Crab Pots, Eel Spears, and Fish Nets : Seasonal Changes in Watermen's Work
Object Name:
Description of Object:
This is a traditional brace with bit. This brace would have been used to drill large holes in wood.
About the Object:
During the summer months, many watermen worked as builders and craftsmen at local boat yards. There are a number of tools that a skilled boat builder used day-to-day. The brace is a hand tool used to manually drill holes. While applying pressure to the top of the brace, a boat builder can drill a hole by cranking the rotating, u-shaped grip. Braces are thought to have first apeared in carpenters toolboxes between 1420 and 1430. The crank mechanism of the brace is unique in that it changes reciprocal motion into rotary motion. Historian Lynn White Jr claimed that the discovery of the crank is "second in importance to the wheel itself."
More Information:
This drill was also owned and used by Earl Smith, a boat builder at Chance Marine Construction Company. During World War I, Chance Marine Construction Co. built wooden subchasers for the US Navy. Unfortunately, during the Great Despression (1929) the Company began to experience financial difficulties and eventually was forced to sell portions of land to Annapolis Yacht Basin Company to stay affloat.
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Subchaser built at Chance Marine Construction CompanySubchaser built at Chance Marine Construction Company