Friday, January 31, 2020

Set your Sundial for Success

Map of New England
Here in Special Collections, we have a lovely little volume written in 1687 by Richard Blome titled The Present State of His Majesties Isles and Territories in America. This book, along with Ogilby's America, had a profound influence upon British emigration to the American colonies. Numerous maps of various islands are painstakingly reproduced in beautiful engravings, including a decent one of New England.

Sundial instruction sheetDespite the fascinating cartographic efforts that the book contains, our favorite detail is found on the very last page of the text itself (before the list of other books that the seller is trying to hawk). An engraving of various sundials demonstrates to the reader how to properly align their garden sundial, depending upon which of the British territories they live in. New England, Barbados, Jamaica, Virginia, and Carolina all have different instructions for alignment. As we move into February, when the days are growing longer, if not warmer, it's interesting to reflect on how important the sun was for early settlers for more than just heat and light.

To see Blome's book, come to Special Collections and ask for Rare E162 .B65 1687.

No comments :

Post a Comment