The Maritime Heritage Project.

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Window Glass

A few questions that you may be able to answer…

Firstly, you list the cargo of several ships that carried window glass to San Francisco. Where did this information come from – a citation, if you will. I was a volunteer at the Vancouver Maritime Museum some time ago and sorted through teak boxers full of ships logs – the formal ones submitted to the harbourmaster. Were these or something like that, your source?

Secondly, assuming the source for ships’ cargo is somewhere available, where? Is there some central depository or is it simply finding one, then another?

Thirdly, if you have access to such material, is is possible to sift through that to find other ships carrying window glass. The two examplars from Liverpool and NYC are wonderful, but are there more?

Thanks much for any help you may be able to provide…

Regards, W. A.

Response: Window Glass

The Glassworks of J. H. Hobbs
Brockunier and Co., Wheeling, West Virginia

Glassmaking goes back about 4500 years. Interesting to note that glassmaking processes have evolved quite slowly. Plate glass, i.e. window panes, were still crude during the 1800s. They require complex high-temperature chemical and mechanical processes.

For your purposes, much of my information comes from the California Digital Newspaper Collection — an Excellent FREE research resource:

  1. For a generic search, type in “Window Glass.” Or narrow it down by year for a more focused search.
  2. For cargo, just type in “cargo” or “importations”, i.e. On October 22, 1870, the Daily Alta California notes: “PORT STANLEY – Per Hamilton – . . . 7978 cs 95 envelopes window glass, etc.”
  1. Above: Ad for window glass: August 31, 1866, Daily Alta California, San Francisco — on the first page of the newspaper: includes Window Glass, Crystal Sheet, Plate Glass, Mirrors. A duplicate ad is in the September 2, 1866 Daily Alta California.

Stories of glass in America: Glass in America and here: Window Glass, which has an article on curved windows, which were installed in many San Francisco Victorian homes. We grew up with curved glass windows that were made in, I believe, Philadelphia.

Lloyd’s of London — listed on this page: Lloyd’s of London. For ships they insured, they maintained lists of cargo.  Lloyd’s has been around since the 1600s, they are thorough, and they  have substantial archives. Story of Lloyd’s of London

Corning Museum of Glass

From Corning Museum of Glass:  Glass manufacturers had spent centuries learning how to make flat glass. Now, they wanted to bend it into complex shapes—without marring its surface. Anything that touched the surface of the hot glass could leave a mark.The first curved windows were made by slumping. A glass sheet was placed in a gravity mold that touched only its edges, then was heated from above until it sagged into shape.

Slumping worked for windows with simple curves, but it was of no use for making the more complex shapes that car designers demanded.

For its 1984 Firebird, General Motors asked for an exotically contoured window. Until that time, there was no way to make the complex curves without touching the glass. American glassmaker Libby-Owens-Ford applied for the: Original Patent Application No. 865107 For a Method and Apparatus for Bending Glass Sheets. (Ohio, USA)Curved Glass.. It tried press-bending the precisely heated glass in an experimental full-contact mold made of a high-tech ceramic. The process worked. For the first time, glassmakers could totally control the shape of a window without marring its surface.

History of Glass, European School.
History of Glass
European School
Stained Glass Window by Tiffany.
Tiffany Stained Glass Window

Historical Fiction

Featured Historical Fiction: June 2014

My Name Is Resolute
Nancy Ann Turner

My Name is Resolute.My Name is Resolute.The year is 1729, and Resolute Talbot and her siblings are captured by pirates, taken from their family in Jamaica, and brought to the New World. Resolute and her sister are sold into slavery in colonial New England and taught the trade of spinning and weaving. When Resolute finds herself alone in Lexington, Massachusetts, she struggles to find her way in a society that is quick to judge a young woman without a family. As the seeds of rebellion against England grow, Resolute is torn between following the rules and breaking free. Resolute’s talent at the loom places her at the center of an incredible web of secrecy that helped drive the American Revolution. Scheduled for release February 17, 2015.

Orphan Train
Christina Baker Kline

North and South (Trilogy: Part One)
John Jakes

The Secret Life of William Shakespeare
Jude Morgan

William Shakespeare.William Shakespeare.There are so few established facts about how the son of a glove maker from Warwickshire became one of the greatest writers of all time that some people doubt he could really have written so many astonishing plays. We know that he married Anne Hathaway, who was pregnant and six years older than he, at the age of eighteen, and that one of their children died of the plague. We know that he left Stratford to seek his fortune in London, and eventually succeeded. He was clearly an unwilling craftsman, ambitious actor, resentful son, almost good-enough husband. But when and how did he also become a genius?

