Climate Ecosystem Dynamics Blog

Sep 29, 2014

Mapping the Gulf Stream

Cousin Timothy Folger and Uncle Ben Franklin are credited with the publication of the first map of the Gulf Stream. Cousin Timothy Folger, was a Nantucket Merchant ship captain. Franklin was the Postmaster general. Folger was up to speed on transit times that were a fortnight longer sailing to the colonies than the return trip to London. By the way, a fortnight is 14 days. At sea, the Gulf Stream is easy to spots as its waters are an emerald blue-green.

Two copies of the Franklin-Folger 1770 map were discovered in 1980 at the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. Franklin and Folger used a navigation chart of the Atlantic Ocean as their base map and added to it the course, the breadth and strength the Gulf Stream.

Franklin-Folger’s map, however, was not the first map of ocean circulation showing the Gulf Stream, Franklin-Folger are pre-dated by A. Kircher (1665) and by Happelius (1685). LINK

Source material:

R. M. Farquhar and I. R. Fletcher
Science, VOL.207, 8 February 1980

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