Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Holiday 2014-2015 schedule

The Research Center's winter holiday 2014-2015 schedule will be:

Monday, December 22:  regular services
Tuesday-Friday, December 23-26:  closed

Monday-Tuesday, December 29-30:  regular services
Wednesday-Thursday, December 31-January 1:  closed
Friday, January 2, 2015:  regular services

Questions?  Contact us!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Research Center closed, Thursday Dec. 11, 2014

Due to severe weather and power outages, the Research Center, along with all Park facilities, has had to close today.

We will resume normal service tomorrow, Friday, December 12, 2014.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Panama-Pacific International Exposition, 1915

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915, we're digitizing and making freely available online some related items from our collections.  We're thankful for our intern Ellen Mizuhara's hard work on this project, ranging from researching relevant items and resources to the long hours spent scanning this scarce and fragile items.

Cliff House and Seal Rocks from Beach
From "Souvenir of San Francisco"

But wait--what does this have to do with maritime history?  A lot!  From images of the waterfront contained in publications to sponsored races, the Exposition was rich in maritime interactions.

Ocean Boulevard and Bathing Beach from Cliff House
From "Souvenir of San Francisco"
So we're proud to announce that with Ellen's assistance, our first offerings to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Exposition:

Mechanical Engineering at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition by G.W. Dickie: read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

New York to San Francisco Power Boat Race Under the Auspices of the Panama-Pacific Exposition:  read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

Official Souvenir view book of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco 1915: read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

Seeing San Francisco, California: read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

Souvenir of San Francisco, California, the "Queen City:"  read the online copy or locate the hardcopy book in the Research Center

Want to learn more?  Search the Keys Catalog for materials related to the Exposition, check out an online map of the Exposition from the Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, explore online titles about the Exposition from Project Gutenberg, from the Internet Archive, and from Books About California, and stay tuned--we'll be digitizing more items related to the Exposition in 2015!

February 4, 2015 update:  New PPIE Centennial website from the California Historical Society.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Now available online: Cooking and Baking on Shipboard

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Illustration of man in chef's hat ringing a dinner bell
Illustration from page 7

Have you ever wondered how to make cake for one hundred people?  Or have you wanted some simple, visual instructions for carving meat?  You can find all this and more in Cooking and Baking on Shipboard : Official War Administration Manual from 1945, which we've digitized and made available for free in multiple, searchable formats on the Internet Archive.

Over 358 pages, the book is richly illustrated with how-to photographs as well as clear drawings of everything from the basics to advanced techniques.  Definitions of cooking terms, advice on caring for equipment and for proper sanitation, and dozens of recipes and recommended menus are included.  We've made the book keyword searchable, but an extensive index at the end makes browsing easy.

So be sure to check it out online, or stop by the Research Center to see the hardcopy book.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Thanksgiving holiday 2014 schedule

The Research Center will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from Wednesday, November 26 through Friday, November 28, 2014.  We will resume normal service on Monday, December 1.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to eat canned salmon

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Title page of one of the Alaska Packers Association cookbooks (NPS photo)

Diane Cooper, Museum Technician, has written a new article for our website, "How to Eat Canned Salmon: the Selling of Canned Salmon to American Consumers," that highlights objects in our Collections as well as the results of her thorough research at our Park and elsewhere that documents the marketing of canned salmon from North American fisheries by local companies.

Do you cook and eat canned salmon?  Do you want to?  Check out the article, and be sure to follow the links to our catalog to locate online (and hardcopy) cookbooks full of recipes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Digging for Gold at the Library: Rime of the Ancient Mariner

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

"With my cross-bow I shot the Albatross" illustration by Gustav Dore
"With my cross-bow I shot the Albatross" by Gustav Dore

If you’ve never read the poem, you can find it here from the Poetry Foundation, full text: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner 

Rime of the Ancient Mariner Pathfinder

This document was created to assist people who are interested in learning more about the poem, Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and related subjects.

At the San Francisco Maritime Research Center

The Poem 
Sure, you’ve read Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but have you seen it illustrated?

