2006-04-22_1422.40_Smiths17 power hammer15

Charles W. Morgan close to being ready for its return to New Bedford

MYSTIC, Conn. — Roger Hambidge has one foot in the 19th century and the other in the 21st. As a master shipwright he is in charge of the restoration of the 1841 whaleship Charles W. Morgan, the last of its kind in existence.

As a man capable of enormous attention to detail, he's a world-class professional ship model builder, and he proudly informs a visitor that one of his boats is prominently displayed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum.

At Mystic, Hambidge spends a lot of his time documenting the restoration of a whaleship that was already the most documented ship afloat.

Every plank, every beam, every futtock, every fitting of the Morgan has been meticulously recorded and photographed for the archive.

He is impressed with the ship. "She's a slaughterhouse, a refinery and a tanker all at once," he said. After this restoration, she could conceivably go whaling again. But it wasn't long after the restoration crew realized that the Morgan would be seaworthy that the decision was made to sail her around the New England ports this summer, especially including her home port, New Bedford.

Old ink: Hunterdon spring fever and snake sightings

  1. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson). Blacksmith Schaeffer moves the red-hot blade back, forth and around to work the metal in an antique power hammer. “You won't see a lot of people using one of those,” Schaeffer said over the pounding of the device. (H-W Photo
  2. TELEPHONE — Foot by foot, the snake stories have increased in Tewksbury until they have reached 11 feet for one killed in Mountainville by aid of sledge hammer and blacksmith's tongs. POPULAR — The Library has been opened to the public only two weeks
  3. BLACKSMITH HAMMER-IN: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site, 222 Broad St., Camden. Members of the Philip Simmons The Guild's mission is to encourage aspiring smiths and expose the art of blacksmithing to the public

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