Author Topic: gilding dolphin  (Read 2711 times)

camiller

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gilding dolphin
« on: March 10, 2014, 08:27:46 pm »
Apr. 24, 1884, Albatross, in Key West, FL

"Painter engaged in gilding dolphin"

The Sailor's Wordbook gives several definitions of dolphin, but why would they be gilding any of these?  They are returning to home port after a year, so maybe they are decorating the gun handles?

"DOLPHIN....in ordnance, especially brass guns, two handles nearly over the trunnions for lifting the guns by.... Also, a stout post on a quay-head, or in a beach, to make hawsers fast to. The name is also given to a spar or block of wood, with a ring-bolt at each end, through which a hawser can be rove, for vessels to ride by; the same as wooden buoys.

DOLPHIN OF THE MAST. A kind of wreath or strap formed of plaited cordage...."

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26000/26000-h/26000-h.htm
http://oldweather.s3.amazonaws.com/ow3/final/Albatross/vol009of055/vol009of055_123_1.jpg


Randi

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 08:40:01 pm »
Albatross doesn't seem to have a figurehead, but maybe there was some decoration?

camiller

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2014, 08:44:14 pm »
I looked at a few pics and couldn't see any decorative dolphins, either. ???

Janet Jaguar

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2014, 10:09:00 pm »
I found a couple - the dolphin striker is an option.

Quote
Dolphin (structure)
A structure consisting of a number of piles driven into the seabed or riverbed as a marker.


Quote
dolphin striker
A spar mounted downward under the bowsprit over the end of which the bobstay is fastened in order to increase its bearing angle on the end of the bowsprit. The purpose of the dolphin striker is exactly the same as the spreaders in the mast rigging. The name is derived from the dolphin's habit of leaping under the bows of a vessel under way

Schematic view of the bow of a ship, showing: A the martingale stay, B the dolphin striker and C the bobstay.

camiller

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2014, 11:57:51 pm »
Amazingly few pics are easily accessible with a google search.  I couldn't see the bow clearly enough to see a dophin striker.

The pic linked here, from 1893-94, shows the stern with a decorated nameplate and a decoration on the outside of the railing barely visible.  I could be convinced that the decoration on the railing is dolphin-esque  :-\
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/32/PSM_V44_D350_About_to_sound_from_the_us_fish_commission_steamer_albatross.jpg/800px-PSM_V44_D350_About_to_sound_from_the_us_fish_commission_steamer_albatross.jpg

The next couple of days' logs are no help, except that they move on to paint the smokestack.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 12:36:39 am by camiller »

Kevin

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2014, 04:41:10 am »
It may be literal. The Albatross doesn't have a figurehead - but at that time bows were often finished off with a small knurling or decoration (a shield, eagle's head, or dolphin perhaps) which, along with faux trailboards, were generally gilded.

Randi

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2014, 07:28:16 am »
Thanks, Kevin!



Quote from: The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Sailor's Word-Book, by W. H. Smyth --- http://www.gutenberg.org/files/26000/26000-h/26000-h.htm#T
TRAIL-BOARDS. A carved board on each side of the stem, reaching from it to the figure, or to the brackets. The carved work between the cheek-knees of the head at the heel of the figure.

camiller

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2014, 11:45:32 am »
Thanks, Kevin and Randi!  I think it's a decorative dolphin now, too, but it's been tough to confirm from pictures.  A nice picture on Naval-History.net shows the bow with trail-boards, but the details can't be made out (at least by me).   Likewise decorations on and near the stern, mentioned in a previous post.  Still, since we can see the decorations, gilding them makes a lot more sense than gilding gun-handles!

I'm always surprised by what pops out in these logs!  So much to learn....

Janet Jaguar

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2014, 12:44:29 pm »
Thanks, Kevin.  The pictures I can find on search before she was painted white clearly show gilding on her bow, just not the detail as to what it depicts.  They do not show a dolphin striker.






camiller

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 01:00:51 pm »
What a lovely ship! It's nice to have an excuse a reason to look at so many pictures of it.   It must have been quite a feat on the part of the crew to facilitate oceanographic research on a sailing vessel. 

Randi

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2014, 01:38:21 pm »
A Smithsonian tribute notes: "The Albatross, designed to go anywhere in the world and work in the greatest depths, contributed more to our knowledge of marine fishes than any other ship"

The second Albatross, launched 19 August 1882, is a Navy-manned vessel assigned to the United States Fish Commission.

camiller

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2014, 01:45:33 pm »
 :)  The description of ships in OW is wonderful and helped me choose which ships to transcribe!  Thanks to the forum, we see so many important/famous names and events in other logs, too!

Kevin

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2014, 08:07:54 pm »
Handling a sailing ship 'on a wire' is not any more difficult than learning how to sail such a ship in the first place. The most important point is keeping the wire away from the hull and propeller. In one of my other favorite jobs (www.sea.edu) we would routinely do net tows with a thousand or more meters of wire out. Reduce sail, heave-to on the same tack as the wire, steer more or less down wind with more or less sheet given as needed to maintain 2 knots. EZ-PZ as my kids would say.

camiller

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Re: gilding dolphin
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2014, 08:30:29 pm »
 8)  I'll take your word for it, Kevin; I haven't sailed a lot, so it all sounds very complex to me.  I have several friends who have sailed with SEA and I've never thought to ask them about this!  Your note about keeping wires away from props brings back some memories....it's the same on motorized vessels, too!