Museum Week 2020 — What is the Object from the Collection? Part 1

Monday — May 11 — Date Stamper [Marine]

There are several in the collection similar to this one all made by Centennial Dater. All are similar in appearance as viewed in the photographs. In the catalogue, the one pictured above is described as “Ticket date stamper. Iron stamp on two legs with several wheels and gears to adjust the date. A press nob is on top to press paper onto the stamp surface. A spring holds the nob off the stamping surface. From the S.S. Norisle. Centennial Dater.”

The other two in the collection give some more details. One is described as: “Ticket date stamper. Black cast iron/steel.  Label on front  “Model A, Hill’s Centennial Dater”.  There is a shiny metal knob on the top which reads “The Centennial Dater, B.B. Hills Patent, July 4, 1878″. There is a nose piece on the front which opens to allow access to the imprint plate and the ribbon.  The ribbon is 3 cm wide.”

The third is listed as: “Heavy black metal date stamper. “Centennial Dater” is on the front, there is a door on the front to access the ribbon and the stamping plate. There is a shiny metal knob on the top.  There is access to wheels under the bottom that can be moved to adjust the date.  There is a 3 cm wide ribbon in the machine.”

Perhaps one of these date stampers was used on a ticket for one of your trips or that of an ancestor travelling to or from Manitoulin Island.

These date stampers were used on one of the ferries of Ontario Northland: Norgoma, Norisle or Normac.

Tuesday, May 12 — Pelorus [Marine]

The one of the left: “A pelorus and its case.  This pelorus is made of black metal/wire. There is a magnifying glass at one end. The box is made of wood and the pelorus sits inside securely and is held in place by a toggle.  There are two hooks used to keep the box closed. Last owned by Howard Hindman of Owen Sound.”

The one on the right is a  “compass-like device. It is a circular metal plate with directions marked on it, suspended on a brass stand. There is a black metal viewpiece attached to the top of the place and the bronze suspension piece sits on a wooden base.  The face plate reads: “Boyce-Meier Pelorus, Bonxville, NY”. Last owned by Howard Gilbank of Owen Sound.”

“In marine navigation, a pelorus is a reference tool for maintaining bearing of a vessel at sea. It is a “dumb compass” without a directive element, suitably mounted and provided with vanes to permit observation of relative bearings.”[1]