August 12, 2013

This and That

When I posted yesterday about our boating trip around the creeks near Baltimore, one of my commenters chided me for not reporting some wreckage I saw along the shoreline. Since it was a wood-hulled boat, I presumed that it had been there for decades, and that someone else had probably already rung it into the Department of Natural Resources. I also figured that since the Coast Guard is right along the other side of the creek, they might have noticed some rotting wood wrecks littering the creek. imageTurns out they’ve noticed it already and have even conveniently marked the location on the chart. I might sound like I am being sarcastic, but I’ve been reading navigational charts all of my life, and we had charts (in electronic form) on the boat. It’s essential that things like wrecks and submerged pilings, cables, buoys and marks, and any other impediments and aids to navigation are noted on the charts for reasons of safety. Of course, it’s a whole other thing if the boater doesn’t understand the chart, or what the symbols or lights mean. Tragedy comes of not knowing. Here.

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I am working with a researcher to find information on a man who was very influential in medicine in Baltimore for about 15 years. He was very involved in creating our medical library, at one time, the largest collection in the US. Of course, that necessitates hunting through our archives, which are only very loosely documented. But it’s fun to hunt, regardless. The other afternoon, we unearthed several files of old receipts which were just such fun to read. When you parse the sentences, they’re quite funny. They offer rates to both City and Country merchants. They have the most reasonable terms. And they take rags, which will be made into paper.

Here’s another classic one. Items will be made in a “Tasty and Faithful manner, with Dispatch”. As you can see, we got a lot of printing done, as we were publishing medical journals, books, pamphlets, and lists of members.

Most of them have beautiful engraving, either of their goods or their building. Others have some fanciful motif on them. But all of them are pretty small – most measure less than an inch or two in either direction. Here are some of my favourites.

Of course, how could I resist this one?image

This one says that the stone used for the engraving will remain the property of the printer, who was still in business up until the last decade or so.

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I keep finding paintings around our offices, and today, I found this gal hanging on a wall. image

None of the women in our portrait collection are marked with any identifying information. It really bothers me.

All for now! Ta!


  1. Thank you for shining a light on this issue of wreckage. Silly me, reading too much into the name Coast Guard. The "coasties" are protecting us from illegal immigrants drifting upon our shores in inner tubes and boats with torn sails, they do not monitor the waterways for derelict vessels rotting away. John Q Public must wait for another Hurricane Sandy to clear them and scatter the debris. problem solved. A measly 5% "tax" on new boat purchases "funds" efforts to clear the waterways in Maryland. If the recreational boat industry saw fit to lobby the state to clear up the waterways and make them safer for boats and captains.... Oh Go Ravens

  2. well done!


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