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Milano: Edizione d’Arte “Felix,” 1966. Print.
Renowned illustrator Gustave Dore did the drawings for this edition. It is, as to be expected with Dore, marvelous and, due to the subject matter, frightening. FF PR4479 R5

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. New York: Heritage Press, 1945. Print.
This beautiful edition is illustrated by Edward A. Wilson with notes and an introduction by John Livingston Lowes, a Harvard professor who specialized in Coleridge. The printing quality is outstanding and this volume is perfect for reading aloud.
FF PR4479 A1 1945
Poetry and Criticism in General
This is just a sampling of the material we have on poetry collections and literary criticism. Please visit our online catalog: www.keys.bywatersolutions.com  to see more selections.

Boon, Kevin A., and Karen Markoe, eds. Reading the Sea: New Essays on Sea Literature. 1st ed. New York: Fort Schuyler Press, 1999. Print.
Fort Schuler Press is the academic press of the State University of New York Maritime College. One of the essays in this book is entitled: Blurred binaries: a mapping of excess and desire in S.T. Coleridge's "Rime of the ancient mariner"  by Royce W. Smith.
PN56 S4 R43 1999

Cole, William. The Sea, Ships and Sailors; Poems, Songs and Shanties. New York: Viking Press, 1967. Print.
Besides the “regulars” this collection includes works by people as diverse as Shel Silvertstein and John Updike.
PN6110 S4 C62 1967

Kobus, L. C. S. The Rhyme of the Modern Offshoreman. Houston: Seamount Book Co, 1975. Print.
I added this because it’s such an unusual book of poetry on such a specific topic. Titles included are “The Old Sea Rig’ and “The Offshore Platform.”
PN6110 S4 K4 1975

Williamson, W. M. The Eternal Sea, an Anthology of Sea Poetry. New York: Coward-McCann Inc, 1946. Print.
This compact volume includes over 100 poems. They are arranged by topics, such as “Nautica Mystica” and “A Child of the Sea”.
PN6110 S4 W6

Superstitions and Folk Lore
Bassett, Fletcher S. Sea Phantoms, Or, Legends and Superstitions of the Sea and of Sailors in All Lands and at All Times. Rev. ed. Chicago: Morrill, Higgins & Co, 1892. Print.
Also available full text on line here.
This book is cram packed with useful tidbits. If you ever come face to face with a kraken, you’re going to wish you had read this.
GR910 B31 1892
Beck, Horace Palmer, and Marine Historical Association. Folklore and the Sea. 1st paperback ed. Middletown, Conn: Published for the Marine Historical Association, Mystic Seaport, by Wesleyan University Press, 1977. Print.
Horace Beck is a notable Folklorist. A professor at Middlebury College in Vermont for over 20 years, this book is considered a classic in both folklore and maritime studies.  
GR910 B37

Clary, James. Superstitions of the Sea. St. Clair, Michigan: Maritime History in Art, 1994. Print.
This book Is an easy to read compendium of superstitions and stories from around the world.
GR910 C53 1994

Archival Material
We have many collections which include original poetry written by seamen. For an overview, please see this post on our blog, Full Fathom Five.  

We have photosgraphs in the collection depciting sailors and albatross. Be on the lookout for an upcoming blog post of Full Fathom Five highlighting these and other images in our collection remeniscent of The Rime

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner  from the Poetry Foundation
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner from Project Gutenberg
See the beautiful Gustave Dore illustrations  for the Rime in the University of Buffalo’s digital collections.
Smith, Laura Alexandrine. The Music of the Waters: A Collection of the Sailors' Chanties, Or Working Songs of the Sea, of All Maritime Nations. Boatmen's Fishermen's, And Rowing Songs, And Water Legends. London: K. Paul, Trench, 1888.
The University of Ottawa in Canada has gathered a useful list of literary criticism of the poem.

At Other Institutions
Here are some sources outside of the library which might be useful.

Bloom, Harold. Samuel Taylor Coleridge's the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. Print.
This essay collection edited by noted critic Harold Bloom is part of the Modern Critical Interpretations series and even includes an essay by Camile Paglia.

