Clocks, Barometers, Sextants, and Telescopes
Inventory ID: 623
The Earliest Known and Rarest Signed and Dated Cape Cod Sea Captain's Navigational Instrument
This piece will clearly end up in a Museum! It is a rare boxwood "Gunter's Scale" signed "Isaiah Eldredge 1750." Isaiah was born in Chatham on Cape Cod in 1724 and died in Fairhaven in 1812. He was a captain as early as 1745 when he was only 20 years old. His ship was the schooner "Supply" which called in the ports of Boston, Newport, New York, Egg Harbor and Philadelphia. His next command was the sloop 'Molly' followed by the sloop 'Rainbow.' By 1758, he had become a whaling ship's captain and remained so until 1793. The 'gunter's rule was an instrument develeoped in the early 17th century and was used in conjuction with two compasses. Very few survive and this signed and dated example is a great rarity!! When he died in 1812 this item was listed in his personal estate. It measures 2' long and 1 5/8" wide and was found behind some floor boards by a house keeper a few years ago. How it got there no one knows.
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