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Gimballed Beds and Gamming Chairs: Seafaring Wives aboard Nineteenth-Century Sailing Ships

Author(s): Laurel Seaborn

Year: 2015

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Summary

Women lived on sailing ships with their families during the 19th century, and chronicled their experiences in journals and letters now found in historical archives.  Their stories remain on the periphery, as their signature is difficult to find in the maritime archaeological record.  Primary documents make mention of several items built or brought on board specifically for their comfort or entertainment.  Five captain’s wives sailed on the 19th-century whaleship Charles W. Morgan, still afloat at Mystic Seaport.  One survived seasickness in a small deckhouse built for her use, another slept in a gimballed bed on her voyage, and the third woman refused to use the gamming chair that often dunked the occupant into the sea.  This material culture associated with women could be used in shipwreck archaeology as diagnostics of seafaring wives.


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Cite this Record

Gimballed Beds and Gamming Chairs: Seafaring Wives aboard Nineteenth-Century Sailing Ships. Laurel Seaborn. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433975)


Keywords

Temporal Keywords
19th Century


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 231

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America