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    Tallow, was: Voyaging the traditional way
    From: Trevor Kenchington
    Date: 2004 Nov 6, 19:53 -0400

    Belated thanks to Peter, Jared and Bill for their suggestions, however:
    I'm not sure that lanolin would be much of a substitute for tallow. My
    impression (which may well be wrong) is that lanolin has much lower
    viscosity -- if that is the right term to use for a grease. In any case,
    I am no closer to having a supplier for that than one for tallow.
    Same for Crisco and other shortenings. They also share with peanut
    butter the tendency to go rancid rather quickly: Not something I really
    want smeared across my boat's spars. Suet is, of course, either raw
    animal fat or perhaps fat melted once and allowed to solidify. The
    latter would be a step towards tallow but not, I suspect, tallow itself.
    Various mineral greases, of varied consistencies, are available of
    course. But I don't think they would be very compatible with leather
    chafing gear. I'm looking for the organic alternative.
    And Bill: Yes, tallow candles were once used by anyone who could not
    afford spermaceti but I would be very surprised if anyone outside
    museums and historic re-enactment societies deals with such awful things
    I guess I will go on searching for a way to make, or somewhere to buy,
    Trevor Kenchington
    P.S.: Bill wrote:
    > I do maintain that bushwhacking 2000-or-so years ago in the "old world" is
    > on-topic.  What trade/military routes were established and why?  What
    > methods did the Roman Empire et al use to establish the routes?  How many
    > are major roads these days?  Curious.
    Not much call for bushwacking in most of Europe in 4 AD: the area was
    well populated, with tracks and roads to follow.
    I don't know much about how the Roman's planned the overall routes of
    their roads but their technique for laying down the detailed route was
    straightforward: Get up on the ridge lines, establish a beacon where the
    route of the road crossed each ridge, then have the work crew build the
    road heading towards the next beacon. The result is roads that run
    straight from hilltop to hilltop, with slight angles where they cross
    the ridges.
    When I was a kid (1960s), the routes (though not the original structure)
    of most of the major Roman roads in England (and I believe in France
    also) were still used as roads and many had major highways built along
    them. However, settlement patterns had changed and some of the roads no
    longer connected major centres and so had dwindled. Then came Motorways
    (equivalent to U.S. Interstates) which deliberately skirted towns and
    cities, while following sweeping curves rather than the straight lines
    suited to marching troops. I doubt that they follow the Roman routes
    other than in the most general sense.
    Trevor J. Kenchington PhD                         Gadus{at}iStar.ca
    Gadus Associates,                                 Office(902) 889-9250
    R.R.#1, Musquodoboit Harbour,                     Fax   (902) 889-9251
    Nova Scotia  B0J 2L0, CANADA                      Home  (902) 889-3555
                         Science Serving the Fisheries

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