Boulger, James D. Twentieth Century Interpretations of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1969. Print.
Includes essays by Coleridge scholar John Livingston Lowes and the poet Robert Penn Warren.
Coleridge, Samuel T, Martin Gardner, and Gustave Doré. The Annotated Ancient Mariner: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. New York: C.N. Potter, 1965. Print.
This edition combines the drawings of Dore with the elucidation of scholar Martin Gardner.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Dir. daSilva R. perf. Michael Redgrave. . West Long Branch, N.J: Kultur, 1984. Film.
The worldcat.org summary states: “A two-part program which examines the life of Samuel Coleridge from his orphaned childhood to how his friendship with William and Dorothy Wordsworth inspired him to write the rime of the ancient mariner. Part 2 consists of a visualization of Coleridge's epic poem - The rime of the ancient mariner.”

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Dir. Jordan, Larry. Perf. Orson Welles.  Chicago, Ill: Facets Video, 1989. Film.
The worldcat.org summary states: “Using the classic engravings of Gustave Doré and a cut-out style of animation, the film follows Samuel Taylor Coleridge's long dream of an old mariner who kills an albatross and suffers the pains of the damned for it.”

Iron Maiden. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. 1985. CD.                  
I couldn’t resist throwing this on here. The 13 minute long song stays faithful to the poem, even including passages that lead singer Bruce Dickinson eerily recites. Could Eddie be the Ancient Mariner?

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

New in the Research Center: Rough Weather All Day

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Cover of Rough Weather All Day, edited by David Hirzel
We're delighted to announce that Rough Weather All Day : an Account of the "Jeannette" Search Expedition by Patrick Cahill, edited by David Hirzel, is now available in the Research Center.

Patrick Cahill, a member of the expedition, kept a diary that has been unavailable in published form until now.  Rich in details of the daily life spent among native peoples that sheltered the members of the expedition, this title is of interest to anyone wanting to learn more about the exploration of the northwest coast of North America.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

New in the Research Center: Shipwrecks of the California Coast

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

If you're interested in the history of California shipwrecks, then be sure to stop by the Research Center--Michael White's new book, Shipwrecks of the California Coast : wood to iron, sail to steam is now available.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New in the Research Center: The Abalone King of Monterey

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)


Do you know the story of "Pop" Ernest Doelter, pioneering Japanese fisherman?  Interested in abalone recipes?  Then stop by the Research Center and take a look at our newly available book, The Abalone King of Monterey.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New in the Research Center: Ship steward's handbook

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)


The back cover of the Ship Steward's Handbook says it all:  "This charming little handbook was first published in the 1950s as an aid for stewards in the Merchant Navy. With an emphasis on pride in one's work, and a thoroughness and dedication to the highest level of service, it sets out precise instructions on a steward's duties from table etiquette to cabin service."  Illuminating not just the steward's duties, but what it may have been like to be under such a steward's care, be sure to stop by the Research Center to take a look at this glimpse into a mid-century merchant sailor's seafaring life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New in the Research Center: WindLasses, Kindred Spirits

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Cover of the CD

We are delighted to announce that a rather scarce CD of sea music and chanties is now available in the Research Center--The WindLasses album Kindred Spirits.  Why not stop by to listen to the Glovers' delightful harmonies?

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sailing Alone Across the Pacific

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Kenichi Horie's inscription on the title page of the Research Center's rare copy of Kodoku.

On Sunday, August 12, 1962, Kenichi Horie arrived in San Francisco, becoming the first person to sail alone across the Pacific.  Read more about this remarkable achievement in our blog entries celebrating the 50th anniversary.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Maritime Metaphors: We're near the water

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

One of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands is "Nothing on My Mind" by Too Much Joy.  (Give it a listen on their Song of the Week blog.)  It's a song on their album Cereal Killers, which is always with me--in multiple formats at home, and on my player in my bag.

This song has always captured an exact feeling for me:  grabbing a sketchbook and heading to the water.  In times of joy, in times of sadness--letting it all go, sitting on the beach, on a pier, or on a boat and losing myself in drawing what I see.  A sketchbook, drawings, pencils, colors--and the water with its boats, birds, waves.  One of the best things about where I work, and where anyone can visit:  we know "guys" with boats, and some of them are so quiet...without motors...

What does this have to do with Collections?  Plenty!  Need some hints about drawing?  Need something to color?  These will get you started:

Then head to the water.  Sit and enjoy the sound of the waves.  Float around on a boat.  Start drawing and coloring, and drift...let there be nothing on your mind...

