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David Tantrum's picture
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011

National Maritime Day

National Maritime Day is observed on the day the American steamship Savannah set sail from Savannah, GA on the first ever transoceanic voyage under steam power, May 22, 1819.  The ship "put to sea with both steam and sails" and reached Liverpool in 29 days and four hours, becoming the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. While the steam engine performed faultlessly, it was not the only means of propulsion; historians have estimated that the Savannah was under sail 80% of the time.

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Rik van Hemmen's picture
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Robert Fulton

Francis A. Martin, the founder of Martin & Ottaway, was a grandnephew of Robert Fulton, the first successful steamboat operator (I will not get into the debate as to who invented the steamboat, but I agree it was not Robert Fulton). Robert Fulton is a rather elusive figure who was a prolific inventor and technical promoter and a pretty good painter too.

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Rik van Hemmen's picture
Thursday, May 5th, 2011

A first (as far as I know)

Since 1995 Martin & Ottaway has been based in Monmouth County on the North Jersey shore, but many of us have known the shore for much longer than that. One of Chris Hanges' favorite Jersey hangouts was Bahrs Landing in Highlands, a short distance from the Seastreak ferry.

 

Bahrs Landing still is a Jersey shore favorite and plays a part in the life of many a Monmouth County resident past and present. The restaurant decor is traditional "shore shack" with sawtooth fish jaws, rustic ship models and a diver Dan suit, but the last time I stopped by I noticed a diorama containing three generations of the Columbia Bar lightship. These scale models were quite a step up from the crude models that are associated with the traditional shore shack style. Jay Cosgrove, the fourth generation Owner of the restaurant, was right there and I asked where he picked that beauty up. 

 

 

So this is the story in a nutshell: One of his customers, Henry Schaeffer, a long time Atlantic Highlands resident, is an avid ship model builder, who is now near 80 and had moved some time ago to a retirement community in central Jersey. Advancing in age, he was wondering what to do with his ship model collection, and contacted Jay if he could donate his ship model collection to Bahrs' Restaurant for free lunches in perpetuity.

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The Maritime Industry is the single most important driver for the world as we know it today. Before maritime commerce was established, trade consisted of horses and carts on bad roads, and since horses and carts can only move limited amounts of product trade was inherently deeply restricted.

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Museums are scary things. It would be interesting to figure out when the first true museum was created. I am not talking about curio collections, like animal zoos, that must go back to prehistoric times and church collections that focus on relics, I am talking about institutions that are interested in preserving objects that have human significance. Institutions that preserve objects that provide specific references to our human development. Art would be a part of that and so would be religious objects, but our real progress is measured by all aspects of humanity; commerce, finance, technology, education and trade, and it seems to me there are more and more museums for all these aspects of humanity everyday.

 

 

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