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4.66 SCRIMSHAW REFERENCE BOOK. Edouard Stackpole, “Scrimshaw At Mystic Seaport,” 1958 (1966), The Marine Historical Association, Mystic, Connecticut. 53 pages, hard cover with dust jacket. Fully illustrated in black and white. This book is a study of the Mystic collection by an enthusiast who was curator for many years. Mr. Stackpole gives a history of the art and discusses the whaling conditions which gave rise to it. He also describes the processes used, choice of materials and how they were incorporated in this uniquely sailor folk art form. Following Everett Crosby’s ground breaking “Susan’s Teeth and much about Scrimshaw” published in 1955, this is the second oldest book ever to be written about the subject. Literally scores of books and pamphlets have ensued in the yeas after. Crosby’s book sells for well over five hundred dollars. 29.95

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8.64/10.65 SUBMARINE DEPTH GAUGE. Authentic World War II U.S. Navy submarine depth gauge. This handsome heavy duty solid bronze gauge was used to indicate intermediate cruising depths. Accordingly the indications are in single feet from 15 to 165 marked by 10’s. A separate depth gauge with a broader range was used for deep diving. The blackened enamel dial is marked “SALT WATER DEPTH TO KEEL” above the center arbor and “Density of Sea Water 1.25” below. The maker’s name “ASHCROFT” is denoted in a shield at the very bottom. The threaded pressure inlet connection is just below. The dial is swept by a large luminescent indicator needle under which is a red warning needle set at 140 feet. The dial is covered by a heavy bronze bezel with glass crystal. Speaking to the age of this gauge the glass is sealed on a cork O ring. The bezel is threaded onto the heavy bronze case which is lit internally with a series of light bulbs, activated by a Bakelite rheostat knob on the left side. The flared back flange is mounted to a massive solid teak backboard of great size and beauty. The gauge measures 10 inches in diameter and is 3 ¼ inches thick. The teak mount is 13 inches in diameter and a hefty 1 ½ inches thick. As configured, the entire presentation is 4 ¾ inches deep and weighs 18 pounds! 1495

Edward Ashcroft of Lynn, Massachusetts realized that the growing steam industrial revolution required a reliable and safer means of measuring steam pressure. On his visit to the Great London Scientific Exhibition of 1851 he met Frenchman Eugene Bourdon who was exhibiting his invention of a curved metallic tube which deflected consistently with increased pressure. To this day the “Bourdon Tube” gauge is used in a wide variety of pressure measuring applications.

Ashcroft was so impressed with the design that he acquired the U.S. patent rights and began the Ashcroft Manufacturing Company in 1852. With the innovative design the company thrived for the remainder of the 1800’s. Entering the 20th century, internal combustion engines and electricity gradually took over steam’s industrial role. But the company diversified its product line to include a wide variety of applications. As in this case, World War II created an enormous demand for shipboard gauges. The challenge was met with very admirable results, producing the highest quality gauges available anywhere in the world. The company is still in business today. “Ashcroft” is a mark of quality.


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8.66 SHIP WHEEL. Delightful, almost miniature, classic 6-spoke ship’s wheel for a small craft. This handsome relic has a single piece cast bronze center, spokes and rim. The handles are turned mahogany capped with large brass round head screws. The rim diameter is only 5 ½ inches and the distance from spoke to spoke is 13 inches. The top of the inner rim is stamped “PERKO,” the venerable Perkins Marine Lamp & Hardware Co. of Brooklyn, NY in the 1930’s. They don’t come any smaller than this! Perfect original condition showing a great patina from actual use from years at sea. A fabulous identified American décor item for a small area with the most iconic nautical image there is! 195

(See item 8.47)



