Monday, June 13, 2016

Sam'l Bemis his Book

Last week we focused on the context, the physical aspects of this little memo book. We explored the paper, the laid lines, and the watermark.  
Now we will look at the content found within the booklet itself. As you can see, the text reads “Cambridge June 11th 1776
Saml Bemis his Book
This use of use of speaking in the “third person” is a common historical phrase.  

Then it reads, "Doctor Bentlet wrote a preface to Milton. It probably should read Dr. Bentley who wrote a preface to an edition of Milton's poetry. There are many references to poetry throughout the memo book.
There are also many references to more practical, technical subjects.
These pages below show a carefully delineated illustration of watch parts. This Samuel Bemis like his son Samuel A. Bemis was a watch maker. The text on the left page reads in part,
For a moon clock
The moon wheel must be 7 ¾ inches
In diameter it hath 118 teeth
Day of the month wheel 3 inches diameter
It hath 62 teeth


You can also find
“Rule for making Semet” Perhaps "Cement" for tooth fillings?
Rule for making silver soder, Rule for making gold soder
and many other practical notations.

Peppered throughout the text there are many references to classical poetry, the bible and Shakespeare. While these references may have been familiar to people of the late 18th and 19th century, they are not in as common use today. With the help of the internet we are able to track down some leads.

The quotation below for example,
Come forth, O Man, yon azure Round survey,
And view those Lamps which yield eternal Day.
Bring forth thy Glasses: clear thy wond'ring Eyes:
Millions beyond the former Millions rise:
Look farther:--Millions more blaze from remoter Skies.
A poem intituled (phonetic spelling) The Universe
We can find more about this fascinating poem and its author here.
See if you can track down more of these poems and please contact me through the comment section below.



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