The collection of printed and manuscript ephemera includes trade cards (10), maps (3), invitations & correspondence (11), and miscellaneous items (5). Gerrish participated in the Amherst Eclipse Expedition, sponsored by D. Willis James, a trustee of Amherst and his son, utilizing their yacht for the purpose. Also along on the voyage aboard the schooner-yacht "Coronet" were Prof. David P. Todd, astronomer, of Amherst College, and his wife Mabel Loomis Todd, who wrote about the trip to see the total eclipse of the sun, visible in Japan on August 9, 1896.
The trade cards are for businesses in Yokohama offering straw hats, hand-made boots & shoes, rare curios and swords, jewelry, etc. A business card for the director of the Astronomical Observatory in Tokyo, Prof. Terao, is also included. An invitation to extend temporary privileges for the Club House from the Committee of the Yokohama United Club is filled out with Gerrish's name, likewise one for the Pacific Club. The maps include: a small folding plan of Yokohama; a small folding map showing the tracks of N.Y.K. Regular Lines between Japan, China, San Francisco, Vancouver, and Honolulu; a business card sized map showing a railway [?] route. There are also luggage tags, telegrams, and a few pieces of correspondence in English and Japanese. All items in very good condition. The lot. Item #63372
Willard P. Gerrish (1866-1951) was a graduate of MIT in 1887, and became an assistant professor of astronomy at Harvard College Observatory. Working with Edward C. Pickering he helped create the Pickering Polaris Attachment, a telescope attachment to more easily determine true north. He also designed the "Gerrish Polar Mount" telescope, and a telegraphic ciper code called "The Gerrish System." [see the guide to his papers at Brown University].