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Detailed map of the southernmost part of Alaska, centered on Ketchikan and extending to the Alaska-Canada Border, north to Thorne Island and east to Mt. Gladstone (BC).

As noted in George Davidson's The Alaska Boundary (1903) discussing an earlier edition of the chart:

. . . .This chart appears to be based largely upon the Chart No. 8100 of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, with the title, "Clarence Strait, Revillagigedo Channel and Portland Canal, S. E. Alaska." It was published in 1899, but first appeared in 1891. The latest aids to navigation reach Mar. 1902.

The scale of this British Chart is two-thirds that of the United States Chart, or four and one-quarter nautical miles to one inch. The shore line is quite effectively brought out by conventional contouring to connect the mountain peaks determined by triangulation; and by the gray tinting of the land surface. This makes the lines of canals, straits and bays appear more in accordance with the natural aspect.

The name Portland Canal is given to the northern part of that great arm, and Portland Inlet to the southern and wider part. The Pearse Canal, which received the condemnation of Vancouver, is shown to be only one-quarter of a mile wide at its narrowest part; and the name is placed on Pearse Island. No name is given to the crooked continuation of Pearse Canal between Wales Island and Fillmore Island, and between Wales Island and Sitklan Island. The dangers to navigation therein are more emphasized than in the U. S. Coast Survey chart . The soundings are taken from the latter authority.

It is instructive to note the great disproportion in breadth and depth of that dangerous passage way, and the breadth and depth of the Portland Inlet and Canal.

Condition Description
Original pastedown plate for Chart Seller in British Columbia. A number of minor fold splits and some occasional loss as illustrated. Some soiling and spotting.
British Admiralty Biography

The British Admiralty has produced nautical charts since 1795 under the auspices of the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (HO). Its main task was to provide the Royal Navy with navigational products and service, but since 1821 it has also sold charts to the public.

In 1795, King George III appointed Alexander Dalrymple, a pedantic geographer, to consolidate, catalogue, and improve the Royal Navy’s charts. He produced the first chart as the Hydrographer to the Admiralty in 1802. Dalrymple, known for his sticky personality, served until his death in 1808, when he was succeeded by Captain Thomas Hurd. The HO has been run by naval officers ever since.

Hurd professionalized the office and increased its efficiency. He was succeeded by the Arctic explorer Captain William Parry in 1823. By 1825, the HO was offering over seven hundred charts and views for sale. Under Parry, the HO also began to participate in exploratory expeditions. The first was a joint French-Spanish-British trip to the South Atlantic, a voyage organized in part by the Royal Society of London.

In 1829, Rear-Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort was appointed Hydrographer Royal. Under his management, the HO introduced the wind force scale named for him, as well as began issuing official tide tables (1833). It was under Beaufort that HMS Beagle completed several surveying missions, including its most famous voyage commanded by Captain FitzRoy with Charles Darwin onboard. When Beaufort retired in 1855, the HO had nearly two thousand charts in its catalog.

Later in the nineteenth century, the HO supported the Challenger expedition, which is credited with helping to found the discipline of oceanography. The HO participated in the International Meridian Conference which decided on the Greenwich Meridian as the Prime Meridian. Regulation and standardization of oceanic and navigational measures continued into the twentieth century, with the HO participating at the first International Hydrographic Organization meeting in 1921.

During World War II, the HO chart making facility moved to Taunton, the first purpose-built building it ever inhabited. In 1953, the first purpose-built survey ship went to sea, the HMS Vidal. Today, there is an entire class of survey vessels that make up the Royal Navy’s Hydrographic Squadron. The HO began to computerize their charts in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1968, the compilation staff also came to Taunton, and the HO continues to work from there today.