The Carnegie

Observers aboard the Carnegie measure the ion content of the atmosphere, 1911.
The Carnegie was a vessel specially designed for the purpose of studying the earth’s magnetism. Designed by Henry J. Gielow and built by Tebo Yacht Yard in Brooklyn, New York, the ship was made almost entirely without iron. The ship was christened by the daughter of the director of DTM on June 12th, 1909, and promptly set sail on its first of seven cruises. J. P. Ault, an observer on the Galilee and the first cruise of the Carnegie, was the admired captain of the Carnegie for five of its seven cruises. Please see the Carnegie Legacy Project's Ault exhibition. The Carnegie traversed the world many times, including a circumnavigation of Antarctica in a single season, collecting vast amounts of geophysical data. The ship was decommissioned in 1921 and dry-docked in Washington. It was recommissioned for its most ambitious cruise yet in 1927, however the seventh cruise of the Carnegie was cut tragically short when the ship exploded in Apia, Samoa, killing the captain and the cabin boy.

Read more about the Carnegie's work in John Bunker's 1982 article "Sailing the Magnetic Fields" [view online]. Also available online is an account of the explosion which appeared in the Carnegie Institution Newsletter in 1972 [view online].


Cruise I map
Cruise II map
Cruise III map
Cruise IV-V map
Cruise VI map
Cruise VII map
Tentative Route for Cruise VII Circumnavigation of Antarctica (1915-16)


1908 Dec 08: Contract to build Carnegie let to Tebo Yacht Basin Company, Brooklyn NY
1909 Jun 12: Carnegie dedicated
1909 Sept 13: Cruise I sails from Block Island, Rhode Island
1910 Feb 17: Cruise I concludes in Brooklyn, NY
1910 Jun 20: Cruise II sails from Brooklyn, NY
1913 Dec 19: Cruise II concludes in Brooklyn, NY
1914 Jun 8: Cruise III sails from Brooklyn, NY
1914 Oct 21: Cruise III ends in Brooklyn, NY
1915 Mar 6: Cruise IV sets sail from New York
1917 Mar 2: Carnegie docked in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during WWI
1917 Dec 4: Carnegie leaves Buenos Aires for U.S. (Cruise IV)
1918 Jun 4: Carnegie returns to Washington, DC
1919: Carnegie converts from producer-gas to gasoline-powered auxilary engine
1919 Oct 9: Cruise VI sails from Washington, DC
1921 Nov 10: Cruise VI ends in Washington, DC
1921: Carnegie decomissioned
1927: Carnegie recommissioned, undergoes extensive reparis
1928 May 1: Cruise VII sails
1929 Nov 29: Carnegie explodes, sinks in Apia , Samoa

Copyright 2004,
Department of Terrestrial Magnetism,
Carnegie Instutition of Washington

All rights reserved.

Site created June 2004 by Kara Friend, Intern, for DTM.