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13.15 WWII MERCHANT CLOCK. Authentic World War II ship’s clock made for the U.S. Maritime Commission by the venerable Seth Thomas clock company. The silvered brass dial is boldly marked “U.S. MARITIME COMMISSION” in the center, then “Made By Seth Thomas In U.S.A.” below the 6. This finest quality ship’s clock is marked with large Arabic numerals swept by blackened spade hands and a large center sweep second hand. A minute chapter ring on the periphery of the dial is marked from 5 to 60 in single second intervals. This clock has a classic flared ship’s clock bezel which hinges open on the right secured with a thumb screw closing on the original cork gasket. The black Bakelite case is marked on the back with the iconic “GE” (General Electric) logo. The 11 jewel all brass movement is marked with the Seth Thomas logo within a diamond and is dated “8-44” (August 1944) indicating it was made during the peak of the Second World War. This clock is an good time keeper and is in excellent cosmetic condition showing signs of its actual wartime use. 7 ¾ inches in diameter. Complete with period winding key. Over half off! WAS $549 NOW! 249

The United States Maritime Commission was an agency of the Federal Government created by the Merchant Marine Act passed on June 29, 1936. It replaced the United States Shipping Board (U.S.S.B.) which dated from World War I. The Merchant Marine Act formulated a Long Range merchant shipbuilding effort to design and build five hundred modern cargo ships. These were intended to replace the World War I era vessels which comprised the bulk of the United States Merchant Marine at the time. The Maritime Commission was also tasked with administering a subsidy program to build and operate ships under the American flag. Further it created the United States Maritime Service for training Merchant Marine officers to man the fleet.

In the late 1930's, several dozen merchant ships were built for the Commission under the original 500 shipbuilding program. Then in the late fall of 1940 the Emergency Shipbuilding program came into being, in order to support a lifeline to Great Britain and nationalize American shipbuilding in the event of war.

The first existing vessel undertaken by the Merchant Marine Act was the mighty SS AMERICA, owned by the United States Lines, which had operated in passenger service since 1940. When war appeared imminent, AMERICA was requisitioned by the U.S. Navy on June 1, 1941 and renamed USS WEST POINT for use as a troop carrier.

From 1939 through the end of World War II the U.S. Maritime Commission funded and administered the largest, most successful merchant shipbuilding effort in history. Thousands of ships, including Liberty ships, Victory ships, tankers and freighters were produced. Many were converted to Navy auxiliaries, notably attack cargo ships, attack transports, escort aircraft carriers, and tankers which became fleet replenishment ships. The Commission also was tasked with the construction of many hundreds of U.S. Navy ships including LST's, Tacoma-class frigates and troop transports. By the end of the war, U.S. shipyards had built a total of 5,777 merchant and naval ships under Maritime Commission auspices.

Upon the cessation of hostilities in World War II, the Emergency and Long Range shipbuilding programs were ended. In 1946, the Merchant Ship Sales Act was passed to sell off the Post-War surplus of ships to commercial buyers. Ships not sold under the Ship Sales Act were placed into one of eight National Defense Reserve Fleet (NDRF) sites maintained on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts.

The U.S. Maritime Commission was officially disbanded on May 24, 1950.



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15.78  EARLY SUBMARINES PHOTO.   Important, historic bird’s eye view photograph of the United State Navy's fledgling submarine base at the Panama Canal just after the First World War. This documentary sepia tone photograph on heavy card photographic paper depicts four large submarine tenders with submarines nested alongside. At least 13 submarines are seen in their berths with yet another clearly visible underway lower left. It is a high resolution image which bears close scrutiny under magnification, revealing details of the ships, the subs, a lighthouse in the distance and the masts and funnel of a ship at dock in the foreground.  It is signed "PHOTO © BY A. E. WELLS" lower left. This original print measures 7 by 9 inches sight and 8 by 10 inches overall, housed in its original gilt walnut frame measuring 12 by 14 inches.  Outstanding original condition.  Clear and bright.  A rare, historically important image documenting America's submarine service during its infancy!  295

