Thomas Calpin’s in­ven­tion

The Compass - - OPINION -

Thomas S. Calpin, a black­smith, lived in Bay Roberts in the 1880s. To­day he is re­mem­bered as the in­ven­tor of the Calpin An­chor. He ob­tained a patent in Great Bri­tain (No. 11,396) on Aug. 18, 1884; in Canada (No. 20,645) on Nov. 28, 1884; in Nor­way on April 24, 1885; and in the United States (No. 337,241) on March 2, 1886.

In the spec­i­fi­ca­tion form­ing part of let­ters patent, he calls his in­ven­tion “a cer­tain new and use­ful Im­proved An­chor.”

He ex­plains in the doc­u­ment, which is housed in the US Patent Of­fice, “The ob­ject of my in­ven­tion is to con­struct an­chors in an im­proved man­ner, by which cheap­ness, ef­fi­ciency, sim­plic­ity, and con­ve­nience are se­cured.

“In­stead of the or­di­nary shank in one piece, I con­struct the shank in two parts, meet­ing to­gether at the shackle and ex­tend­ing out­ward and apart from each other at a con­sid­er­able an­gle where the flukes are joined thereto....

“An­chors con­structed ac­cord­ing to my in­ven­tion pos­sess the max­i­mum of strength with the min­i­mum of ma­te­rial and labour re­quired in and for their pro­duc­tion.”

The doc­u­ment was wit­nessed by two St. John’s in­di­vid­u­als, yeo­man John Bas­ton and no­tary pub­lic Alex J.W. McNeily.

Ac­cord­ing to the Jan. 30, 1886 edi­tion of “The Har­bour Grace Stan­dard and Con­cep­tion Bay Advertiser,” Calpin “lately took pas­sage in the S.S. ‘Por­tia’ for Canada and the United States, whither he goes for the pur­pose of in­tro­duc­ing his in­ven­tion to the trade there.”

The edi­tor of the news­pa­per was pleased to note in its April 10, 1886 edi­tion that Calpin was “meet­ing with much en­cour­age­ment in his ef­forts to bring his new patent an­chor be­fore the no­tice of the pub­lic.”

Ac­cord­ing to the “Cape Ann Advertiser,” the Bay Roberts in­ven­tor had re­cently been in Glouces­ter, Mas­sachusetts, “with mod­els of his new an­chor which found much ac­cep­tance among those who saw them.

“It is made of a con­tin­u­ous bar of iron and is self-ad­just­ing. There are two mov­able flukes which have great hold­ing power. In haul­ing up, there is no dan­ger of the flukes com­ing in con­tact with the ves­sel as, be­ing mov­able, they swing out­ward. They re­quire no man­age­ment be­fore drop­ping, are read­ily stowed away, and it is im­pos­si­ble for a craft to sweep this an­chor, as there is noth­ing that the moor­ings or ca­ble can hitch to.

“They have been used by the fish­er­men with great suc­cess, and their mer­its over all other an­chors can be seen upon look­ing at the model. It is prob­a­ble that some par­ties in this city will man­u­fac­ture and in­tro­duce them among our fish­ing fleet.

“We learn that there has not been one of this new de­scrip­tion of an­chors yet made in New­found­land, be­yond the few man­u­fac­tured last spring by Mr. Calpin him­self.

“It is much to be hoped that ev­ery en­cour­age­ment will be ex­tended to the in­ven­tor in this, his na­tive land.

“The patent has at­tracted much at­ten­tion out­side of this coun­try. Mr. Calpin has re­ceived nu­mer­ous let­ters in re­spect to it, even from San Fran­cisco, Cal­i­for­nia. Through some ne­glect or other, the patent was not s e c u re d when Mr. Calpin went to the States last spring. Much vex­a­tious de­lay has thereby been oc­ca­sioned. We trust, how­ever, that all dif­fi­cul­ties will dis­ap­pear – and that be­fore very long.”

The Calpin House on Wa­ter Street, in Bay Roberts, is now a mu­nic­i­pal her­itage site.

