Archive for July, 2012

This style of eel spear is also called “European spears” or mud spears. The ends of saw-toothed blades are tapered, guiding the eel’s body between the blades. The eel is forced between the tines, pinching the body. The saw teeth snag the tough eel skin, preventing the eel from escaping. Although this was designed for spearing eels, it was also used for flat fish like founder, sole and halibut.


Thistle-shaped eel spears, like the one shown above, are designed for winter use when eels have a thicker layer of fat under their skin. They generally consist of 2-16 hooked tines in a fan-shaped array. The dull-edged central blade protects the thinner tines from rocks.

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This gauge belonged to Charles Lord of York, Maine. Lord owned a large lobster pound at the end of Varrell Lane on the York River. Gauges like this one are used to check length of lobster body’s shell to see if it was of legal size. Measurements are taken from the eyesocket to back of the carapace. Double gauges like this one give both the minimum and maximum measurements.

This is an older gauge. Today in Maine lobsters need to be at least 3-1/4″ (eyesocket to carapace) to allow juvenile lobsters the chance to mature and reproduce before they can be harvested and no bigger than 5″ to protect the large, healthy breeding stock.

Below is an example of a modern lobster gauge. This one belonged to Sam Sewall of York. The inverted V on the left is for v-notching (marking) the tail flipper of egg bearing females. The practice of v-notching originated in Maine, dating back to the early 1900’s. V-notched females cannot be harvested.

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This flag was found in a trunk belonging to John Ellis Emerson (1896-1969). John served as Second Lieutenant in 59th Field Artillery during WWI and the trunk mainly contained items pertaining to his service.
Canada used this flag, which had many variations, officially on water and unofficially on land. It is basically the Red Ensign, the civil ensign of the United Kingdom, consisting of a red flag with the Union Jack as a canton (upper hoist corner). Many former British colonies use the Red Ensign, defaced with their badge or arms, as a civil ensign. The clue for dating this flag is that the badge of Manitoba, which became a providence in 1870, is included on the shield. The crown form is hard to discern, but should be the Tudor crown.

The Maple Leaf was adopted as the National flag of Canada in 1965.

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