Pinhey’s Point and Champlain 2013 – Whose Astrolabe?

Reproduction astrolabe in the collections of Champlain Trail Museum, made by Wilfred Lavergne of Computing Devices of Canada, 1967.

Reproduction astrolabe in the collections of Champlain Trail Museum, made by Wilfred Lavergne of Computing Devices of Canada, 1967.

In the latest edition of the Horaceville Herald (the newsletter of the Pinhey’s Point Foundation) Bruce Elliott discusses the new exhibit connected with Champlain, Whose Astrolabe?/À qui l’astrolabe?:

Our exhibit about Champlain focuses on the astrolabe commonly attributed to him that is on display at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau. The exhibit has three components. The first takes a critical view of the debate over the origins of the astrolabe, a 17th century French marine navigation instrument found near Cobden, Ontario in 1867. The second presents a previously unseen 1893 manuscript account of the old Muskrat Lake portage route penned by steamboat Captain Daniel Keyworth Cowley. It includes an account of the astrolabe’s discovery, but more importantly it sets it in the context of other 19th century artifact discoveries in the vicinity, and casts new light on the Algonquin presence in the area. The third part explains how the astrolabe has become an iconic yet contested symbol that means different things to different people. A video component presents four short films about the astrolabe spanning 50 years of its more recent history.

Read the entire article and newsletter here.

Whose Astrolabe? Origin and cultural ownership of a Canadian icon
This exhibit from the Pinhey’s Point Foundation features a hitherto unseen manuscript account of the discovery of the Champlain or Cobden astrolabe in 1867, and an exploration of its contested status as a cultural symbol.
Pinhey’s Point Historic Site • May 12 to August 31, 2013 • Wed. to Sun.
11-5 • 270 Pinhey’s Point Road, Dunrobin • 613 832-1249 •
www.pinheyspoint.ca

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