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Happy Birthday US Coast Guard!
Founded as the Revenue Marine first, and later as the Revenue Cutter Service on 4 August 1790, it is the United States’ oldest continuous seagoing service. Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton headed the USRCS, and the branch was involved in every war from 1790 to World War 1.
The United States Revenue Cutter Service, was established as the Revenue-Marine, and so named for over one hundred years to serve as an armed maritime law enforcement service. Throughout its entire existence, the service operated under the authority of the United States Department of the Treasury. In 1915 the service merged with the United States Life-Saving Service to form the United States Coast Guard.
vintage postcard: Revenue Cutter Service
Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City
US Revenue Cutter Bear; In service: 1884-1926, 1939-1943
We have an epic tale of history to tell today, and it has everything you’d want in your standard-issue epic tale: the vast expanse of ocean, exploration on the shores of an unknown land, questions of race and slavery and opportunity and torture…and in the center of it all, a real larger-than-life sea captain (and his parrot) who some say was more powerful in Alaska than the Territorial Governor and Circuit Judges who were his frequent shipboard guests.
Such was his influence on the Revenue Cutter Service (later to become the United States Coast Guard) that two Coast Guard Cutters operating today are named with him in mind: the USCGC Bear, named after the most famous ship our sea captain commanded, and the USCGC Healy, the newest icebreaker in the Coast Guard’s fleet.
And with that, Gentle Reader, allow me to introduce you to Captain Mike “Hell-Roaring” Healy—and the Arctic which was his domain…
US Revenue Cutter Bear, circa 1890 on Patrol Off Alaska
Painting by James A. Mitchell, III
Full-size image 2841 Ã— 1724
The Bear was a dual steam-powered and sailing ship built with six inch (15.2 cm) thick sides which had a long life in various cold-water and ice-filled environs. She was a forerunner of modern icebreakers and had an exceptionally diverse service life. According to the United States Coast Guard official website, the Bear is described as “probably the most famous ship in the history of the Coast Guard.”
The U. S. Coast Guard is simultaneously and at all times a military force and federal law enforcement agency dedicated to safety, security, and stewardship missions.
We save lives. We protect the environment. We defend the homeland. We enforce Federal laws on the high seas, the nation’s coastal waters and its inland waterways. We are unique in the Nation and the world.
inset: U.S. Revenue Marine & Revenue Cutter Service Uniforms on uscg.mil
The Coast Guard’s official history began when President George Washington signed the Tariff Act that authorized the construction of ten vessels, referred to as “cutters,” to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. Known variously through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries as the “revenue cutters,” the “system of cutters,” and finally the Revenue Cutter Service, it expanded in size and responsibilities as the nation grew.
keep reading on U.S. Coast Guard History Program
left: Coxswain 2nd Class Petty Officers of the United States Revenue Cutter Service wore these special rates until 1915 when they became the United States Coast Guard, a arrow through an anchor was the specialty mark. The chevrons were two-piece, white over red sewn a white background as seen here. The U.S. Navy’s Coxswain for crossed anchors and was a 3rd Class Petty Officer and upon making 2nd Class Petty Officer were Boatswain’s Mates
right: 1891 R.C.S. seamen’s jumper, trousers, and headgear
U.S. Militaria Forum; Revenue Cutter Service (more)
(bone dish) United States Revenue Cutter Service Dinnerware. Scarce, original United States Revenue Cutter Service bread or bone dish in the rust colored “U.S.R.C.S.” flower pattern. This is a scarce original china dinnerware piece from the United States Revenue Cutter Service manufactured of heavy white institutional type china, in the latter years of the Nineteenth Century and early years of the Twentieth Century for use in ships’ wardrooms.
Lighthouse, Life-Saving and Coast Guard antiques (many more)
The lifesaver’s motto was,
“You have to go, but you don’t have to come back”
The huge numbers of lives lost due to shipwrecks along the Atlantic coast resulted in the formation of the U.S. Lifesaving Service in 1872. The service replaced the Massachusetts Humane Society, which had maintained shelters along the coast in an effort to assist shipwrecked sailors.
U.S. Lifesaving Service Collection
Truro Historical Society, Truro, Mass.
A series of marine accidents that befell the East Coast beginning in 1837 highlighted the need for a formal search and rescue organization. That year, the Barque Mexico came ashore near New York Harbor with the loss of over 100 passengers and crew. This tragedy is what led Congress to recognize the need for government assistance to vessels in distress. On December 22, Congress passed legislation assigning naval vessels and, later, Revenue Cutter Service vessels the responsibility for patrolling during severe weather and aiding ships in distress.
