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Who knew? Masts, and their importance to national security, were the petroleum product of their day. So Sam Manning reveals in this small book packed with insights into the world of Europe, and the "New World" a couple of hundred years ago.
It turns out spars for big sailing boats were not so easily found, and the lack of masts big enough in length and diameter, with appropriate amounts of resin, could keep a nation from having the latest and greatest warships to protect their borders. Further parallels abound, including the economics of America labor being six times higher in the 1650s than that of feudal Europe.
Perhaps we should all be just a bit peeved that Sam Manning wasn't our history teacher back when we were in school. Granted, you can make up for lost time with the fast and inexpensive read done in such a way as give you a realistic perspective into the past. And maybe the future.
Written and illustrated by Samuel F. Manning
52 pp., softcover
6" x 9" format
For more of Sam's work, click SAMUEL F. MANNING
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An interesting and easy read to gain a sense of history around sourcing timbers for sailing ships. The historical context aside, Samuel F. Manning’s illustrations are worth the price alone.
New England Masts and the King's Broad Arrow
Interesting. I learned a couple of bits of history.
I'M SURE THERE WERE MARITIME BATTLES OVER MASTSI WOULD HAVE LIKEED TO HEAR ABOUT THEM.
The book covers a period of our colonial period when the king of England had control of broad swaths of land and the resources thereon. The aspect of mast and spar timber being an important strategic commodity was a revelation. As was that a whole class of specialized sailing vessels were designed to support this trade. My initial interest was the owners' marks on lost logs from the bottoms of the Great Lakes. I recall one story about royal marks found which placed harvest of these trees quite awhile ago.