Time Zone Chart of the World


The annotation on this map reads: “Used for laying out route for New York to Paris flight, San Diego, California, 1927 C.A.L.” Charles Lindbergh (1902–74) was the American aviator who made the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean on May 21–22, 1927. While Ryan Airlines of San Diego, California, was constructing his plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, Lindbergh was busy obtaining charts and plotting his course. In his book The Spirit of St. Louis (1953), Lindbergh described purchasing a number of charts of the North Atlantic at a store in San Pedro, including this time-zone chart of the world: “The salesman pulls out two oblong sheets. They’re Mercator’s projections and—yes, I'm in luck—they extend inland far enough to include New York and Paris. Then, like stumbling over a nugget of gold, I see a gnomonic projection covering them both. . . . Rummaging around still farther, I locate a time-zone chart of the world, a chart of magnetic variation, and others showing prevailing winds over the Atlantic for April, May, and June. I buy them all.” Lindbergh planned his route on this time-zone chart in 500 mile-long segments that follow the great-circle route from New York to Paris. He did not indicate the number of charts he bought in San Pedro, but it appears that he purchased the two Mercator projection charts, upon which he plotted his intended course in 100-mile segments and which were actually taken on the flight.

Last updated: March 21, 2016