WATERMAN (JOHN WILLIAM, A.B.) Private log of Able Seaman Waterman in S.S. Discovery..., 1901-1904; with his tool pouch and a certificate signed twice by Captain Scott
Lot 74
WATERMAN (JOHN WILLIAM, A.B.) Private log of Able Seaman Waterman in S.S. Discovery..., 1901-1904; with his tool pouch and a certificate signed twice by Captain Scott
Sold for £3,500 (US$ 5,882) inc. premium
Lot Details
WATERMAN (JOHN WILLIAM, A.B.)
Private log of Able Seaman Waterman in S.S. Discovery from London to Simon's Town, 14 pages; continued in H.M.S Gibraltar, approximately 138 pages in all, beginning with a 3-page memorandum headed "J.W. Waterman A.B./ S.S. Discovery/ National Antarctic Ship", ink in a ruled exercise book, half roan, near detached with tears in spine, small 4to, 31 July 1901-12 June 1904; together with Waterman's sail-makers leather belt pouch (stamped 'Discovery 1901/ J. Waterman), and his 'Continuous Certificate of Discharge', SIGNED BY CAPTAIN SCOTT against Waterman's date of discharge (12 October 1901) and against his report of character (ability and general conduct both marked as "V.G."), in original buckram wallet-style covers, gilt Board of Trade stamp on upper cover, 8vo (3)

Footnotes

  • Waterman was born at Beverly in 1879, and pasted cuttings suggest a passion for Yorkshire cricket . He signed on for the whole voyage to the Antarctic as is revealed by the concluding lines of his memorandum: "...[in the] other pages will be found the chief events of our wanderings in the Antarctic also our voyage out and home again if all goes well." Instead he left Discovery at Simon's Town (not invalided at New Zealand as sometimes stated) on 12 October 1901, and transferred into the flagship of the Cape Station, H.M.S. Gibraltar, disappearing from polar history. While Waterman might be considered amongst the least important of Discovery's crew, there is no gainsaying that these items associated with him are likely to be the only evidence of his part in the story of the National Antarctic Expedition.

    Waterman's memorandum details the equpment and construction of Discovery including "Above the water line the out side skin is composed of Green hart [sic] and packed with asbestos to keep out the cold & retain warmth". The log commences with the seaman's tasks of holystoning the deck before the Royal inspection at Cowes, and blacking down the rigging. 19 August records the evening lecture by George Murray of the Natural History Museum (also editor of the 1901 Antarctic Manual) on Marine Vegetation and Sea weed. Murray also left the Discovery at Cape Town or Simon's Town, having failed to impress Scott when it came to practical matters. Mr. Hodgson gave another lecture on 29 August on the subject of Crustaecans. On Sunday 22 September an albatross with a wingspan of 9 feet was caught. After refuelling at Cape Town, Discovery proceeded to Simon's Town where she was handed over to the dockyard matIes who caulked the desks while Royal Navy divers from the fleet cleaned the ship's bottom.

    Included in the lot is Waterman's copy of Captain Scott's Message to England (St. Catherine's Press, 1913).
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