Edwin Fox – Maiden Voyage 1853 – Mystery Object

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    Heather F

    Hello everyone, I am trying to identify an object found on board the Edwin Fox when the hulk was being prepared to be towed from the bay she was abandoned in into the purpose built dry dock which was completed in May 1999.

    The Edwin Fox was built in Calcutta in 1853 and had a varied life including the transportation of cargo around the world, use as a transport ship in the Crimean War, transportation of cargo and troops to and from Bombay during the conflict in India, convict transportation, carrying immigrants from Great Britain to settle in New Zealand before she ended her working life as a freezer ship and then a coal hulk.

    We don’t know if the item is from the original ship build, added later or is part of the Bell Coleman and Haslam refrigeration equipment which was installed in London in 1885 prior to her departure for her new life in New Zealand. Parts of this equipment were originally from the steamers Victory and Florida. In addition there were 4 13 ton vertical boilers of the Cochrane tube pattern. When the ship ended as a freezer hulk much of this equipment was stripped and used in the newly built freezing plant in Picton and from that date the ship was used as a Coal Hulk.

    The item is made out of metal, probably iron and is very , very heavy
    measurements width, 72cm, height 22cm in the middle and 21cm each end, holes are about 3.5cm in diameter

    I have found some illustrations of the Bell Coleman equipment on line but nothing in enough detail to identify this component.

    Can anyone help?

    Thankyou very much
    Heather Fryer – Edwin Fox Maritime Museum

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    Sam Willis

    Simon Hill on facebook suggests it ‘Looks like a jig for making chain the old fashion way.’

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