Tributaries: A Confluence History Blog

“Standing atop Mount Santa Lucia in northern California at approximately 3:50 p.m. on January 1, 1889, Carleton Watkins was able to make only one exposure during the instant of complete eclipse. Accompanied by professors from the University of California and the United States Naval Observatory, Watkins waited slightly more than an hour for the moon to begin its movement and assume its temporary position directly in front of the sun. The radiating sun, its brilliance hidden by the black moon, lies suspended over a sea of clouds whose rippling waves dominate the sky. Only the inclusion of the treetops in the foreground serves to ground the image in a familiar reality.” J. P. Getty Museum Collection

Plunge Into Darkness “A Fateful Eclipse”

PLUNGE INTO DARKNESS: August 21, 2017, will be the first total solar eclipse that was visible in the Northwest since 1970. We’ve expanded the series into 5 parts that review the recorded total solar eclipses that affected people, legends and scientific discoveries with connections to the Pacific Northwest between 1503 and 1970. This post explores fateful eclipse of January 1, 1889. more >

Even after the advent of photography, artists played a role in capturing eclipses, he says. He points to this lithograph of a total eclipse in Wyoming in 1878, produced by a French artist named Etienne Trouvelot. It is less detailed than modern photographs, but arguably more beautiful. The lithograph leaves some room for interpretation, letting your eye and brain do the work. A photograph is more passive, simply collecting light through a lens. Etienne Trouvelot, Lithograph in colour, Total eclipse of sun; observed 29 July 1878. Science Museum / SSPL

Plunge Into Darkness Part III: The Great Eclipse of 1878

PLUNGE INTO DARKNESS: August 21, 2017, will be the first total solar eclipse that was visible in the Northwest since 1970. This is the third installment of a 4 part series that reviews the recorded total solar eclipses that affected people, legends and scientific discoveries with connections to the Pacific Northwest between 1503 and 1970. more >

The total solar eclipse on July 18, 1860 was the first to be so thoroughly observed and recorded by the scientific community. It occurred at a time when the world was experiencing an amazing revolution of fundamental scientific and technological discoveries and inventions across disciplines, including the light bulb, the periodic table, the first color photograph, dynamite, and the telephone. At the same time, many of the techniques for measuring, recording, and documenting these processes were also being pioneered.  Drawing by F.  Galton, 1860.

Plunge Into Darkness Part II

PLUNGE INTO DARKNESS: August 21, 2017, will be the first total solar eclipse that was visible in the Northwest since 1970. This is the second installment of a 4 part series that reviews the recorded total solar eclipses that affected people, legends and scientific discoveries with connections to the Pacific Northwest between 1503 and 1970. more >

An image from Journal to the Rocky Mountains in the Years 1804-5-6; As related by Patrick Gass, One of the Officers of the Expedition. Artist unknown, published in 1847. The Lewis and Clark party was weathering up to ten feet of snow in the mountains of Idaho on June 16, 1806. They were headed home. No mention of the solar eclipse appears in any of their journals.

Plunge Into Darkness: Earliest Recorded Solar Eclipses in the Pacific Northwest

PLUNGE INTO DARKNESS: August 21, 2017, will be the first total solar eclipse that was visible in the Northwest since 1970. Introducing a 4-part blog series that reviews the recorded total solar eclipses that affected people, legends and scientific discoveries with connections to the Pacific Northwest between 1503 and 1970. more >

American bison or buffalo.

Yes, Buffalo Did Once Roam Here

Bison migration is as unpredictable as the animals themselves. There’s lots of evidence that buffalo roamed in the Northwest but not so much when early explorers came through. But native stories of Tsoo-thlum live on. more >