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Depth-gauge Machine

1886

National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

Renowned for its deep blue color, clarity, and depth, Crater Lake has been the subject of scientific study for over 120 years.Scientific exploration began in 1886 with the laborious launching of the Cleetwood, equipped with this homemade depth-measuring apparatus. After over 100 depth measurements were completed in July and August 1886, the device was removed from the boat and left to the elements on Wizard Island.


Discovered mostly intact 45 years later and confirmed as the original, the “sounding apparatus” has been an important part of the museum collection since 1931. This device, along with the stern portion (transom) of the Cleetwood, are exhibited at the Sinnott Memorial in Crater Lake National Park.

Crater Lake continues in its roles as a living classroom and research laboratory – where geology, limnology, and climatology continue to make significant contributions to the worldwide knowledge base.

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  • Title: Depth-gauge Machine
  • Date Created: 1886
  • Contributor: Crater Lake National Park
  • Park Website: Park Website
  • National Park Service Catalog Number: CRLA 910
  • Measurements: L 121.92, W 30.48, H 73.66 cm
  • Material: Metal, wood, piano wire
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