This exact photograph is shown at:  http://www.tendertale.com/ttd/ttd4/ttd4.html  the U.S. Navy’s unofficial website for submarine tenders.  It is entitled, “Photo # NH 42573 Submarines and submarine tenders at Cristobal Canal Zone, circa 1923.”  The tenders are (left to right): SAVANNAH (AS-8), BUSHNELL (AS-2), BEAVER (AS-5) and CAMDEN (AS-6). Submarines are mostly "R" type boats, among them R-23 (SS-100) and R-25 (SS-102), both in the nest alongside SAVANNAH's port quarter. The bigger submarine alongside SAVANNAH's bow may be S-1 (SS-105), with her large seaplane hangar.  As shown the vessels are moored in Manzanillo Bay just off of Coco Solo Point to the right. The lighthouse is on Margarita Island and the pier in the foreground is Manzanillo Point.

When the Panama Canal opened in January of 1914 the United States was very concerned about protecting its strategic investment.  At that time submarines were still considered as a coastal defense force and not useful for much else.  So like Naval forces on Asiatic Station "showing the flag," five C Boats (OCTOPUS, STINGRAY, TARPON, BONITA, and SNAPPER) were deployed to Coco Solo with their tenders.

 A. E. Wells was THE official photographer for the U.S. Navy, War Department in the early 1920's. His photographs are contained in the archives of the Naval History and Heritage Command, Washington D.C. as well as numerous American museums nation wide.



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16.04  P.O.W. PARTS.   Genuine 18th century beef bone carvings made by French prisoners in British prisons during the Napoleonic Wars.  These delicately-carved objects defy imagination in their incredibly precise execution.  Included are a beautifully-reticulated spinning wheel, several columns, a baleen piece, and a pedestal for a spinning wheel among others.  These are real parts over 200 years old!  Total, eleven individual items. The lot  39

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 AUTHENTIC LIGHTHOUSE.   This is the ultimate!  Here is an exceptional opportunity to own a very historic relic of America’s rich maritime heritage embodied in the original lamp room from the famous Ballast Point Lighthouse, which served its sentinel duties in the channel of San Diego Bay from 1890 until 1960.  This incredibly well-preserved piece of history was built according to specifications laid out by the U.S. Lighthouse Service in 1885.  A copy of the original specifications are included as are much printed references and photographs.  Erected in 1890, the 5th Order lighthouse was a significant aid to navigation in conjunction with the Point Loma Lighthouse (1850) poised at the entrance to San Diego Bay.   Ballast Point Light was situated further inside the massive bay on a point which jutted into the seaway which posed a hazard to shipping.  13 feet 10 inches high with a maximum width of 8 feet 8 inches.  Weight approximately 5 tons. It will require a crane and a flat bed truck for transport.  129 years old!  Price Request Special Packaging

Serious inquiries only please.  No telephone quotes.  This item has been nominated as a candidate for the National Historic Register, and is currently being considered by a number of museums, private lighthouse restoration groups and the U.S. Navy.   Clear title is guaranteed.  Please provide your qualifications for ownership and your intentions for use.  We reserve the right to select a deserving owner.   We have already soundly rejected a low ball offer of $25,000 – that being the original price of the lamp room in 1890!   A single 5th Order light house lens recently sold for $125,000.  This is the entire lamp room, much rarer, and probably the only one of its kind to ever be for sale again


On October 2, 1888, recognizing the need for a harbor light in the increasingly congested channel of San Diego Bay, Congress authorized $25,000 for the construction of a lighthouse to be built on Ballast Point.  Fashioned in the late Victorian style, the entire structure took 3 months to build beginning in March 1890.  The light was first lit on August 1st.  It was a sister of the lights at San Luis Obispo and Table Bluff, south of Humboldt Bay.  All were wood framed structures with attached living quarters.  The ironwork for the lantern was forged in San Francisco and carried south to San Diego by ship.  The French firm of Sautter, Lemmonier, & Cie. manufactured the Freznel lens for the Ballast Point Light in 1886.  The fixed 5th Order lens was visible for a distance of at least 11 miles.
When California was still part of Mexico the peninsula jutting into San Diego Bay was known as Punta del los Guijarros or “Pebble Point.”  For centuries cobblestones washed down by the San Diego River had been deposited on the point.  When California gained statehood in 1850 the point was renamed Middle Ground Shoal.  As time went on and merchant traffic in the harbor increased, many sailing ships found it convenient to load or discharge the stones as ballast.  The practice continued and eventually the name “Ballast Point” stuck.
Accompanying the Ballast Point lighthouse was a huge 2,000 pound fog bell in a wooden tower.  In 1928 it was supplanted by a single tone electric diaphone horn.

