Matthew Fontaine Maury

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Matthew Fontaine Maury
BirthplaceSpotsylvania County, Virginia
Oceanographer, naval officer, educator
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Maury, Matthew Fontaine


Born Jan. 14, 1806, in Spotsylvania, Va.; died Feb. 1, 1873, in Lexington, Va. American oceanographer and meteorologist; naval officer.

From 1842 to 1861, Maury headed the Depot of Charts and Instruments, from which the Naval Observatory and Hydrographical Office of the USA was subsequently formed. He organized the processing of log books of vessels of all countries in order to chart maps of winds and currents of the world’s oceans and charted the first map of the North Atlantic Ocean bottom. In 1847 he began publishing Notice to Mariners. Upon his initiative, the first International Conference on the Meteorology and Physical Geography of the Sea was held in Brussels in 1853. In 1855 he wrote a manual on oceanography. Maury was professor of meteorology at the Virginia Military Institute from 1868 to 1873.


The Physical Geography of the Sea and Its Meteorology. Cambridge, 1963.
Physical Geography for Schools and General Readers. London, 1864.
Manual of Geography. New York, 1925.


Lewis, C. L. Matthew Fontaine Maury: The Pathfinder of the Seas. Annapolis, 1927.
Williams, F. L. Matthew Fontaine Maury: Scientist of the Sea. New Brunswick, 1963.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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