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander Series)
Diana Galbadon

The Art Forger: A Novel
B. A. Shapirol

Almost twenty-five years after the infamous art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—still the largest unsolved art theft in history—one of the stolen Degas paintings is delivered to the Boston studio of a young artist. Claire Roth has entered into a Faustian bargain with a powerful gallery owner by agreeing to forge the Degas in exchange for a one-woman show in his renowned gallery. But as she begins her work, she starts to suspect that this long-missing masterpiece—the very one that had been hanging at the Gardner for one hundred years—may itself be a forgery. The Art Forger is about seeing—and not-seeing secrets that lie beneath the canvas.

Til the Well Runs Dry.‘Til the Well Runs Dry
Lauren Francis-Sharma

Starred Review:  On Trinidad, in 1943, Marcia Garcia, a splendidly talented, 16-year-old seamstress, is struggling to feed young twin boys left in her charge. Remarkably accomplished first-time novelist Francis-Sharma makes it clear on page one that Marcia is strong, courageous, and resourceful. She is also French, Portuguese, Spanish, black, and beautiful, and she has a galvanizing effect on a young, confident Indian policeman, Farouk Karam. Their love should have been joyous, and they should have been able to raise their four children in harmony. Instead, their relationship is poisoned by racism, poverty, gossip, and corruption.

Cavendon Hall
Barbara Taylor Bradford

Cavendon Hall.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes an epic saga of intrigue and mystique set in Edwardian England. Cavendon Hall is home to two families, the aristocratic Inghams and the Swanns who serve them. Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mowbray, lives there with his wife Felicity and their six children. Walter Swann, the premier male of the Swann family, is valet to the earl. His wife Alice, a clever seamstress who is in charge of the countess’s wardrobe, also makes clothes for the four daughters. For centuries, these two families have lived side-by-side, beneath the backdrop of the imposing Yorkshire manor. Lady Daphne, the most beautiful of the Earl’s daughters, is about to be presented at court when a devastating event changes her life and threatens the Ingham name.

The Ashford Affair
Lauren Willig

Hild: A Novel
Nicola Griffith

A brilliant sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Hild. In seventh-century Britain, small kingdoms are merging, frequently and violently. A new religion is coming ashore; the old gods are struggling, their priests worrying. Hild is the king’s youngest niece, and she has a glimmering mind and a natural, noble authority. She will become a fascinating woman and one of the pivotal figures of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby.


Seafaring Books for Kids


Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters.
James Patterson

Treasure Hunters.
The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents disappear n the job, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives.

They’ll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit of an evil treasure hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents–and find out if they’re still alive.


Ghost Ship

(Paula Wiseman Books)
Mary Higgins Clark

Thomas loved his summer visits to his grandmother’s on Cape Cod.

Ghost Ship.He spent hours wondering about the sailing ships of the past and imagining their stories. He dreamed of being on a sailing ship himself. One afternoon after a night of terrible thunderstorms, Thomas finds, deep in the sand, a weathered, old-fashioned belt buckle. When he picks it up, a boy his own age, Silas Rich, who was a cabin boy on a ship called the Monomoy that sailed almost 250 years ago, appears. Suddenly the world of sailing ships is very near as Silas tells his tale.

Beloved and bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark tells a story of mystery and adventure that will transport readers to a time and place beyond their imaginings in her first book for children. Wendell Minor’s inspired paintings make a time long ago very real.


Your Heritage

Odds are your ancestors travelled by sea or via extensive overland routes during the 1400s, 1500s, 1600s, etc. No matter where you live now, the chances are great that you are from elsewhere.

Do you know how far back you go and from where?
Find out what your DNA says about you.
23 pairs of chromosomes define you. Through today’s DNA testing, you can bring your ancestry to life.

Find out what percent of your DNA comes from populations around the world, ranging from East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and more. Break European ancestry down into distinct regions such as the British Isles, Scandinavia, Italy and Ashkenazi Jewish. People with mixed ancestry, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans will also get a detailed breakdown.

Ever wonder who’s related to you? You’ll likely discover dozens or even hundreds of people who share DNA and ancestors. The matches you’ll get can range from close family to distant cousins.

Preserve your family’s history by highlighting names, dates, events, and more. See if you can gather data from newly found relatives to fill in the missing branches of your tree. If you already use a family tree service, you can easily import your tree.

