ELFORD, James M.
J.M. Elford's Marine Telegraph; or Universal Signal Book
Charleston, SC: printed by Archibald E. Miller; Published and Sold by James M. Elford, 1823. 8vo. 75, pp. Hand colored frontispiece. Elford's engraved trade label affixed to front pastedown.
Contemporary roan backed marbled paper covered boards.
A rare instructional work on a patented system of ship communication, using just six telegraphic flags.
Elford taught navigation and nautical astronomy in Charleston. The frontispiece depicts "Marine, Telegraphic flags." This is quite an early American signal book. Though there were other early systems in America, not all the inventors published books. Elford's marine visual system depended on six uniquely patterned flags, and on a "conversation flag." These are illustrated in this book, along with a glossary of words and sentences, and their numerical equivalents, which would be signaled by means of the flags. Elford's label on the front pastedown was engraved by him personally. Within it, Elford advertises himself as a mathematician and a purveyor (and repairer) of sextants, quadrants, spy glasses, chronometers, compasses, polar, tide, and longitudinal tables, and nautical publications. He also offers, "Navigation taught in all its Branches." A rare and early signal book, enhanced by the presence of Elford's trade label.
Shaw & Shoemaker 12436; Rink 3984.