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History is Written by the Winners: The Development and Use of Copper Sheathing and Fastenings by The Royal Navy from the 1760s Onwards

  • 1.  History is Written by the Winners: The Development and Use of Copper Sheathing and Fastenings by The Royal Navy from the 1760s Onwards

    Posted 19 days ago
    The Notre Dame Chapter would like to cordially invite you to our online technical presentation November 21st at 7 pm EST.

    History is Written by the Winners: The Development and Use of Copper Sheathing and
    Fastenings by The Royal Navy from the 1760s Onwards

    Speaker:
    Dr. Peter Northover
    Date: Monday, November 21, 2022
    Time: Login 6:45 PM, Presentation 7:00 PM
    Duration: Approximately one hour; questions and answers to follow

    Registration:
    Please contact Dave Guisbert at deguisbert@aol.com by November 20, 2022.
    Meeting login information will be sent to all who register.

    Abstract:

    In 1761 HMS Alarm was experimentally sheathed with copper to protect her hull from shipworm.
    After a 2‐year voyage, much of it in the Caribbean it was readily apparent that the problem of
    galvanic corrosion between the copper, the iron fastenings of the vessel, and seawater was extreme.
    Further experimental voyages pointed to the solution, the use of copper rather than iron bolts.
    Following one successful experiment, systematic use of copper bolts began in 1777 on new build
    vessels and by 1783 even the largest vessels with 100 guns were copper‐fastened, followed by
    retrofitting all older hulls. This meant a huge expansion in production which was mechanised by
    switching from a swage and tilt hammer to a rolling mill with grooved rolls.
    This talk explores this process, first through the business archive of the Scottish coppersmith William
    Forbes who was the Navy's copper contractor, and the first to patent a rolling mill for copper bolts.
    There is a complete paper trail from Navy orders to bolts with a Forbes works stamp on them via
    invoices, the payroll, furnace notebooks, weekly reports from the works' manager, all of which tell us
    about a metalworks in the 1780s and what their empirical knowledge of copper metallurgy was.
    It also explores the copper bolts themselves through microanalysis, metallography, and texture
    analysis with EBSD and neutron diffraction, to distinguish between different production processes
    and help track a bolt to a particular mill.
    And the winner – Thomas Williams, originally a lawyer in North Wales tried to corner the copper
    market, and also controlled the largest producer of copper for the Navy based on two patents of
    1783. He was questioned in Parliament in 1799 and completely failed to mention the work of Forbes
    in 1777‐83 and ever since the history of copper bolts has started in 1783.

    About the speaker:
    Dr. Peter Northover has a BA and DPhil in Metallurgy from the University of Oxford, UK. He was born
    in Oxford but grew up on the Isle of Wight. He started working on archaeological excavations when
    he was 15 and, after meeting parental opposition to reading archaeology at university, he moved to
    metallurgy.
    After completing his doctorate in stress corrosion and hydrogen embrittlement, he obtained a post‐
    doc position in 1974 to analyse all the Bronze Age metalwork in Wales, a project he is still trying to
    finish. Since then he has continued to work in archaeometallurgy, almost always with non‐ferrous
    and precious metals.

    ------------------------------
    David Guisbert
    Associate
    Quality Associates Metallurgical Services
    Niles MI
    (574) 485-9359
    ------------------------------
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  • 2.  RE: History is Written by the Winners: The Development and Use of Copper Sheathing and Fastenings by The Royal Navy from the 1760s Onwards

    Posted 18 days ago

    To All ASM members and, especially, the members of the Archaeometallurgy Committee:

     

    I would like to bring to your attention this presentation by Dr. Peter Northover, Professor Emeritus, Oxford University, UK.  It is presented virtually on Nov. 21 as part of the Notre Dame Chapter's technical programming and should be of interest to everyone.  If interested, please contact our Chapter Chair, Mr. David Guisbert who will send you the link for the meeting.  His email address is deguisbert@aol.com . Thank you,

     

    Nassos Lazaridis

    Vice Chair, Notre Dame Chapter,

    ASM International




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