Friday, July 24, 2009

Shakespeare, the Maritime Connection

Mystic Seaport's G. W. Blunt White Library is acknowledged in A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare'sThe Tempest.

But... that's not the only reason to read this newest maritime work. According to Nathaniel Philbrick it is "at once a penetrating work of literary analysis and a riveting historical narrative ... reveals the salty survival tale at the heart of Shakespeare’s New World masterpiece, The Tempest."

The book focuses on William Strachey, an English writer whose works are among the primary sources for the early history of the English colonization of North America, and the 1609 shipwreck of the Sea Venture on the uninhabited island of Bermuda. The survivors eventually reached Virginia after building two small ships during the ten months they spent on the island.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Desert Connection

Several images from the Rosenfeld Collection are included in KNPB, a PSB station in Reno, NV's new documentary "Legends of the Lake".

Legends of the Lake looks at the appreciation, beauty, and historical connections that lie beneath the surface of the mahogany rich wonders of classic wooden boats. Set at the Concours d’Elegance in beautiful Lake Tahoe, this 30-minute high-definition, documentary addresses the passion wooden boat owners have for their craft, familial connections, legendary speed kings, hydroplane racers and a history that tie generations together

Pictured here is BABY GAR IV, 1924, #13265F, a view of Gar Wood (r) and Orlin Johnson (l), at the Free-For-All Race during Buffalo Races. Our record says that "Men seen wearing formal dress, bowties, and jackets with tails. The formal dress was worn in protest of the comment made that Gar Wood 's racing was not for "gentlemen". Gar Wood was a famous hydroplane racer and boat builder. Orlin Johnson worked side-by-side with Gar Wood readying Wood's boats, testing them and racing them for many years. Orlin is pictured here as the mechanic."

Marine Engine Collection of Mystic Seaport Database

The Marine Engine Collection of Mystic Seaport contains over 280 unique representations of marine engines. As a result of a cooperative effort between the Shipyard and Collections Departments a database containing information and images of all those wonderful engines in now online.

Spanning the years from 1880 - 1980 the collection includes inboards and outboards that are steam, electric, gas, diesel and naptha powered and built by over 30 manufactures. Visitors can browse the engine photos, or browse the collection by Make, Type or Builder. There is also a search option.

Pictured here is one of the earliest engines in the collection, a small, single cylinder marine steam engine, Stephenson link reverse, with spoked hand wheel, shaft flange and pumps driven from the crosshead. Appears to be a Murray & Tregurtha product from the late 1800's to early 1900's.

According to Stan Grayson's book, American Marine Engines: 1885-1950 the first marine engine was developed “sometime in 1887 or 1888” by Henry Peterson who owned a fleet of Whitehalls operating on the San Francisco waterfront.

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