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37194RE: 1812 Re: Seamen's Shoes

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  • Gord Deans
    Aug 18 9:28 PM

      You are dead on the mark. Even with the daily grinding of holystones
      and swabbing, the tar seams were a great bother in the Carribean and
      Mediterranean Seas. With the sunlight from directly overhead and
      temperatures ranging from a "cool" 100 degrees F. through 130 degrees
      F., shoes were known to stick and be pulled off (I assume the buckled
      variety) just as they were known to fall from the yardarms. Some
      officers and definitely all midshipmen were sent aloft.

      Apparently there was no article of war to protect sailors from being
      struck by the officers' shoes although the reverse would earn the
      sailor a visit to see the Bosun's pet cat "Scourge".

      Alternately, the swelling ridges and stickiness of the tar (and cord)
      caulking would provide improved traction.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com [mailto:WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com] On
      Behalf Of Dale Kidd
      Sent: August 18, 2008 7:25 PM
      To: WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: 1812 Re: Seamen's Shoes

      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Colin" <usmarine1814@...> wrote:
      so How was this done in 1812? Different shoe construction? DIfferent

      > materials.. Was sand on the deck more often than just in battle?

      Certainly not sand. The daily swabbing of the deck each morning was
      concluded with the decks being flogged (mopped) dry and clean.

      A thought, though... The decks of period ships were caulked with tar,
      which must have been fairly sticky in it's own right. I wonder if the
      caulking strips between the deckboards provided some traction?

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