– read more –
WEYMOUTH, England — British sailing star Ben Ainslie would like add another historic note to Weymouth’s waterfront.
That is, if Denmark’s Jonas Hoegh-Christensen doesn’t ruin the nautical coronation…
Ben Ainslie wins his fourth Olympic gold medal for Great Britain;
35-year-old crowned the greatest ever sailing Olympian
Rowing, London Olympics in the time of Caesar
Cigarette Cards – Churchman’s Cigarettes “The Story of London”
(series of 50 issued in 1934)
see also: Roman War-Galley on the Thames; A.D.296
ALymphad or galley is a charge used primarily in Scottish heraldry. It is a single masted ship propelled by oars. In addition to the mast and oars, the Lymphad has three flags and a basket. The word comes from the Scottish Gaelic long fhada, meaning a long ship or birlinn. It usually indicates a title associated with islands, such as Lord of the Isles, specifically those on the west coast of Scotland, but not limited to the Hebrides. Also, it is not limited to Scottish arms, prominent examples including the coats of arms of New Zealand and New Brunswick.
Although the drawing of the lymphad for heraldic design purposes naturally became standardized, there are minor differences. These usually involves the position of the sails and oars and the tincture of the flags. There are other variations as well, such as the tincture of the ship. Additionally, the basket may be afire and the a crew may be depicted…
“The Universal Encyclopedia” – Edited by J.A. Hammerton.
Published by The Educational Book Co. Ltd. – London.
Uniforms & Rank Badges Of Officers In The British Navy
Half-Hitch by Hank Ketcham & Dick Hodgins
(see full panel)
Half Hitch was a comic strip created originally by Hank Ketcham. It was an example of military humor, but unlike most cartoons and comics, focused on the navy, rather than the army. The unnamed character first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post in 1943.
Ketcham served in the Navy during World War II. During his service, he created a comic strip for the amusement of his fellow sailors, following the adventures of a short, lecherous sailor and his friends. The strip ceased in 1945, but after the great success of Dennis the Menace, Ketcham revived Half Hitch. The revival was distributed by King Features Syndicate, and ran from 1970 to 1975.
The strip’s main character, Half Hitch, was short, rather lazy, and intensely interested in the pursuit of women. Other characters included the ship’s stern captain, various NCOs, other sailors, and Poopsy, Hitch’s pet seagull.
The Scarlet Widow via olderoticart
George Petty for Old Gold cigarettes – Cartoon Retro
George Brown Petty IV (April 27, 1894 – July 21, 1975) was an American pin-up artist. His pin-up art appeared primarily in Esquire and Fawcett Publications’ True but was also in calendars marketed by Esquire, True and Ridgid Tool Company. Petty’s Esquire gatefolds originated and popularized the magazine device of centerfold spreads. Reproductions of his work were widely rendered by military artists as nose art decorating warplanes during the Second World War, including the Memphis Belle, known as “Petty Girls”.
Texas Coast Showing Points of Occupation (1863)
on Big Map blog
Video: Wir fahren gegen Engelland
Departure of the fishing fleet. A photographic postcard dating from around 1930, I’m guessing
Salute to Naval Forces!
on English Russia
British Railways – Normandy & Brittany
– poster by Nevin, 1954 –
Summer Tours in the Western Highlands & Islands of Scotland
– advert issued by David MacBrayne, Glasgow, c1910 –
(warning: MY EYES! MY EYES!!)
Cigarette Card – Towns Arms: Newcastle on Tyne
Newcastle Dexter’s Cigarettes (Nottingham) Borough Arms; 1900
Scans of a set of miniature pub signs designed and manufactured by the Whitbread brewery in 1949. These were printed on metal and given out as promotional pieces by the pubs. These are from the first set, Sussex and Kent. Designed by Violet Rutter, 1949
left: Cigarette Card – Picture Puzzles – John Sinclair (Newcastle)
Picture Puzzles & Riddles Series, 1916
also: The Skipper Robert Sinclair Cigarettes (Newcastle)1924
Dahlov Ipcar, Lobsterman, 1962
Crabs & Lobsters on Animalarium
“8 MONTHS” Print Ad for Tooheys Beer by Bartle Bogle Hegarty
Whitbread Beer Company Ads & Commercials Archive
The Ship In The Bottle
WD & HO Wills – 4th Series of 50 cards – (1933)
Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to compiling Maritime Monday, she blogs about nautical art, history, and marine science on Adventures of the Blackgang. (twitter)
Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at MM@gcaptain.com. She can also out-belch any man.