpool; Hadley Quadrant; Night Octant (1883); Sextant; Ball Recording Sextant (1944); Lifeboat Sextant; U.S. Navy Sextant, Mark 5 (another view); Husan Star Globe, London, 1920.
- Weather analyzing devices: English Marine Barometer; Cary Type Marine Mercury Barometer; Aneroid Barometer from the Naval Weather Service; Aneroid Barometer from USS Franklin (CV-13); Anemometer from USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60); American, or English, Marine Mercury Barometer; Typhoon Barometer; Deep-Sea Thermometer; Motorized Psychrometer-Model Electro-V; and Expendable Bathythermograph
- Navigation instruments: Stadimeter; 19th Century Telescope; Late 19th Century Telescope; Alidade Telescope; Azmuth Circle, Mark 3, Model 2; Chip-log and 28-Second Glass; Pelorus 7" Mark 3, Mod 0, 1942; Dry Card Magnetic Compass; Sperry Gyrocompass, 1919, Mark XV, Mod 0; Portable Boat Binnacle; and Taffrail Log. Also in this display cabinet are compasses such as a replica of a water tub and magnetic needle
- Navigation training tools, early calculators and computers such as : Spherenar Craft Positoner, Thatcher's Calculating Instrument, and a Line-of-Position Computer
- Charts, remark books, navigator's kit
- Marine chronometers housed in the screw-steamer, USS Ranger's skylight. Another view.
- Display case dedicated to Matthew Fontaine Maury. Exhibited in the case: Quadrant, Berlin patent 107; Magnetic Compass by E.S. Ritchie & Sons; Builder's Plaque from USS Maury (DD-401); Marine Distance Meter Stuart #234; and a hand-engraved copper plate used for printing Wind & Current Chart of the North Atlantic,
- Bench from the Presidential Yacht, USS Sequoia (AG-23). Another view
- Hydrogen Maser Clock
The section below shows some artifacts and prior displays of the Navigation Exhibit at the National Museum of the U.S. Navy.