Nothing On My Mind

It’s not important
This stuff that I’m afraid of
I’ve got a bugle someplace
Let’s get a parade up
We’re near the water
I know a guy with a boat
It doesn’t have any motor
We can just sit and float

I’ll give you a coloring book
You can draw outside the lines
I’ve got nothing on my mind

My cousin died at a Who concert
He was camping out in line
Me and him went camping, once
I’ve got nothing on my mind
That’s my favorite song
Baby do you wanna dance
If you’re happy and you know it
You got to clap your hands

I’m out of control
Je t’aime le rock and roll

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Digging for gold at the library: Magic Portholes!

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

I dropped my pencil in the stacks the other day.  As I bent down to pick it up, I noticed a title that struck my fancy--Magic Portholes.  Magic Portholes!  I’ve been here three and a half years so it’s inexcusable that a book with the title Magic Portholes would escape my attention until now.  All I can say is that it was on a bottom shelf and studies have shown that people are less likely to look on lower or higher shelves than middle ones.  No excuses, though.  Let’s just jump right in, shall we?

This brightly green colored book with a delightful font is by Helen Thomas Follett, a travel writer and essayist.  The first thing that caught my eye as I flipped through it was the wonderful drawings by Armstrong Sperry.  Some of you die hard book lovers might know him from his Newberry Award winning book, Call it Courage, about a Polynesian youth overcoming his fear of the sea.  In Magic Portholes, his woodcut style illustrations are enchanting.  Here are two fine examples of his work:

I was hooked. I turned to read the opening sentence, as any book lover will tell you the measure of most books can be gathered from the opening sentences.  “Magic Portholes” begins thusly:
“Let’s go to sea for a year!”
“Where?  For a what? Come on, Barbara, dry the dishes for me will you?”
“Come on mother, let’s run away to sea”
That’s what I call an intriguing start.  A daughter pleading with her mother to run away to sea with her?  How I wish I would have found this for Mother’s Day! It’s rare to find a sea adventure story that is about women, much less between a mother and daughter. I immediately wanted to know more about this book, so I started researching.  Within a few minutes I had learned an intriguing and terribly sad story, not about this book but about the lives of the women who lived it.

So first, let’s discuss this book on its own merits before getting into the strange facts which surround it. Magic Portholes  is  a true story, or at least based on true events.  The author and her daughter Barbara (much more on her later) did in fact run away to sea. The story starts out in New England with daughter Barbara urging a sea journey. She lays out persuasive arguments:
I want to live at sea much longer than ten days [ed. note: see below]. Oh I’ll take along books and study. Think of reading Virgil up in the crosstrees, or straddling the main book or lying in the fold of a furled spanker in some quiet harbor (p. 2).
 “Let me tell you,” Barbara began, “Just what it’ll be like, that first day at sea. We’ll be towed out, and the tug captain and the master of our sailing ship will call across to each other, in their hoarse voices. We’ll be standing on the poop and you’ll get your first thrill when the little donkey engines start up. But wait until you hear the sounds of the rippling sails in the masts! You’ll hear the skipper call out, ‘Mains’l out first, then fores’l, forestays’l, and jibs; spanker and tops’ls. Lively, boys! We’ll be safely outside and prancing down the harbor under sail, and then we’ll cast the towrope, and the little tug will wheel about and chug back to the city. But we’ll be free! The great white sails will lift and lift and fill and fill, and we’ll be off. Off…” (p. 6).
The two wind up in the West Indies and then onto Tahiti, Fiji, Samoa and points in between.   Magic Portholes is their discovery of those beautiful islands and the adventures they have. It’s not so much of a travelogue as a lively conversation. The two never seem to get down and always face any setbacks with bemusement.  They mostly travel by schooner, their preferred method, with occasional tramp steamers thrown in. Along the way they try to live for six shillings a day or less. They pick up work here and there writing dispatches or doing odd jobs.  Mostly, people seem to be drawn to them and their vivacious way of living.  I should note that there is some inappropriate language in the book that is unfortunately a product of the times the book was published in (1932). It seems out of place with the easy going good cheer of the novel and is a blight on an otherwise charming work.

