Three Cruises of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey Steamer "Blake" in the Gulf of Mexico, in the Caribbean Sea, and Along the Atlantic Coast of the United States, From 1877 to 1880
by Agassiz, Alexander
Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1888. First Edition. Hardcover. Very good. Two volumes, pp. xxii, 314; 220, extensively illustrated with plates from photographs, figures in the text, and folding charts (some colored, one in a rear pocket in Volume I). Publisher's blue cloth with gilt lettering on spines, top edge gilt. Some rubbing, small tears in the cloth at the head of the spine. Bindings sound, text clean; some pages unopened. Both volumes with the nautical bookplate of Norwich, CT businessman William Albert Slater, who twice circumnavigated the globe on his yacht Eleanor in the 1890s. Son of famed naturalist Louis Agassiz, the author was a highly-regarded oceanographer (among other scientific pursuits). He served as naturalist on all three expeditions of the steamer Blake (wo expeditions to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean and one off the eastern Atlantic coast as far north as the Gulf of Maine), dispatched by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey to increase knowledge of the depths of the oceans and the animals and plants living on or near the bottom and to pioneer technological advances in oceanography. The cruises of the Blake pioneered development of oceanographic equipment, collected hundreds of deep-sea and coral reef species, studied the Gulf Stream, recorded ocean temperatures, conducted sounding operations to determine ocean depths, and examined submarine mineral deposits (source: NOAA website). Volume I contains details of the equipment used on the voyages and improvements made to it, narrative essays of the cruises, sketches of the history of Gulf Stream studies and deep-sea exploration, and, for Agassiz, the first of many studies of Florida's coral reefs. Volume II contains descriptions and images of many of the species collected. (Inventory #: 17054)
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