Messages in Bottles Have Long and Varied History

Mar 6, 2014

The Coastal and Geodetic Survey, a predecessor of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, used drift bottles in the Gulf of Mexico to find the origin of the Gulf Stream, following in the footsteps of Folger-Franklin.
In the mid-1800s, the U.S. Coastal and Geodetic Survey used drift bottles to find the origin of the Gulf Stream.

A 56-year-old project based in Woods Hole may have been the largest deployment of messages in bottles, but was by no means the first.

During our conversation earlier this week, Dr. Pelle Robbins of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution mentioned that Prince Albert (I) of Monaco was known for using messages in bottles to study ocean currents. The comment piqued our interest, so we started digging into the history of launching bottled messages.

This is by no means a comprehensive history. If you have events to add, please chime in!

Here are a few of the highlights of what we found:

Living Lab: Message in a Bottle on Dipity.