You mentioned in your letter and in a subsequent letter to the
Mariner's Mirror that you were trying to establish the identity of the
author of the in 1788 anonymously published The Shipbuilder's
Besides the information given in the annotated bibliography by Captain
Müller (?) in the Collection of Papers on Naval Architecture I
have two scraps of information which might help in solving the puzzle.
If you study the Naval Architecture published in 1805 by
David Steel you will find that parts of it are taken almost verbatim
from The Shipbuilder's Repository, 1788.
Further the articles on naval architecture and rigging in
Rees' Cyclopeadia reprinted by David & Charles with the title
Ree's Naval Architecture show a relationship with Steel's
In an article in Maritime History Vol. 3 (1973), pp 92-94, N.B. Harte
discusses the authors of these articles.
The article on Blockmaking was certainly written by John
Farey and the remaining articles reprinted are attributed to one
George Glover about whom very little is known.
The articles in this reprint were published between 1805 and 1818
(not 1819-1820 as stated by David & Charles).
However I have checked them against the 1794 edition of Rigging
and Seamanship and the 1818 edition of The Art of
Rigging, and found that:
The definitions on page 22ff are exact copies of those found in
Steel on pp 128ff.
[Also pp 68ff and pp 329ff; pp 80ff and pp 373ff].
It is possible that there is a common source for both works.
If Glover really is the author of Steel's The Elements and
Practice of Naval Architecture, or at least part of it, he may
also be the author of the Shipbuilder's Repository.
A difference between Glover and Steel is that while the former makes
his calculations of center of gravity, displacement etc for a
74-gun ship, Steel uses an 80-gun ship in his example, else the
layout of the calculations is the same.
- Blocks, in part IV, 1805 [Partly from Steel].
- Machinery for Manufacturing Ship's Blocks, 1812, in part
- Mast, in part XXII, 1812 [Partly from Steel].
- Rope and Rope-making, 1815, in part XXX.
- Rigging, 1815, in part XXX [Partly from Steel].
- Sail and Sail-Making, 1815, in part XXXI
[Partly from Steel].
- Ship-Building, 1816, in part XXXII [Partly from Steel].
- Yards, 1818, in part XXXIX.
One Mr. Joseph Glover, Greenwich Road, is listed in the List
of Subscribers to the Shipbuilder's Repository.
If a relative to the above mentioned John Glover or not is something
I have been unable to check.
On the inside of the front-board of my copy of the Shipbuilder's
Repository had been pasted a slip of paper with
text printed on it, but which is now missing.
This text has to some extent offset on the front end-paper and in
the correct light it is possible to read "_OSEPTH THOR_" and under that
If this has any significance relating to the question is uncertain.
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