Presentation on theme: "Bound for South Australia 1836 Heating up and lighting the way Week 30."— Presentation transcript:
Bound for South Australia 1836 Heating up and lighting the way Week 30
Overview Between February and July 1836 nine ships left Britain bound for the newly created province of South Australia. On-board the ships were passengers who over many long months braved the perils of the ocean, including some of the most treacherous seas in the world to begin a new life on the other side of the world. This resource uses the stories from these nine ships as recorded by the passengers and crew in their personal journals.
Introduction We catch up with Gouger onboard the Africaine once again this week. It is becoming much colder on the ship and his family does not have enough warm clothes to wear. Gouger writes in detail about the facilities in his cabin and on the Africaine that enable him to have light, filter water and live onboard in relative comfort. Gouger records his observations so that they may be used as a guide for other wealthy passengers who may travel in the future. This gives us a good opportunity to look at how the technology available in 1836 was used to provide lighting and heating in 1836 both on land and at sea.
Robert Gouger, on board the Africaine wrote: September 17th No chance of reaching the Cape by Sunday; adverse winds have prevailed lately which are carrying us south of the Cape and will most probably oblige us to put in at Simon’s Bay instead of at Table Bay. Should this be the case, we shall have to travel 20 miles to Cape Town, thus occupying time which ought to be all expended in procuring the supplies we require forour comfort on arrival at South Australia. Moreover, our energetic captain has determined, it seems, to allow us no longer than 48 hours sojourn at either place. — The thermometer is now 57°, a degree of cold which affects both Harriet & myself very much, and unfortunately neither of us has made a provision for very cold weather. I now find that a coat and trousers of a much warmer kind than is commonly used in England would be desirable.—We are constantly surrounded by acquatic birds; of these the bird beforementioned and of which I have a specimen, is so far the most numerous, but the majestic albatross is by far the most Journals from passengers at sea: Saturday 17 September 1836
attractive. The flight of this bird is remarkably elegant, taking a long sweep to the right and then another to the left, Each performed by one motion of the wings, it seems to imitate the Graceful movement of the skaiter. Five large ones were about the ship today at the Same time, but none of them has yet seen fit to take the bait of our sportsmen. I have purposely avoided making a memorandum of the conveniences of our cabin until I should have had time to test them practically; it is now more than ten weeks since we came on board, and considering the time sufficient to enable me to ascertain their relative worth, with a view to the guidance of others who may follow my steps, I shall now describe them and the cabin itself. The cabin I occupy is the larboard stern cabin,larboardstern cabin besides the two stern windows, there is a ventilator on the deck about three feet in diameter which however is divided between mine and the adjacent cabin. Thus I have a sufficiency of air and light for all purposes. But there is an advantage in the possession of a stern cabin far beyondstern cabin that of ventilation or even abundance of light: viz. the power of abstracting oneself from the company of the rest of the passengers. In our case, the companion ladder is between the stern cabin and the cuddy,stern cabincuddy so that when the door is shut, it is impossible to hear the never ceasing conversation in which some of the party are sure to be engaged. To be
alone is the greatest luxury which we enjoy on board; were I the occupant of a cabin adjacent to the cuddy, I verily believe, that instead of passingcuddy my time agreeably, I should be suffering from a brain fever caused by the continual din and noise of my worthy fellow passengers… In the list of ‘cabin comforts’ a filter stands preeminent. The water on board the Africaine is I should think as good as is generally found in ships; but I, who however am to a great extent a water drinker, should much feel the want of this little machine. Mine was purchased of James in the Poultry, and filters very brightly. By way of protection it is enclosed in the wickerwork.—I have two cabin lamps, and one candlestick: they are all useful. The candle is enclosed in the candlestick, and is forced up to the socket with a spring, and the whole has a universal joint to accommodate itself to the motion of the ship. By this I write and read. The night lanthorn was bought of Miller in Piccadilly, and is convertible into a variety of purposes: it is a dark lanthorn, a hand lanthorn, a chaise lamp, & a night lamp. The other is a nursery lamp upon Davy’s principle, with a kettle and saucepans to fix on the top: this afforded Harriet during her illness at the commencement of the voyage excessive comfort; by its means in about fifteen minutes I have been able to supply her in the course of the night with a cup of tea or arrow root, things which could not
have been obtained by any other means… at all events I would recommend a few things to be procured for use in the cabin, amongst which I would name the following articles: — half a dozen bottles of brandy of the best quality in case of sickness; some dried fruits (such as figs, almonds & raisins, prunes) by way of dessert, a luxury which of course the ship does not provide, but which becomes almost a necessary to health if the voyage is undertaken at a time of the year when potatoes will not keep; some of Gamble’s preserved provisions, especially mutton broth and vegetables in the smallest canisters; some of [?Lemsan’s] biscuits in tins; and one each of sago, arrow root, and prepared groats for gruel…
Inquiry Questions What do you think caused the change in temperature that Gouger describes? What forms of lighting are used onboard our ships? What facilities were available to provide light, warmth and comfort for passengers? What can we learn about 1836 technology by reading Gouger's description of the facilities onboard?
Glossary of Terms Cuddy The galley or pantry of a small ship. Larboard The old term for the left hand side of a ship looking forward. The right hand side is starboard. To avoid mis-hearing an order, it is now referred to as ‘port’. Stern Cabin Cabin at the rear of a ship. Return to Journal Entries
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