Marline Spikes, Fids and other related tools, by Des Pawson
Published by the Museum of Knots and Sailors Ropework, 60 pages. A5 size booklet (N5560)
From the opening paragraph: The marline spike [along with his knife] was the sailor's main tool, and in this booklet I bring together the history of the marline spike down the ages, with illustrations from works of seamanship and rigging, together with illustrations from ships' chandlery catalogues and the actual tools themselves.
There are various spellings:- marline-spike, marling-spike, marlin-spike, with and without the hyphen and as just one word. I will use marline spike, but in any quotation will use the word used by the particular source. There are various thoughts as to the actual origin of the name, some suggesting its relation to the fine cordage "marline" and others to the act of "marling" [a locked hitch round a rope]. The images in books and catalogues have frequently been copied over the years, sometimes almost exactly [giving the impression of the same plate being used], or modified and often coarsened. This same copying and coarsening can also be seen in the tools themselves as each subsequent toolmaker misses out a moment's work. As a result, over the years, tools have become heavier and lack the balance of the best examples. In the early years the marline spike would be individually made by the blacksmith, or shipsmith. In later years mass production would develop, with particular manufacturers specializing in these tools....
Condition of the booklet is generally excellent. The cover is clean and tidy, the staple spine is intact and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a small price sticker on the rear side cover