The real life of Helen and Barbara Follett was short of good cheer.  Wilson Follett, Helen’s husband, left the family for another woman when Barbara was 13.  The blow was shocking both emotionally and financially. Helen and Barbara were left reeling. It most likely was her adventuress daughter’s idea to run away to sea, ostensibly to get material to write books because Barbara, it should be noted, was already an accomplished author. At 11 she had published a book, The House Without Windows which was extremely well received and made something of a celebrity out of its young author.  Lee Wilson Dodd reviewed it in The Saturday Review of Literature said of it, “This is very beautiful writing. But there are moments when, for one reader, this book grows almost unbearably beautiful. It becomes an ache in the throat. Weary middle-age and the clear delicacy of a dawn-Utopia, beckoning…the contrast sharpens to pain.”   Barbara went on to publish one more book, The Voyage of the Norman D. which was about the time she spent, as a 13 year old on a schooner, the Norman D. Yes, you read that right. At 13 she had decided to go to sea by herself and got her parents to book her passage on a schooner where she basically a passenger with chores (which explains the line in the passage above where she wants to live at sea more than 10 days).  Shortly after she returned, her father deserted the family.  Losing both a father and supporter, Barbara was left reeling.  It was then she and her mother decided to go to sea and gathered the material which would become Magic Portholes. Upon returning, Helen and Barbara struggled back in the states, finding it very difficult to earn a living. Barbara moved to LA, hated it, and moved back to New York.  She didn’t publish anything else, although according to an article in Lapham’s Quarterly by Paul Collins, she completed two manuscripts, one called Lost Island and another Travels Without a Donkey but neither was published.  She married very young, still a teenager.  Her marriage was unhappy and she was plagued with worry that her husband was not faithful. In 1939, at age 25, she walked out of her apartment after a fight with her husband. She was never seen again.  The Collins story is wonderful and if you are intrigued by the little I have covered here, I suggest it for further reading.

But back to Magic Portholes, so as not to end in sadness but rather excite you to take your own adventure (Perhaps with your mom? Call her!) this is another excerpt from the book:
That night, our first at sea, we lay awake in our bunks a long time, listening to the ocean outside our portholes. Fragments of talk floated around the little cabin, up from one bunk and down from another. 
‘Hear that voice outside? That’s the voice that’s been haunting me for a year.  Feel that wind? No breeze on land so fresh as that. Look through the porthole! See the dome sand callous ocean rising falling- stars riding the waves… I’m at sea again.  Am I? It smells like it; it looks like it; it sounds like it. To-morrow we’ll be at sea- the next day -the next- and we’ll sleep to-night with the sound of the ocean in our ears, of wind in the sails- no, you know what I mean- the sound of engines- throbbing sound, not like sails, though.  But it doesn’t matter- not much… Good night’ (p. 31).

So, all of you library browsers out there take note- drop a pencil once and awhile and see what you find. If you’d like to see this book or anything else in our research center, just drop me a line.

Dodd. lee Wilson. “In Arcady.” Saturday Review of Literature (1927). Web. 28 May 2014.
Collins, Paul. “Vanishing Act.” Lapham’s Quarterly. 18 Dec. 2010. Web. 28 May 2014.
Follett, Helen. Magic Portholes. New York: The Junior Literary Guild, 1932. Book.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

New Research Center Hours

Due to changes in staffing levels, effective July 7, 2014 the Maritime Research Center will be open by appointment only, Monday through Friday 1:00pm-4:00pm.  Appointments must be made at least twenty-four hours in advance.  (Closed most federal holidays.) Please contact us to make an appointment with a reference librarian, for assistance with your research, or for more information.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

It's 1877--how much would my ticket cost?

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

What might your journey cost when you disembarked from your steamer in 1877?  Now that we've digitized a joint circular from the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads, you can see the "booked through" fares for different passenger classes from many different steamship lines.  Here's the first page--check out both pages online at the Internet Archive or in our Keys Catalog:

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Hooked on the American Dream: a Fish Story

(by Diane Cooper, Museum Specialist)

One San Francisco day in the mid-1860s, an Italian immigrant fishing for his supper caught two fish on one hook.  When a passing gold miner offered to purchase the extra fish, the enterprising young immigrant suddenly found his version of the American dream.  A native of Ancona, Italy, born in 1843, Achille Paladini immigrated to San Francisco in 1865.  With little formal education, he used his determination, drive, and vision to create A. Paladini Inc.  Over the years the company Achille Paladini started became the west coast's largest wholesale seafood distributor and Achille became known as "The Fish King."

