Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Marooned, by Howard Pyle

Here is another important painting by Howard Pyle. It is quite large (40 in. x 60 in.). Like many works by Pyle, it resides in the collection of the Delaware Art Museum. There is a good writeup on their website.

The oil painting was finished in 1909 and was never published; however, the painting is based on an image done by Pyle for Buccaneers And Marooners of the Spainish Main, which appeared in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in September of 1887. This is the image (from Wikimedia Commons).

Click here for even more info.

Some information in this post was gathered from:
Menges, Jeff A. ed. Pirates, Patriots, and Princesses: The Art of Howard Pyle. 2006: Dover Publications.

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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Some Things You Did Not Know About Pirate Clothing

Most pirates didn't wear tri-cornered hats. The wind on a ship at sea would be likely to blow them off, and they were not practical when climbing on the rigging. Pirates wore bandanas to keep the sun off their heads, but they also believed that a tightly tied bandana on the head was a way to keep from getting seasickness.

Pirates often went barefoot on the ship. This gave them a better feel for the movement of the ship and helped them keep their sea-legs. If they did wear footwear, they wore sandals made from rope. Pirates only wore boots when going into battle. They did this to protect their feet from debris on the deck and as a place to store extra daggers.

Red and yellow scarves were used in a lot of pirate movies because they showed up well when new color processes came into use. Lots of burning ships were used in these movies for the same reason.

Reprinted from aperturequiet.

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Pirates and Concertinas: History or Myth?

Sea chanties are often the music most associated with pirates in popular culture, and the instrument most associated with sea chanties and pirates is the concertina.

As it turns out, the concertina (and other related instruments like the accordion) were not invented until about 1829 (verified in numerous online encyclopedias), a hundred years after the golden age of piracy (1690- 1730). Nevertheless, concertinas appear in The Pirates of the Caribbean rides and movies as well as in Disney's adaptation of Peter Pan.

Of course it can be said that Peter Pan is pure fantasy, and not really set in the golden age. Interestingly, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was originally planned as walk-through exhibit featuring historical pirates. Of course, it evolved into something much more fanciful, and we all love every bit of it.

So what did pirates play? They did play jigs and shanties. According to The Idiot's Guide To Pirates, pirate musicians were very popular aboard ship. Author Gail Selinger writes that pipe and drum units were kept on naval ships. Pirates would spare the lives of musicians who were willing to join them. She mentions instruments such as bagpipes and lyres, but she also mentions the concertina. She probably wasn't writing about the golden age.

The Pirate's Realm (website) also mentions trumpets and fiddles.

So how do I feel about the concertina? I don't mind it a bit. History be damned, its part of the great pirate mythos.

"A pirate's life is a wonderful life You'll find adventure and sport. But live every minute For all that is in it The life of a pirate is short."

Click here for more discussion on Pirates and concertinas

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

Blueprints From Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean Ride

I found some cool blueprints of the Disneyland version of the ride here.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Make A Pneumatic Pirate Canon

Instructables user 'Part Time Chef.com' has an instructable demonstrating the construction of a pneumatic canon made from ridgid foam and other materials. [Link]

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