The first keeper of the light was John M. Nilsson, assigned duty on July 15, 1890.  The second was Henry Hall, who took the job on December 1, 1892.  Perhaps the most famous keeper was Irish born David R. Splaine, a Civil War veteran and veteran lighthouse keeper, who assumed the post in 1894, having served at Point Conception, the Farallons and San Diego’s own Point Loma light from 1886-1889.

In 1913 the original old kerosene lamp was replaced with an acetylene burner.  Acetylene gave way to electricity in 1928.  In 1938 a filter was fitted inside the 5th Order Freznel lens giving the light a distinctive green hue for recognition.  One of the last keepers of the light was Radford Franke who recalled receiving the order to “douse the light” upon the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

By early 1960 the light was deemed to be of no further service, so in June of that year the lantern room was removed to a salvage yard.  The wooden tower and its brick and mortar foundation remained a couple of years later until they too were declared structurally unsafe and demolished.  The bell tower continued to survive, mounted with a 375 mm high intensity lamp on its roof.  However the value of maintaining any light on Ballast Point diminished with the installation of harbor entrance range lights.  In the late 1960’s the bell and its tower were dismantled.  The tower found its way to a private residence in Lakeside, California.  The bell had a more circuitous later life.  It was purchased from a San Diego area junk yard in 1969 for its scrap value of 5 cents per pound!  The one ton bell remained on local private property until 1991, when it was put on loan to the San Diego Maritime Museum.  In 1999 the bell was transported to the son of the original buyer, living in Colorado.  Then in 2002, the bell finally found its way to the home of the owner’s granddaughter living in Vermont, where it rests to this day.
The story of the lantern’s later life is even more fascinating.  The nation was just recovering from the Cuban Missile Crisis between JFK and Khrushchev, when in 1964 the Cuban government cut off the fresh water supply to the U.S. Naval base at Guantanamo Bay.  By that time, an experimental desalinization plant had been in operation at Point Loma for 2 years.  The Navy hastily ordered it to be disassembled and shipped through the Panama Canal to Cuba.  A gentleman working as a crane operator during the process noted the shabby lantern room in a trash heap nearby.  He inquired as to the fate of the relic and was told it was salvage.  Asking if he could purchase it,  the yard foreman told him he could “have it” if he would haul it away.  With that, for the next 34 years the lantern room served as a gazebo in the backyard of the man’s residence in Bonita, California.  It was purchased by the present owners in 1998, fully refurbished, and then placed on public display ever since.  Now it is time for it to find its next new home.  According to the crane operator who delivered the lamp room it weighs approximately 5 tons.  It will require a crane and a flat bed truck for removal.

F. Ross Holland, “The Old Point Loma Lighthouse,” 1978, Cabrillo Historical Association, San Diego, California
Jim Gibbs, “The Twilight of Lighthouses,” 1996, Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA.
Kin Fahlen and Karen Scanlon, “Lighthouse of San Diego,” 2008, Arcadia Publishing, San Francisco
Kraig Anderson, “Forgotten Ballast Point “Lighthouse” Seeks New Home,” article in “Lighthouse Digest,” East Machias, Maine,  September – October 2011,  Vol. XX, no. 5 pages 34 – 37.
“Mains’l Haul,” a periodic publication of the San Diego Maritime Association, Summer 1990, Vol. XXVI,  No. 4, pp. 11-12.







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