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After many (and many more) hours of effort by numerous volunteers, it is now ready and available for viewing.  Joshua Humphreys is acknowledged as the principal designer of the original six American frigates.  His son, Samuel, was Chief Naval constructor from 1826 until his death in 1846.

 

The Notebook represents essentially an Aide-mémoire or ready reference on a wide variety of information related to ships and shipbuilding.  It opens with the hand copied British Establishment of 1719, and also includes the 1745 establishment, dimensions of many vessels from several nations, and notations on ships wheels, various capstans and much more.  It runs chronologically from the first entry (not dated) - some entries provide clues as to the date (such as a notation "captured by the British in 1813) but that also is sporadic.  For example, there is an entry for "Dimensions of spars of US Frigate President" followed by "Dimensions of Spars of US Frigate Constitution", however they follow entries for the "Dimension of Brig US Nautilus captured by The British in 1812" and "Rules for masting Frigates 1809", and are followed by "Dimensions of Ship Madison Corvette, Built-Launched at Sacketts Harbour on the Lakes November 1812" and an entry titled "Sept 1814 A Better Rule".

 

Overall, there is a great deal of information of various detail provided which can aid in understanding the basis for some of the ship design philosophies of Joshua and Samuel.  Please note that spellings have been retained as they appear in the source document for the most part, so there may be multiple spellings of the same word.  Emendation has generally been restricted to converting the thorn (looks like a y as in ye ) to the appropriate word (such as "the" for ye ), and spelling out certain abbreviations. 

 

It can be downloaded from the Modelshipbuilder website at the bottom of the resources page here:

http://modelshipbuilder.com/page.php?24

 

We hope that this is a useful reference work for you, and have plans to add to the body of knowledge as we continue transcription of other documents related to the early Navy.

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Fantasy Entry we would all like to see:

 

"No. of windows in the sterne of ye humble Friggate Constitution: Six. Any fewer would be vainglorious buffoonery - sheer madness. This is so patently obvious I shall not even bother to sketch them in any of the draughts."

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I did not notice this very interesting information !

 

Thanks a lot for showing here -

 

       and thanks also to all who help publishing this interesting notes !

 

Why did nobody until now digged out Humphreys YouTube-video-blog during design and building the big frigates :rolleyes: .. but this is probably the closest we can get.

:)

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Hmmm...Still contemplating a new project of transcribing the papers of the war department - here is a quick snapshot of some of the information available.  Any interest in such a thing?

 

VERY abbreviated list of some documents available.

 

post-18-0-43151500-1484741134_thumb.png

 

The raw material (note that this is a nice easy page)

 

post-18-0-57077000-1484741534_thumb.jpg

 

After transcription.

 

1795-3-25 TP circular to Captains_NBB19 3pgs.pdf

 

Here is a better example of what the raw materials look like!

post-18-0-53314200-1484741529_thumb.jpg

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Jokes about early manuscripts aside, there is a wonderful tutorial on the National Archives (U.K.) site that will teach you how to read different manuscript 'hands'. The examples they give you go from easy to progressively more difficult. You 'translate' these samples and then check against their transcription for feedback.

 

Also, if you go back far enough, official manuscripts were in Latin. There is also a great 'teach yourself Latin' course on the same web site. I highly recommend both.

 

Warning: the learning to read manuscript instructional course is addictive!

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The main problem I once had, when trying to read old naval letters on National Archives microfilm, was that the ink would bleed through from the other side. Mailing letters was expensive back in the early 1800's, so a writer necessarily wanted to utilize both sides of that valuable piece of paper, but over the course of two centuries, it can age into an aggravating mess.

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WOW!

 

Thanks to all that helped in this one!!!

 

Sincerily, Daniel

 

I will pass that along - it took some cat herding at times, but the editor put together a fantastic package!

 

 

Just found this.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!! 

 

Will pass the thanks along.  Glad you found it helpful!

 

Jokes about early manuscripts aside, there is a wonderful tutorial on the National Archives (U.K.) site that will teach you how to read different manuscript 'hands'. The examples they give you go from easy to progressively more difficult. You 'translate' these samples and then check against their transcription for feedback.

 

Also, if you go back far enough, official manuscripts were in Latin. There is also a great 'teach yourself Latin' course on the same web site. I highly recommend both.

 

Warning: the learning to read manuscript instructional course is addictive!

 

I have checked out the tutorial - wow!  Suggested to Ro (the chief editor and phantom transcriptionist) that she investigate the Latin tutorial, but she said something about it all being Greek to her????

 

The main problem I once had, when trying to read old naval letters on National Archives microfilm, was that the ink would bleed through from the other side. Mailing letters was expensive back in the early 1800's, so a writer necessarily wanted to utilize both sides of that valuable piece of paper, but over the course of two centuries, it can age into an aggravating mess.

 

Indeed a challenge!  Ro works for the most part with tiff images and is able somehow to adjust contrast and other image settings to make separate the obverse from the inverse.

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I'm interested in the USS FRANKLIN.  I guess I have a biographical question.  Samuel Humphreys supervised the construction of the ship-of-the-line USS Franklin, the first ship to be laid down at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, in 1815.  Humphreys's father was Joshua Humphreys.  And, Joshua's notebook has information on the USS FRANKLIN.  So, is the son just building Dad's design?

 

Interesting to read of the draft comparison with the USS INDEPENDENCE...given her demise to a razee.

Edited by Deperdussin1910

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I'm interested in the USS FRANKLIN. I guess I have a biographical question. Samuel Humphreys supervised the construction of the ship-of-the-line USS Franklin, the first ship to be laid down at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, in 1815. Humphreys's father was Joshua Humphreys. And, Joshua's notebook has information on the USS FRANKLIN. So, is the son just building Dad's design?

 

Interesting to read of the draft comparison with the USS INDEPENDENCE...given her demise to a razee.

The notebook appears to have passed from father to son as an ongoing aide memoire. Both have entries, and based on the hand writing it appears that others served as the scribes at different times.

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