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Engineers' Case Protects America's Birth Certificate

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Bianca
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« on: November 03, 2008, 09:03:18 pm »











                                      Engineers' Case Protects America's Birth Certificate






VIDEO:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2008/0706-preserving_americas_birth_certificate.htm

July 1, 2008 — Engineers designed a case to protect the map that first used the word "America" to des-
cribe the land masses now called North and South America. The air-tight container is made of two large sheets of aluminum and a double piece of non-reflective laminated glass. It also includes a system dedicated to maintaining the proper temperature and replacing all potentially destructive oxygen with inert argon gas.

A map thought lost for almost five centuries is found and is now on display. It's often called America's
birth certificate.

Created in 1507, the Waldseemüller map is the first map to show a Pacific Ocean, the Western Hemi-
sphere and a continent called America.

"It is the first map of its kind, in projecting the world as it is as we know it now," Elmer Eusman, conservator at Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., told Ivanhoe.

But a 500 year old, one-of-a-kind map needs a special display case. Conservators worked with engineers
at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to design a unique, air-tight enclosure.

"This is a completely sealed case that is designed to be passive for many years, where if you don't do anything to it, it will be just fine for many, many years." Richard Rhorer, engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology told Ivanhoe.

The encasement is sealed with a thick sheet of non-reflective laminated glass to keep out harmful ultraviolet light. While sensitive monitoring devices measure temperature changes 24-hours a day. Special valves flush out oxygen from the air -- which damages the paper and ink -- and replace it with harmless argon gas. "The idea is to make a very good seal," said Rhorer.

The map cost 10 million to purchase, but well worth the cash. "If you consider that this map is 500 years old and looking at it, in what great shape it's still in, that's pretty amazing," said Eusman.

Safekeeping America's history with science.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 09:12:02 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

Bianca
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Posts: 41646



« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 09:19:16 pm »









A STATE OF THE ART FRAME:



Engineers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology built an encasement to protect
the Waldseemuller map, produced in 1507.

It was the first to show both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and an outline of the land separating
the two.

The frame is about ten feet by six feet, and made from two solid pieces of aluminum. It also includes
a double sheet of non-reflective laminated glass and interior environmental monitoring devices, along
with valves that allow preservationists to control the gases inside the case. Additionally, the engineers
designed a system to raise and lower the map for display and maintenance.







WHY GO THROUGH THE TROUBLE?



This map, which marked the first use of the word “America” as a designation for the continents now
called North and South America, is over 500 years old. Like any other old map, book, or scroll, it re-
quires special care. If not properly protected, the ink will fade and the paper will break down.

Filling the encasement with inert argon gas flushes out all the oxygen and stops the chemical reactions
that can damage both the ink and the paper. NIST expects the seals to remain effective for more than
twenty years.




Note:

This story and accompanying video were originally produced for the American Institute of
Physics series Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Science by Ivanhoe Broadcast News.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 09:20:14 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Bianca
Superhero Member
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Posts: 41646



« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 09:22:18 pm »

             



               






              The 1507 Waldseemuller map in an image courtesy of the Library of
              Congress.

              The only surviving copy of the 500-year-old map that first used the
              name America goes on permanent display this month at the Library of
              Congress, but even as it prepares for its debut, the map remains a
              puzzle for researchers.

              (Handout/Reuters)





             MORE ON THE WALDSEEMULLER MAP:

             http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php/topic,5271.0.html
« Last Edit: November 03, 2008, 09:31:25 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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