The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Thur., 29 May, 1879

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Most sailor men have an idea of what constitutes a man-of-war, and how she should be rigged. They also have a clear conceptions of where her spars should stand, the position of the forecastle, etc. Of course customs differ, and nationalities have their standard as to size, shape, build, and all that goes to create a first class ship of the line. Our British cousins (and perhaps their sisters and their aunts) have their peculiar notions, and notions should be respected. But THE POST AND TRIBUNE takes decided exceptions to the mould of the H. M. S. Pinafore, especially the one presented on Tuesday night. No one has any right to doubt the genuineness of the presentation, but if the imitation is true, then that craft must be a funny one indeed. Generally, the mast of a vessel stands in the center of the deck, athwart ships, and the shrouds extend from the sides to the mast-head or cross tree. On the Pinafore the spar stands on the port side close up to the rail, while the shrouds extend from the cross-tree, fore and aft of the mast, down to the rail. The entrance to the forecastle is to the starboard of the spar, and all the timber heads are on one side. The yards are trimmed fore and aft on the spar, conveying the idea that the vessel is meant to sail sideways, instead of forward. There are many other imperfections equally as novel to the American mind, and which appear to it as extremely out of place, however they may be the acme of perfection to the Britisher. On the whole, though, we prefer the good old style in preference to foreign innovation, considering the former far superior. This is "official."

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The reference, of course, is to a set in the Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera "H.M.S. Pinafore," which was playing at the Detroit Opera House almost exactly one year after its debut in England. One can imagine the P&T's editor having his little joke at the expense of the marine editor, and the latter returning the favor.
Date of Original:
Thur., 29 May, 1879
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Dave Swayze
Copyright Statement:
Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Post and Tribune (Detroit, MI), Thur., 29 May, 1879