Preparing for the Eclipse

In anticipation of the partial solar eclipse in our area tomorrow, here’s a look back on the partial eclipse that took place in Baltimore in 1892:

“Science has relieved us of the feeling that it is our duty, with the aid of tin pans or human sacrifices, to help the sun out of its trouble. It may be trusted to emerge from the ordeal ‘all right,’” reported The Baltimore Sun in October 1892.

Even in 1892 the newspaper counseled about protecting the eyes while viewing the event: “With the aid of a smoked glass the round outline of the moon may be seen distinctly as it passes across the face of the sun. Caution should be used in employing opera glasses or telescopes to view the phenomenon unless the eye is thoroughly protected by colored or smoked glasses,” warned an October 17 Baltimore Sun article.

In this same article, the role of the sun in ancient times was explored:

“It is scarcely remarkable that in ruder ages and in many climes the sun should have been worshipped as a deity. … Beside such mighty works of nature man feels insignificant and helpless and almost instinctively turns to an object infinitely more powerful than himself without reflecting that it, as well as he, is the product of a still greater power. In these modern days we can admire with deeper feelings of awe the wonderful works of nature that even those felt who saw their god apparently extinguished in his triumphant course.”

Enjoy the eclipse safely tomorrow!

Sources: The Baltimore Sun, October 17, 1892 & October 20, 1892

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