Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My new mistress, Mary Rose

In the words of Buddy the Elf.

"I'm in love, I'm in love, and I don't care who knows it!!!"

That's right inter-world I have found a new mistress, and her name is Mary Rose. She is from the UK, loves the water, and looks pretty darn good for her age. We met at the museum and it was love at first sight. Before The Boss gets too nervous over my new affair I should mention that Mary is a 500 year old, 700 ton warship that sank over 400 years ago, 1545 to be exact.

Thankfully someone had the good sense to spend an inordinate amount of money excavating the remains of the ship from the bottom of the sea and documented every artifact that was found aboard. As far as I can tell, the Mary Rose is the single best collection of Tudor Era....stuff...that has been discovered in one place.

A second fantastic idea by The Mary Rose Trust was to publish a book covering in detail most of the artifacts found aboard the ship. Before the Mast; Life and Death Aboard the Mary Rose is by far at the top of my recommended reading list...in fact most of my coworkers are probably sick of me with my nose stuck in this book stopping only to show off a new picture, tidbit, or tool that I come across.

This book is far larger than any of my Engineering textbooks....but WAAAAAY better

Of particular interest to me (being a 17th century carpenter philosopher) is the amazing catalog of 16th century tools that were found in and around the ship carpenter's cabin. Rules, planes, chisels, chalk reels, mallets, grinding wheels, braces...I could go on and on. The archaeologist's descriptions and assumptions for some of the artifacts are suspect at best...but their drawings and documentation are top notch.

So if you love historical tool reproductions then stay tuned because I am currently working my way through this book in whatever tickles my fancy. However, if you cant stand historical hand tools and work ways, you should probably find a different blog, because this is totally my jam.


  1. Bring it on man that's what I am here for!

  2. Sounds like an interesting book I will have to find one.

    1. It is a very good read. Although I was recently told that they are releasing a Two Volume set so you might want to wait a bit. The book I have is BIG, two smaller books would be better

  3. I'd love to read this. I first heard of the Mary Rose through Peter Follansbee and the plane he made years ago based on one recovered from the wreckage. Please give a heads up if you hear any more details on the new two volume set you are speaking of.

    1. I just checked out The Mary Rose Trust website and turns out they already have the Two volume set for sale.


      It is a little pricy at 60 pounds, but I highly recommend it.