A. Paladini, Inc. sign from the 1920s or 1930s (SAFR 20154)

Paladini always maintained his headquarters in San Francisco, but with time he added branch offices in Oakland and Los Angeles and built processing plants in Eureka and Fort Bragg.  He also had twelve receiving stations located up and down the coast from Crescent City, in northern California, all the way south to Mexico.  A fleet of six company fishing trawlers supplied daily fresh fish, which the company sold to restaurants, hotels, and markets throughout California and the western United States.

Envelope from Oakland office (SAFR 20180)

San Francisco office letterhead (SAFR 20182)
Santa Cruz receiving station letterhead (SAFR 20179)

Company truck outside the San Francisco office (P93-001)

By the 1990s the Paladini family donated a 1927 GMC truck, restored to replicate the original trucks used by Paladini, to the Park.  It can be seen on board the Park's historic ferryboat Eureka berthed at Hyde Street Pier.  The truck and one of the original Paladini fish carts, both of which are currently on display, are among a number of artifacts in the Park's collection from the A. Paladini Inc. wholesale seafood company, a business that played a major role in San Francisco's fishing industry.

Fish cart in the Visitor Center (SAFR 21245)
A. Paladini truck on ferryboat Eureka (SAFR 11919)

In addition to the artifacts mentioned and pictured above, other artifacts from A. Paladini Inc. donated to the Park's collection include a typewriter and adding machine from a company office, two A. Paladini Inc. wooden boxes (one labeled "Kippered Cod" and the other labeled "Boneless Salt Cod"), two labels (one for Paladini's Dungeness Crab Meat and the other for Paladini's Shrimp Meat), a sign stencil, a memorabilia display, a photographic collection, and an archival collection containing original business correspondence for A. Paladini Inc. as well as some information on the family.  These artifacts help to tell the story of Achille Paladini, a young Italian immigrant who, by lowering a single hook onto the Bay, caught not only his supper but his part of the American Dream and became an integral part of San Francisco's fishing community.

Canned shrimp meat label (SAFR 20162)
Canned dungeness crab meat label (SAFR 20163)
Kippered cod box (SAFR 20152)
Office adding machine (SAFR 20149)

Achille Paladini died in 1921 at the age of 78, leaving the family business to his sons.  In 1974, after the passing of that second generation, the company was sold to a group of outside investors unfamiliar with the world of wholesale seafood and, approximately four years after the purchase, the 110-year-old business closed.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Maritime Metaphors: Collecting Memories

(by Lisbit Bailey, Archivist and Pop Music Aficionado)

This edition of Maritime Metaphors is about collecting memories.  The song lyrics to Bookends by Paul Simon conjure treasures of the past, the halcyon days perhaps.  Photographs are the iconic form of "memory," but we collect many other things to remind us of shared experiences of all kinds.

What do you collect?  What are the stories you tell?


Time it was
And what a time it was, it was
A time of innocence
A time of confidences

Long ago it must be
I have a photograph
Preserve your memories
They're all that's left you

Check out the YouTube video of Simon & Garfunkel performing Old Friends and Bookends in medley, 1977.

Here is a variety of items selected from the Collections at San Francisco Maritime NHP evocative of the past, memories, and souvenirs.  Enjoy!

Photograph: This portrait of the Rasmussen family is a shipboard souvenir with hand coloring. Shown are Captain Rasmussen, his wife and children arriving in Honolulu aboard a Matson Lines vessel, taken between 1925 and 1935. (SAFR 22239, P09-011)

Bookmarks: These hand-painted lanceolate-type leaves are from an unidentified plant from Cape Town.
(SAFR 8680)

Christening Bottle: This square-section short-necked bottle is wrapped with blue and gold ribbons.  Inscribed on a brass plaque:  "Presented to SALLY ZUCKERMAN, sponsor / Rechristening S.S. HAWAIIAN MOTORIST / Honolulu, November 7, 1962." This vessel was originally a freighter built in 1945. It was rebuilt as a containership in 1960-61. (SAFR 20573)