Genetic testing for genealogists has gone mainstream, with costs plummeting as private companies refine their techniques and improve the accuracy of results. For as little as $99, anyone can order a do-it-yourself kit that comes in the mail, then submit their spit for analysis and receive results within six weeks.

Genealogy hobbyists liken the quest to track their family tree to a scavenger hunt, laden with clues, surprises and dead ends. For some, a snippet of genetic material has helped confirm a specific family tie or provide new leads when a paper trail has run cold. Others have blown up ancestral land mines along the way, shredding oft-repeated family stories or discovering a notorious distant relative.

Recently, scientists used the technology to confirm the identity of a skeleton buried beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, as King Richard III, who died in battle in 1485. The scientists matched the bones to two living maternal-line relatives, according to the University of Leicester, which conducted the analysis along with radiocarbon dating and a skeletal exam.

Closer to home, not everyone is excited about the DNA technology, as some remain cautious about privacy or simply don’t see the need. But for others who are adopted or are trying to explain a gap in their family tree, the tests may provide a crucial breakthrough, experts said.

“I think a lot of people find it of use to them, personally, especially if they are searching for a form of identity they are able to uncover in this way,” said Noah Rosenberg, associate professor at Stanford University’s Department of Biology and expert in evolutionary biology and genetics.

“Many people have a missing relative or have a parent die young and are searching for some kind of connection,” he said. “We see a significant trend where African-Americans are searching for some understanding of the populations from which their ancestors originated from Africa.”

There are no federal regulations that govern the direct-to-consumer ancestry tests, said Hank Greely, a Stanford law professor who specializes in the ethical, legal and social implications of new biomedical technologies. Basically, both state and federal regulation only cover tests sold or done for health purposes.

Popularized in recent years by its use in high-profile criminal investigations and paternity cases, DNA, deoxyribonucleic acid, is most commonly used to prove a relationship to an individual.

New tests created in recent years, however, have also turned DNA into a popular tool for determining ancestry. As DNA is passed down from one generation to the next, some parts remain almost unchanged, while other parts change greatly. This creates a link between generations and it can be of great help in reconstructing our family histories. While it can’t provide you with your entire family tree or tell you who your ancestors are, DNA testing can:

  • Determine if two people are related
  • Determine if two people descend from the same ancestor
  • Find out if you are related to others with the same surname
  • Prove or disprove your family tree research
  • Provide clues about your ethnic origin
Genetic testing.
Genetic Testing

DNA tests have been around for many years, but it is only recently that the cost of genetic testing has finally come down into the realm of possibility for the average individual interested in tracing their roots. It is now possible to Map your global origins with the most complete coverage of your DNA. through home DNA test kits which can be ordered through the mail or over the Internet.

They usually consist of a cheek swab or mouthwash to easily collect a sample of cells from the inside of your mouth. You send back the sample through the mail and within a month or two you receive the results – a series of numbers that represent key chemical “markers” within your DNA. These numbers can then be compared to results from other individuals to help you determine your ancestry.

Winter Reading

Rounding the Horn: Being the Story of Williwaws and Windjammers, Drake, Darwin, Murdered Missionaries and Naked Natives
A Deck’s-eye View of Cape Horn

Dallas Murphy

Fifty-five degrees 59 minutes South by 67 degrees 16 minutes West: Cape Horn—a buttressed pyramid of crumbly rock situated at the very bottom of South America—is a place of forlorn and foreboding beauty that has captured the dark imaginations of explorers and writers from Francis Drake to Joseph Conrad.

For centuries, the small stretch of water between Cape Horn and the Antarctic Peninsula was the only gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It’s a place where the storms are bigger, the winds stronger, and the seas rougher than anywhere else on earth.

Dallas Murphy has always been sea-struck. In Rounding the Horn he undertakes the ultimate maritime rite of passage, and brings the reader along for a thrilling, exuberant tour. Weaving together stories of his own nautical adventures with long-lost tales of those who braved the Cape before him — from Spanish missionaries to Captain Cook — and interspersing them with breathtaking descriptions of the surrounding wilderness, Murphy has crafted an immensely enjoyable read.

Prints available by clicking on images.Above: Ships in the Strait of Magellan Rounding Cape Horn
(Reprints available by clicking on images.)
Welcome to Cape Horn.Welcome Sign, Cape Horn Island, Chile
Ken Gillham