1986.10 | Albion

Thomas Dove, British
1836, 19th century
71 x 102 cm
Gift of Woolford G. Scott
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

A ship was powered by its sails, and making sails is one of the world's oldest marine trades. Rigging was a complex arrangement of ropes, wires, chains and blocks, or pulleys used to operate a sailing vessel. Every piece of rigging had a specific function, which ranged from providing fixed support for masts to hoisting and trimming sails. The rigging allowed a skilled crew to manipulate a ship's sails, spars and lines to take full advantage of the wind.

Sailmakers produced two main types: square rig, and fore-and-aft rig. Square-rigged sails, shown in the painting of the Albion, were designed to hang from horizontal yards across the width of a ship. They produced greater driving force when the prevailing winds blew from the rear, and were vital for long ocean passages. Fore-and-aft rigged sails were designed to hang along the length of a ship, making it more manoeuverable and effective in coastal waters.

Source : The Golden Age of Sail [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    Even though there were several ships named Albion in the 1830s and 1840s, the houseflags identify this as the one owned by John Hammond of Saint John.

  • Where

    The Albion was wrecked at Richibucto, New Brunswick, in 1853.

  • When

    Ownership was transferred to Robert Shute, Liverpool, in 1848.

  • Who

    An inscription stamped on the reverse of the canvas reads: T. Dove Marine Painter 1836, for British artist Thomas Dove.