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Forum topic by degoose posted 1785 days ago 1021 views 1 time favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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degoose

6992 posts in 1979 days


1785 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: resource humor

For the Navy folk a bit of history

CANNON BALLS!!! DID YOU KNOW THIS?

It was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon on old war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was the problem. The storage method devised was to stack them as a square based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.

Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem—how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others.

The solution was a metal plate with 16 round indentations, called, for reasons unknown, a Monkey. But if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make them of brass – hence, Brass Monkeys.

Few landlubbers realise that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled.

Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey.

Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. And all this time, folks thought that was just a vulgar expression?

You must send this fabulous bit of historical knowledge to at least a few intellectual friends.

-- Drink twice... and don't bother to cut... @ lazylarrywoodworks.com.au For lovers of all things timber...


20 replies so far

View patron's profile

patron

13000 posts in 1966 days


#1 posted 1785 days ago

sounds like ,
“balls to the wall ”
down there now , larry .

with the ” beastie ” ,
you could make them ,
out of purrpleheart ?

most of the people around here are ” new age ” ,
but i’ll see if i can convince them ,
to squeeze some monkey’s balls ?

tell them it is good josh !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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UnionLabel

660 posts in 1825 days


#2 posted 1785 days ago

Dinner plates on British sailing ships were square, so they could be stacked on edge in the galley, hence the phrase, “Square Meal”. Also tankards were tapered so the wouldn’t fall over.

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2060 days


#3 posted 1785 days ago

cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey” – yes, and if you hear a clang, they are mine! – A typical Brit answer to that phrase.
I London a few centuries ago convicts due for hanging at Tyburn were taken on a cart to the venue. (You have to understand this is before the Brits discovered a huge continent in the southern hemisphere where they could ship all the convicts to)
Well while the convicts were being taken on carts to the hanging, they passed several ale houses and were given a drink which is why we have the expression “One for the Road”
Another expression came from a window tax that was imposed and the # of windows were counted and taxed. Home owners quickly took out windows or boarded them up so as not to have to pay taxes on them, hence the expression “daylight robbery” evolved.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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woodsmithshop

1114 posts in 2170 days


#4 posted 1785 days ago

do you know this from experience Larry? lol

-- Smitty!!!

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SCOTSMAN

5347 posts in 2210 days


#5 posted 1785 days ago

When salt was almost the price of gold hundreds of years ago a bowl of salt was placed on the centre of the table and those above the salt ate it those below were not allowed to .So hence the phrase that you were regarded as beneath the salt .Also people were paid in salt also hence the phrase your not worth your salt.A barometer is called a barometer as it measures in bars pressure.A cat of nine tails was a whip with nine thongs used aboard a ship to punish crew.Don’t worry I’ll think of more .Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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woodsmithshop

1114 posts in 2170 days


#6 posted 1785 days ago

The U. S. S. Constitution (Old Ironsides), as a combat vessel, carried 48,600 gallons of fresh water for her crew of 475 officers and men. This was sufficient to last six months of sustained operations at sea. She carried no evaporators (i.e. fresh water distillers).

However, let it be noted that according to her ship’s log, “On July 27, 1798, the U.S.S.. Constitution sailed from Boston with a full complement of 475 officers and men, 48,600 gallons of fresh water, 7,400 cannon shot, 11,600 pounds of black powder and 79,400 gallons of rum.”

Her mission: “To destroy and harass English shipping.”

Making Jamaica on 6 October, she took on 826 pounds of flour and 68,300 gallons of rum.

Then she headed for the Azores , arriving there 12 November.. She provisioned with 550 pounds of beef and 64,300 gallons of Portuguese wine.

On 18 November, she set sail for England . In the ensuing days she defeated five British men-of-war and captured and scuttled 12 English merchant ships, salvaging only the rum aboard each.

By 26 January, her powder and shot were exhausted. Nevertheless, although unarmed she made a night raid up the Firth of Clyde in Scotland . Her landing party captured a whisky distillery and transferred 40,000 gallons of single malt Scotch aboard by dawn. Then she headed home.

The U. S. S. Constitution arrived in Boston on 20 February 1799, with no cannon shot, no food, no powder, no rum, no wine, no whisky, and 38,600 gallons of water..

-- Smitty!!!

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JJohnston

1577 posts in 1916 days


#7 posted 1785 days ago

The phrase “balls out”, meaning full speed, or going as hard as you can, is actually a reference to the weights in a flyball governor being at their outermost position.

-- "Sorry I'm late. Somebody tampered with my brakes." "You should have been early, then."

