The Carnegie - the world's only sea-going non-magnetic observatory - was constructed by the Carnegie Institution of Washington to obtain geophysical data over the oceans. This vessel was part of the equipment of the Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism, founded April 1, 1904, realizing a plan for an international magnetic bureau submitted by Dr. Louis A. Bauer, the Department's director from 1904 and its director emeritus from 1930. The purpose of the Department, set forth in the plan, is 'to investigate such problems of worldwide interest as relate to the magnetic and electric condition of the Earth and its atmosphere, not specifically the subject of inquiry of anyone country, but of international concern and benefit. "Among the problems proposed was the magnetic survey of ocean-areas and magnetically unexplored regions, so that more accurate and comprehensive charts might be constructed. It was in the realization of this part of the plan that the Carnegie did such useful service during 1909 and 1929. The first six cruises were made almost exclusively for the surveys of the Earth's magnetism and electricity for which she was designed.
Paul, J. Harland
"A Look Back: The Last Cruise of the Carnegie,"
Rapa Nui Journal: Journal of the Easter Island Foundation: Vol. 16
, Article 8.
Available at: https://kahualike.manoa.hawaii.edu/rnj/vol16/iss2/8