Taffrail Log

Taffrail Log

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Bliss’s Patent American Taffrail Log–which was introduced around 1871 and which received a medal at the Centennial Exhibition of 1876–was based on the inventions of Captain Truman Hotchkiss, a sea captain living in Stratford, Connecticut. This example incorporates two features designed by John and George H. Bliss in the late 1870s. One is a register with three dials that read tenths of a mile, ten miles, and 100 miles. The other is a rotator designed to prevent sea-weed accumulation. It was probably made before 1884 when the Bliss brothers obtained another patent for a further improved rotator.
Ref: T. Hotchkiss, "Nautical Log," U.S. patent #45,042.
T. Hotchkiss, "Screw Propeller," U.S. patent #63,520.
J. & G. H. Bliss, "Ships’ Logs," U.S. patent #178,261.
J. & G. H. Bliss, "Rotators for Ships’ Logs," U.S. patent #208,061.
Object Name
Taffrail Log
date patent
Sept 17, 1878
date made
Bliss, John
place made
United States: New York
rotator: 9 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in x 4 1/2 in; 24.13 cm x 11.43 cm x 11.43 cm
recorder: 11 in x 2 in x 3 in; 27.94 cm x 5.08 cm x 7.62 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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Work and Industry: Fisheries
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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