Harpoon log A1 in original case – T.Walker, Birmingham, 19th century

Harpoon log A1 in original case – T.Walker, Birmingham, 19th century

Stock Number: NM.4-07


Country of manufacture

UK and Ireland

Categories: Maritime, Navigational instruments


From the 17th century onward people had made many attempts to devise a mechanical log which would automatically record the ship’s distance done. Edward Massey invented a mechanical log in 1802 with four blades which was used by the Admiralty from 1807-1815. When dragged behind the ship the log vins rotates and the revolutions were transformed in miles on the dials, to be read after the log was brought in. The design of Massey was further refined by Thomas Walker and Son, who took out a patent for the A1 Harpoon Log in 1861. Heath & Co., instrument makers in London from 1845-1910, made only a few harpoon logs based on Walker’s patent of 1861, also with stabilizer.
A1 refers probably to the A1 specifications of Lloyd’s Shipping Insurance as being the best that could be produced.

On the log with original rope, there are three dials, the first registers the miles up to 100, the second registers the units up to 10 miles, the third registers quarters of a mile. The five rotor blades are marked with the anchor from T.W. The original pine case with cautions and the Walker sticker is also complete but with signs of use.

 Catalog: NM.4-07
Date: 1862-1863
HWL: 54x13x13 cm   (21.2×5.1×5.1 in)
Signed: with Walker’s trademark and T.W and an anchor on the rotor blades
Origin: England
Condition: perfect with signs of use

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NL ARCHIPEL International Maritime Gallery

Welcome to the catalogue of Archipel International Maritime Gallery, specialist in nautical antiques and collectables.
Archipel International Maritime Galery in the Netherlands, sets itself to maritime objects, globes and sea charts of before 1900. The managing director worked as officer with the mercantile marine and the Royal Navy. As curator he was connected to one of the University Museums in the Netherlands. As seaman and curator he has a lot of knowledge of naval history. The entire Archipel collection can be found at the site Archipel-img.com.

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