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2060 days


#8 posted 1785 days ago

A handshake: From medieval times where you extended your weapon arm to show that you were not carrying a sword or dagger. Meaning: I bear you no harm.
The Mc or Mac in Scottish names means “son of”.
Inner space is the distance between an Irishman’s ears.
You can never starve in the desert because of the sandwiches there!
There is no such thing as rape, a woman with her skirt up can run faster than a man with his pants down.
In Australia they had crossbred a sheep with a kangeroo and got a wooley jumper. (Degoose wears one)

OK….I’m going…...

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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mikethetermite

428 posts in 1891 days


#9 posted 1785 days ago

As one old salt to another, I enjoyed that one Larry. As well as all that followed.
Thanks to all. I will be forwarding it to some old shipmates.

-- Mike The Termite ~~~~~ Working safely may get old, but so do those who practice it.

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stefang

12867 posts in 1959 days


#10 posted 1784 days ago

I have a lot of these too, just can’t remember even one of them. I did enjoy all yours though. Thanks for enlightening us everybody and especially Larry who started it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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littlecope

2894 posts in 2127 days


#11 posted 1784 days ago

Our Parents and Teachers were lying to us from day one!!
They taught us all to sing the merry olde lilt, “London Bridge is Falling Down”. From what I gather, this little Children’s ditty came from the time of the building of the bridge. The editors of the earliest of newspapers thought it was daft that they were constructing the bridge on Oaken pilings. Their claim was that the Oak would rot and the bridge would fall, and stirred up considerable consternation amongst the citizenry whose taxes were being used to build this alleged boondoggle…
But Woodwrights and Shipwrights had known for centuries about Oak’s unique qualities. In all-wet situations, such as dams, water wheels, and ship building, Oak will easily outlast Steel or Iron, and occasionally Stone! Similarly, in all-dry applications, like the roof timbers of the Notre Dame Cathedral, its endurance is legendary…
Although the children of that time enjoyed the controversy, and enshrined it forever in their song, I believe our British Friends can attest to the fact that their conclusion was wrong! To my knowledge, London Bridge is still standing after 900 some odd years of daily usage…
It makes me wonder what else they lied to us about… :)London Bridge

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2060 days


#12 posted 1784 days ago

littlecope,
Sorry to burst your bubble, but this is a picture of Tower Bridge, not London Bridge. London Bridge was falling down, it was more than a Bridge as it had houses and shops on it, and it was a question that the load had increased way beyond the structures desgn. London Bridge was rebuilt out of stone and was subsequently replaced by a wider bridge to handle the increased traffic. Some very “smart” Americans purchased this removed old stone bridge thinking that they were purchasing Tower Bridge. The old stone bridge was dismantled and shipped to the US and is now reconstructed in Arizona.
History is fascinating.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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littlecope

2894 posts in 2127 days


#13 posted 1784 days ago

Rats!
I was mis-informed again! Sorry… :-(

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View patron's profile

patron

13000 posts in 1966 days


#14 posted 1784 days ago

alfred ( roger ) is right , mike .

back in the late ‘60s i was driving from cal to somewhere ,
out in the desert , nothing but sand and rocks and cactus ,
and up ahead i saw this bridge over a bunch of earthmovers making a “river ” ,
underneath it , as i got closer , i saw they were also making little docks around it .
turned out to be the london bridge re-built stone by stone ( numbered ) ,
and there wasn’t anything for 50 miles in any direction !
boy , some rich gringo just got fleeced , i thought .
further down the govt was building a dam ( havasu) on the colorado river .
today it is a major tourist attraction and retirement community .

i got a bridge in brooklyn i’ll sell you cheap ?

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2060 days


#15 posted 1784 days ago

History is a very fascinating subject and it is wonderful to find out where expressions and sayings originate.
Why are police in the UK called Bobbies? A pilitician, by the name of Sir Robert Peel introduce a bill to establish a national police force (previously all “police” activity was by private hiring of Beadles – rent a cop.
The bill was enacted and produced the first city, county and national police force as we know it today. These new police were nicknamed Peelers at first and then nicknamed Bobby’s after their founder Robert (Bobby) Peel.
Questions that history poses: The Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were the epitome of science, literature, building and government of their time. Citizens were way, way more education and better off than other countries. The big question is “What Happened”, why did these advanced civilizations vanish??
Popupar theory is that they exported technology and jobs, loaned money to people who could not pay it back and became so greedy they bankrupted the country.
WE should take note of history especially when we have a Pyramid on out money.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

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