Item #010188 1791 – An article regarding harpoon whale guns from “Papers in Mechanicks” describing a list of rewards proffered to expert harpoon-gunners for their achievements in 1790 and, most importantly, to Charles Moore, the inventor of an improved harpoon-gun that made those achievements possible
1791 – An article regarding harpoon whale guns from “Papers in Mechanicks” describing a list of rewards proffered to expert harpoon-gunners for their achievements in 1790 and, most importantly, to Charles Moore, the inventor of an improved harpoon-gun that made those achievements possible
1791 – An article regarding harpoon whale guns from “Papers in Mechanicks” describing a list of rewards proffered to expert harpoon-gunners for their achievements in 1790 and, most importantly, to Charles Moore, the inventor of an improved harpoon-gun that made those achievements possible

1791 – An article regarding harpoon whale guns from “Papers in Mechanicks” describing a list of rewards proffered to expert harpoon-gunners for their achievements in 1790 and, most importantly, to Charles Moore, the inventor of an improved harpoon-gun that made those achievements possible

Disbound.

This 12-page disbound extract is from “Papers in Mechanicks,” Transactions of the Society, Instituted at London, for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce, Vol. 9 (1791), pages 159-168 and Plate IV.

It contains reports of “Rewards offered for taking Wales by the Gun-Harpoon, in the year 1790” including

“Certificates” and “Premiums, being Three Guineas for each Fish so taken, paid to the . . . Harpooners.”

Eight rewards were given to harpooners. Most importantly, however, it includes a report of a 10-Guinea reward granted to Charles Moore for inventing a viable harpoon gun able to be used despite saturation by ocean spray that made their accomplishments possible. An example of a harpooner’s reward reads,

“Charles Fox, harpooner of the said ship Simond, on the 30th of June 1790, at 1 A.M. being in latitude 71° 14’ north, and about sixteen or seventeen fathoms distant from a Wale Fish, perceiving her going down, fired with the harpoon-gun made by Mr. Moore, and got fast to fish which ran out five lines and a half, each one hundred and fifty fathoms long, which was about eight hundred fathoms in all, and then came up, when four more harpoons were struck in; and a 2 A.M. she was killed. The length of her bone was ten feet two inches, and boiled about fourteen tons of oil.”

The reward report for Charles Moore includes a plate, titled “Mr. Charles Moore’s improved Harpoon Gun” featuring a drawing of its internal firing mechanism along with a description of how its labeled parts work together. The reward text reads in part,

“This is to certify, that the Harpoon-Gun invented and made by Mr. Charles Moore, Gun-maker, in East Smithfield, is the best calculated, and has proved the greatest utility of any yet known, for the Wale Fishery. There being generally a large swell in those seas, Harpoon-Guns have hitherto often failed. By Mr. Moore’s invention the wet is prevented injuring the priming; and that inconvenience avoided. . ..”

. Very good. Item #010188

Very scarce. At the time of listing nothing similar is for sale in the trade, and the Rare Book Hub reports nothing similar has appeared at auction. Although OCLC lists no “whale gun extracts” it does show digital and microform copies Transactions of the Society. . . are available; it identifies only three physical sets held by institutions, one at Wake Forest, one in Canada, and one in South Africa.

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Price: $350.00