• A length of Chinese cloth

  • John Napier

    1550-1617. Scottish mathematician and scholar, best known for his invention of logarithms and a calculator based on these. Napier's logarithms simplified calculations making trigonometric calculations possible for those with little mathematical training. Kepler used them in his orbital calculations.

  • Narrow gauge railroads have track widths less than standard gauge ( 4' 8 1/4"). They are cheaper to build and operate with lighter, smaller equipment, popular in areas where the traffic could not justify standard gauge. They were often built as industrial railways specifically to serve a particular industry.
  • NMFS
    The Federal agency charged with fishery conservation and regulation. "NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service is the federal agency, a division of the Department of Commerce, responsible for the stewardship of the nation's living marine resources and their habitat."
  • Native Americans
    The most common term used for the indigenous people or Indians of the United States.
  • Name for the 1767 publication of astronomical tables of data for celestial navigation. It is still published. Also, any annual publication which gives the navigator all the astronomical information needed for working out position by celestial navigation.
  • One minute (or 1/60th of a degree) of latitude. Because the earth is not a perfect sphere, the length of a nautical mile varies somewhat according to latitude. It is shortest at the equator and longest at the poles. The mean length of a nautical mile is rounded off to 6,080 feet and is considered the standard nautical mile.
  • Series of Acts passed to protect English shipping from foreign competition and ensure profit from colonial trade by forcing certain commodities to be traded only with England. The first one was passed in 1651, with a follow up general act in 1660. Further acts targeting specific trades were passed in the 18th century.
  • The spherical triangle solved in celestial navigation in computing altitudes and positions. There are three points: the nearest pole, the position of the celestial body observed projected onto the earth, and the position of the navigator.
  • One of the Falkland Islands. New Island was one of the earliest of the Falklands to be colonized by American whalers, in the 1770s.
  • Sir Isaac Newton

    1643- 1727. English mathematician who laid the groundwork for calculus and did breakthrough work in optics and gravitation. In 1687, he published his Principia Mathematica in which he applied his laws of motion to the motion of celestial bodies, providing the mathematics to prove Kepler's theories. These would be used by future astronomers to produce navigational tables. He also developed the universal law of gravitation.

  • A fertilizer consisting of potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate, formed from nitric acid.
  • An early instrument designed for measuring time of night by means of Polaris (the Pole Star) and other points in constellations. It was first described in 1581. Nocturnals could also be used to work out the time of high water at a port for which the "establishment" was known. Establishment refers to the interval between the time of meridian passage of the new or full moon and the time of the following high tide. A constant for a given port.
  • A legal term. Latin for “no contest”--a defendant's plea that does not admit guilt but subjects him or her to punishment as though a guilty plea had been entered.
  • Developed from a dinghy carried aboard a schooner yacht belonging to William Weld, one of the founders of the North Haven summer colony. Four were built in the winter of 1887-8, the first of the oldest one-design racing sailing class in America. They are cat rigged boats 14' 6" long, with a beam of 4'11".
  • A route to the Far East across North America, sought by early explorers. The search for this passage would drive exploration from the 15th century voyage of John Cabot through to the early 17th century. The search was taken up again in the late 1700s.
  • Name for a legendary City of Gold, thought to be near the site of present day Bangor. Name first appears on a map in 1529.