Measured by man's calendar it has been a long stretch of time since he first ventured forth in crude canoes on the waters skirting his early habitations.
The art of handling ships—seamanship and navigation—began before man could read or write; it was ships that first quickened his imagination and enabled him to measure his skill against Nature's elements and released him from the encirclement of small operations.
Western Europe and its civilization saved themselves from being pushed into the Atlantic by the flanking movement afforded by ships—increased knowledge of navigation.
No single individual has done more for his fellow man in lessening the hazards of navigation than has Matthew Fontaine Maury.
For the safe navigation of aircraft the world is waiting today for another Maury. Aerology is in its infancy.
No other life of this distinguished naval officer and scientist has been published in America and the author has spent the greater part of four years in its preparation.
To Commander Byrd the author and the publisher are indebted for the Foreword.
To the Hydrographic Office, Navy Department, appreciation for assistance and advice rendered is expressed.
That Maury's fame and honor may ever grow greater and that his life's work may be an inspiration for a