"From possibility to reality" seems an appropriate phrase to describe the development of oceanography in the pa.st three-quarters of a century. It is of little more than academic interest to pick a particular date or event as marking the birth of a field of endeavor; however, for oceanography, the late 1860's and the early 1870's unquestionably mark the period which gave the greatest impetus to research on the chemistry, physics a.nd biology of the sea....