Archive for July, 2016

Books on Naval Medicine

July 28, 2016

The Wellcome Library has undertaken the digitization of part of its massive collection; one of the sections it has put online is Naval Medicine. Dozens of historic monographs are presented here, among them those by three physicians whose work directly improved the health of seamen:  Gilbert Blane, James Lind, and Thomas Trotter. Biographies on these three luminaries can be found: Gilbert Blane, James Lind, and Thomas Trotter.


Why Did The Royal Navy Succeed?

July 27, 2016

Please read this informative article – The British Navy Rules: Monitoring and Incompatible Incentives in the Age of Fighting Sail – from Explorations in Economic History, 39(2002); 204-31.


Sailing Cards

July 26, 2016

Sailing cards are significant and distinctive maritime documents. Agents or owners commonly advertised the availability and loading of their vessels in the local newspapers, but by the mid-1850’s the colorful sailing cards began to appear in the windows of shipping firms, banks, and public shops along the waterfronts in ports like New York and Boston. These cards might be printed several days prior to the anticipated departure, in order to secure last-minute cargo or passengers.” (from inventory description). Fully 200 of these cards from the 1850s to the 1870s can be perused online.


American Shipping Forms and Documents, 1776-1860

July 25, 2016

American Maritime Documents, 1776-1860 is a work that explores the various forms and records that were an integral part of American shipping. It defines and, in some instances, gives examples of such items as pilot licenses, abstract logs, oaths, etc. It is a very informative guide to the vast engine of paperwork that grew and developed as the maritime trade of the United States became evermore global.

Works on the Port City of Bristol

July 13, 2016

The Bristol Record Society has put most of its publications, with the exception of the most recent volumes, online. You can search through dozens of volumes pertaining to this great port city, the site of much mercantile activity during the Age of Sail. A plethora of primary source material will be found here. N.B.: The volumes are slow to load because of their size. Another interesting read is this 1886 work – The port of Bristol. Handbook containing dues, rates and charges, dock and pilotage regulations, statistics, and general information for ship-owners and merchants. And these works by John Latimer, while secondary in nature, will prove valuable.