No 1 Nantucket New South Shoal Lightship

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    Nantucket New South Shoal Lightship No. 11 was on station from 1854 to 1855; No. 1 from 1856 to 1892; No. 54 from 1892 to 1894; No. 5 from 1894 to 1896. New South Shoal lies 20 miles south of Nantucket.

    Image number: P8779

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    1. Pixel Wrangler 62 months ago | reply

      Wha'dya do to pass the time while you're stationed on a Lightship for up to eight months at a time?

      Basket Weaving!

      "During the second half of the 19th Century, Nantucketers often signed up for duty on the lightships that were stationed around the Island. The most famous Lightship was the South Shoal Lightship. Located about 60 miles south of the Island, it was there that many famous makers made their best baskets. Many basket makers had a "production-line" that turned the bottoms, wove the staves, and finished the baskets while serving aboard. Some of the best baskets were sold to the tourists that visited the many hotels and boarding houses. During this period up to eight baskets were expertly assembled into fitted "nests". Prices started at about $1.50 for the smallest basket and could go up to about $50.00 for a nest of eight." -- Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum

      Then the women-folk can sell them here:

      "Petticoat Row Shop, c. 1880s"
      Petticoat Row Shop, c. 1880s

      Extra income was welcome, as the men were only paid $600 for eight months of work.

      Nantucket baskets have always made wonderful gifts! The Nantucket Basket's labor-intensive construction is characterized by several distinctive features. They are hand woven using rattan or cane onto wooden molds with wooden bases. The Nantucket "purses" are decorated with carved or scrimshawed pieces. Now, with the prices in the hundreds of dollars -- there are imports from China!

          "The Round Nantucket" by NLBM

    2. striatic 62 months ago | reply

      there's a good article on the lightships of nantucket sound here:

      vsv.cape.com/~harharb/lightships.html

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