The Mushrow Astrolabe I - 1628

This Astrolabe, dated 1628, was discovered near Isle Aux Morts, NL (a.k.a. Island of the dead),on November 26, 1981. It is in mint condition and in working order, it is indeed a very rare and valuable find for Newfoundland and all of Canada.

The owner of the famous explorer Champlain's original maps, Joe C. W. Armstrong, commented on the founding of the astrolabe: "It is an occasion for all of Canada to celebrate". The Smithsonian Institute, perhaps the world's premiere scientific and historical institute, has described the Mushrow Astrolabe as "Priceless". The former Provincial Minister of Tourism and Culture has described it as "The most significant find in our Province".

The Mushrow Astrolabe is unique in the world because it is in mint condition and it is graduated for Zenith (overhead) distance only, which is typically Portuguese. Out of twenty-one recorded known sea Astrolabes, only four are Portuguese. These are the following:

    (1) 1555 Dundee Astrolabe, Dundee, Scotland
    (2) 1609 Tenri (Madre De Desco), Japan
    (3) 1628 Mushrow Astrolabe, Port aux Basques, NL.
    (4) 1675 Coimbra University. Portugal.

It is the centrepiece of The Gulf Museum, Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland, Canada, and is on display during the summer months.

Wayne Mushrow

A large replica of the Mushrow Astrolabe has been erected by the town hall in Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland. In this photo Mayor Anita Sheaves and Wayne Mushrow unveils the Astrolabe as its creator watches.

The Replica

The Unveiling

This larger than life copy of the Mushrow Astrolabe clearly demonstrates the pride the local citizens have in this historical discovery. Even though the provincial government hasn't promoted the significant find, the town of Port aux Basques, NL and its museum realize the value of this artifact. It has become the centrepiece of the Gulf Museum.

The Real Thing

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