John Paul Jones with a spyglass
in one hand and an anchor under the other, 1779. More...
Historical navigation instruments illustrate
the various ways that people have determined the location, direction,
and speed of their ships at sea and in the air. Most of the instruments
on this site were used by Americans engaged in commercial or military
enterprises. They are housed in two bureaus of the Smithsonian Institution:
the National Museum of American History and the National Air and
may access the collection in the following ways:
by Maker to view objects grouped
by maker and to see selected biographies.
by Instrument to view objects
grouped by type and to read generic descriptions.
a complete index of the objects
on the site.