The Slocum Spray Society

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Interesting Stuff


Hopefully you or someone you know can help me in my search for information. I have a print acquired about 40 years ago at a flea market in upstate New York for a few dollars. It's a print of the Spray, the same image as appears as the frontispiece in all the various printings of Sailing Alone Around the World. What makes it interesting is that Slocum has signed it and dated it Oct0ber 2, 1901. I've no doubt that he sold many of these in the course of giving lectures, and presumably most of the buyers asked him to sign them. That said, I haven't come across any others on line, on e-bay, or anywhere else.

As the print is "taken from" a photograph of the Spray in Australian waters, according to the caption under it in an early copy of the book I have, I'm wondering if anyone there in Australia can tell me anything about the photograph or any rendering that may have been done to it to come up with the well know form as it appears in the book or the print I have. Unfortunately the Joshua Slocum Society here in the US was disbanded a few years ago and I haven't been able to identify anyone who knows much more than I do (which isn't very much). I took it to the "Antiques Roadshow" a few years back and the appraiser I showed it to knew nothing of the print or had ever heard of Joshua Slocum. Likely they had no interest or knowledge of sailing and boats.

Anyway, anything you can tell me relative to the original photo or who/how it was rendered to appear like partly photograph and partly a drawing would be appreciated. I too am an avid sailor, but I'm sailing a Westerly Fulmar and not a Spray replica.

Thanks and Regards,

Christopher Bell
Phiiladelphia, Pa USA

The first two photos are of Christopher's picture:  (click to enlarge) and the third image is copied from Joshua Slocum's marriage certificate, from 1871.  One thing it proves is that Christopher's photo has a genuine signature.



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