Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ahoy. Greetings.

That project I mentioned a couple posts ago ran a bit long and shelled me out a bit, but things should slow down and allow me to get back to some regular posts here. I'll start off with one of the cooler garage sale finds of the year so far, a ship log (the "Ship St. Paul") from the early part of the 20th century that I got at a yard sale for $2.

Log Book cover

Log book first page

Obviously, this book has seen some wear and tear. The corners of the cover are all worn down, the binding is split with pages loose on the inside, and there's water damage galore. That said, it didn't smell musty and I could detect no active mold, so I simply couldn't pass it up.

Inside the front cover was the ships forecastle card, which was cool enough in its own right.

log book forecastle card

log book forecastle card closeup

The book is filled with page after page of entries that basically describe what would be the day-to-day life on a Northwestern shipping boat 100 years ago. There are lots of descriptions of weather, which I'm sure got somewhat monotonous for someone on the boat at the time, and while I haven't read through the entire book, my landlubbing self finds the hand-scrawled entries absolutely fascinating.

log book entries

log book entry closeup

Of course, I had to do some internet searching on the boat, just to see if there was any more information out there, and sure enough, there were not just one, but two great photos on the University of Washington's digital collections site of the boat. Below is one of them, but be sure to check them both.

picture of the ship St. Paul

"Crew on deck of the Northwestern Fisheries Co. cannery ship ST. PAUL leaving Seattle, Washington, March 1912" - from the John Cobb field notebook

One of the only other mentions of the boat (not to be confused with another, more famous Ship St. Paul that was key in the discovery of Alaska) was that according to this article, it was turned into piece of a Seattle pier aquarium sometime in the early 30s (which then closed in 1956).

A lot of times when I'm thrifting or hunting around at garage sales, I'll buy something simply for its "object" value. This log book had that in spades. It's unique and incredibly aged, with not only words that tell a story, but an appearance that does so as well.

log book back cover

Yes, the back cover is even faded a different color than the front

1 comment:

  1. Congrats! That is absolutely one of the coolest things I've ever seen. I love sailing and such. I should've been born on the New England coast.