Souvenir Handkerchief:  This item commemorates the Great White Fleet visitation to California in 1908. There is a starboard view of the flagship Connecticut at center and portraits of President Roosevelt above and Rear Admiral Evans below. (SAFR 17014)

Uniform Hat: An Officer of Matson Navigation Company wore this cap. (SAFR 19825)

This is a menu for the Aquatic Park Casino, circa 1940. (SAFR 15567)

Cocktail Napkin: This is a souvenir of Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, California, with drawings of the Golden Hinde (II) and Balclutha, circa 1970. (SAFR 19933)

Pillowcase:  Made of pink fabric with fringe and printed in blue. There is a spread-eagle symbol, a picture of a liberty ship and the legend "Souvenir of Kaiser Ship Yards, Richmond, Calif., Liberty Ships, Victory by Production,” circa 1943-1945. (SAFR 19364)

Postcard: This is a First Day Cover commemorating Drake’s vessel the GOLDEN HIND, 1580. (SAFR 15568)

Souvenir Program: Liberty Ship JIM OTIS was launched from Richmond Shipbuilding Corporation, Richmond, California, on December 31, 1941. (SAFR  17005)

Purse: A small purse or etui made from a coconut shell with hand-painted decoration, undated. (SAFR 3394)

Photograph: This is one photo from the William A. Dougan collection of albums and loose prints dating from 1916 to 1935.  Dougan, a Chief Engineer compiled the albums, included family, and voyage photographs aboard the steamer Roanoke. (SAFR 22304, P92-083)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New in the Library: Color your 1946 world

(by Heather Hernandez, Technical Services Librarian)

Now available in the Library, Pittsburgh Marine Finishes is a full color catalog of the marine paints and coatings that were available from the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in 1946.  Sleek vessels illustrate the front and back covers:

Front cover

Back cover

And inside you'll find full color illustrations of the possible applications for many types of vessels, large and small, showing vessel exteriors as well as interiors:

And, of course, no catalog would be complete without the swatches.  The catalog contains page after page of samples of colors and finishes such as this one:

For the vessel or the home, this volume is a wealth of inspiration for anyone seeking color inspiration--especially mid-20th century color inspiration!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Digging for Gold at the Library: A Mystery!

(by Gina Bardi, Reference Librarian)

This month I wrote a story about poetry in our collection for both our blog and our Park website. While researching, I came across a delightful find, HDC 35 (SAFR 17607), The Captain Thompson Poems and Illustrations Collection. After seeing his charming drawings, I wanted to learn more about him so I went to the collection files. It turns out, there’s a bit of a mystery surrounding the documents. As far as I can tell, the images and poems were sent to us unsolicited. The name of the donor was not Thompson and apparently they sent the work with no background information. In the file, there are numerous envelopes we sent to the donors asking for more information which were sent back to us marked “return to sender: not at this address”. 

There is a letter in the collection (see below; it’s highly amusing), that may or may not be in the same handwriting as the poems (some letters look similar, some very different, but the letter looks to have been quickly jotted down and perhaps not as much care taken as with the poems.) The letter is signed by an Alec Macson,  Moeson or something like that who purports to be club secretary.  The other gentlemen who signed the letter are sometimes mentioned in the poems. There is no Captain Thompson mentioned in either the letters or the poems.

The ship the author  mentions, is “The good ship Kay” or simply “K”.  I checked the American Bureau of Shipping and Lloyd’s registers in the years around 1914- there are no listing for a ship that begins with K having either a Thompson or a Riess (the man often referred to in the drawings) as a master.  
I checked the California Digital Newspaper Collection for a “Captain Riess” with no luck. There were too many Captain Thompsons to be sure. None of the articles about the various Captain Thompson mentioned poetry or illustrations.

 I have a feeling though the poet is British, due to some of the language in the poems. For instance, sailors are “crossed and crabbed” He also mentions Lobscouse, which is a typical sailor stew common on British ships. Lastly, the uniforms look distinctly British. Perhaps the stripes are just meant to be blue shading?
Here are some of the poems and the letter.  If you recognize the style at all or the names and can tell us anything about this clever and talented author, please let us know.