4 Annotations

First Reading

Pauline  •  Link

from L&M Companion
Appointed turner to the Navy, July 1660. Pepys preserved a note that he had alledgedly overcharged for lignum vitae....

Pauline  •  Link

Lignum Vitae (Tree of Life)

(Guaiacum Officinale)

This small tree, native to the Antilles, is characteristic of xerophilous regions. Its wood, once commercially used in construction because of its density, was so exploited that the Gaiac, as it is locally called, is now a protected species. The bark of the Gaiac tree was used in times past for medicinal purposes; namely, to treat syphilis. Its sap was also attributed with the power to relieve arthritis. Its glossy leaves are a rich green and in general, this tree flowers twice a year. Its abundant flowers range in color from purple to blue and pale over time. Its orange-colored fruit is about 2 cm in diameter.

Second Reading

Terry Foreman  •  Link

Lignum vitae

Lignum vitae is hard and durable, and is also the densest wood traded (density: 1.23 g/cm3)

The belaying pins and deadeyes aboard USS Constitution and many other sailing ships were made from lignum vitae. Due to its density and natural oils, they rarely require replacement, despite the severity of typical marine weathering conditions, and also resisted jamming in their mortise holes. The sheaves of blocks on sailing vessels were made of lignum vitae until the introduction of modern synthetics. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lig…

RSGII  •  Link

It was also used for the shaft bearings on my US Navy WWII era Destroyer.

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Chart showing the number of references in each month of the diary’s entries.





  • Sep