Matthew Fontaine Maury


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Matthew Fontaine Maury
BirthplaceSpotsylvania County, Virginia
NationalityAmerican
Occupation
Oceanographer, naval officer, educator

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.

WORKS

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.

REFERENCES

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.

V. M. LIFSHITS

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commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury. Honored as the father of oceanography, Maury would later initiate the Confederate torpedo research program as the South's most brilliant scientist.
The process of laying such a cable required some understanding of what the floor of the Atlantic Ocean was like, and the task fell to the American oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873).
Navy Lieutenant Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873), who, after being disabled in a stagecoach accident, studied oceanography and became widely known for his pioneering work in the field of ocean mapping and charting.