Bur­ton K. Janes lives in Bay Roberts. His col­umn ap­pears in The Com­pass ev­ery week.

He can be reached at bur­tonj@nfld.net

MAK­ING A PROCLA­MA­TION — At a cer­e­mony at the Marine Re­sources Op­por­tu­nity Net­work Inc. build­ing in Car­bon­ear on June 6, mem­bers of MRON, the Depart­ment of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills as well as clients pro­claimed June as Sup­ported Em­ploy­ment Aware­ness Month for the Bac­calieu Trail. In the photo are: front (l-r) — clients San­dra Smith and David Mor­gan; back — MRON sup­ported em­ploy­ment ser­vices em­ploy­ment coun­sel­lors Holly Par­sons and Michelle Smith, MRON ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Lor­raine Brown, Judy O’Dell and Jo­hann Whe­lan, both of theDepart­ment of Ad­vanced Ed­u­ca­tion and Skills, MRON sup­ported em­ploy­ment ser­vices em­ploy­ment coun­sel­lor Me­gan For­ward, Deb­bie Reynolds and Gor­don Stone. MONEY FOR A GOOD CAUSE — The Bri­gus Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment will be do­nat­ing some $1,740 to the Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion later this year. The money was raised through var­i­ous Texas Hold’em poker games amongst mem­bers in the depart­ment. In the past, the depart­ment has used sim­i­lar means to raise money for the Janeway Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal Foun­da­tion and Ron­ald McDon­ald House. Shown in the photo are: front (l-r) — Fire chief Rod­ney Mercer, Ken Broughton, Ju­nior Mercer, Jr. , Kevin Sprack­lin, as­sis­tant fire chief Gra­ham His­cock and David King; back — Bill King, Barry Eng­land, Gary Spooner, Ge­orge Fry, Fred Wil­liams, Kevin Wall, Tom Ryan, Jr. , Den­zil Nor­man, Tom Ryan, Sr., By­ron Rod­way and Bill Tucker. Miss­ing from photo are Blair Mercer, Peter Ma­herFry, David Bar­rett, Mark Jer­rett, Tony Pritchard, Ed­ward Roberts and Dominic Lane. The Har­bour Grace Sparkes, Brown­ies, Guides and lead­ers were busy at their year-end ban­quet plant­ing a Burn­ing Bush in Me­mo­rial Park on Wa­ter Street in the town. It was a great way to fin­ish a fan­tas­tic guid­ing year. — Sub­mit­ted by Joan Short, Guid­ing leader DI­A­MOND RECOG­NI­TION — The com­mand­ing of­fi­cer for 249 Effie M. Mor­ris­sey sea cadets, Ger­ald Mercer (right), was the re­cip­i­ent of the Queen’s Di­a­mond Ju­bilee Medal June 1 dur­ing the corps’ an­nual cer­e­mo­nial re­view. MP Scott An­drews was on hand to make the pre­sen­ta­tion. An­drews praised Mercer for his vol­un­teer work and ded­i­ca­tion with the corps for the past 34 years. It was the per­fect time to re­ceive the medal as Mercer will re­tire from his po­si­tion with the corps this year. Mem­bers of the Car­bon­ear Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment stand be­hind a ta­ble of equip­ment pur­chased from the pro­ceeds of the Turkey Raf­fle from the past year. In­cluded are two wa­ter pumps and hoses, two traf­fic signs, a por­ta­ble light and a cut­ting tool. The to­tal cost of the equip­ment was $4,500. Pic­tured here dis­play­ing the equip­ment are, from left, 2nd As­sis­tant Chief Cory Ma­haney, fire­fighter Don Earle, Chief Ed Ka­vanagh, 1st As­sis­tant Chief Brent Sweeney, and fire­fighter Ja­son Fa­hey. The Har­bour Grace Sparkes, Brown­ies and Girl Guides col­lected money and pur­chased sup­plies — pil­lows, sheets, blan­kets and per­sonal care items — and do­nated them to O’Shaugh­nessy House dur­ing Guide-Scout Week 2013. — Sub­mit­ted by Joan Short, Guid­ing Leader

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