A Wild (But Interesting) Goose Chase

3 Brown U flagpole4
6 cap5 cap

News travelled fast to the RELIANCE team that the flagpole in Brown University’s commons had collapsed from the recent storm. Why did this catch our eye? Well, the flagpole is actually a topmast that was given to the university by C. Oliver Iselin in 1918; later on, Hope Goddard Iselin (the real Barbie Bristol) apparently attributed it as the topmast for COLUMBIA.

After a little bit of research, we shot down that claim: drawings for the COLUMBIA show a much shorter topmast with a straight cylinder, wasp-shaped, hollowed-out interior (much like on RELIANCE).

However, the cap–shown in the bottom two photos–is very similar to the caps of RELIANCE and COLUMBIA. We’ll definitely keep that information for later.

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2 thoughts on “A Wild (But Interesting) Goose Chase

  1. gomens

    Hi
    Remember, the mainmast of our dear Reliance was a ‘famous flagpole’ too!!!
    See newspaper articles below:

    YACHT MAST FOR FLAGPOLE
    Brooklyn Federals to Raise Cup Defender Reliance “Stick” in Park.

    April 16. 1914 NYT Washington Park, the home of the Brooklyn Federal League Club, will be famous for two reasons, one that it was formerly the home of the Superbas and -the other that the flag pole was at one time the mainmast of the America’s cup defender Reliance. It was announced today by treasurer Walter S. Ward, that he had purchased the pole for an exception ally large sum and that it would be Installed at the park to float “Old Glory” in the breezes and also for the championship pennant maybe. The mast is 204 feet high. It Is made of nickel steel and vas purchased from Capt Miller of Brooklyn who was in command of the Reliance when she won the cup race series in 1903, and who purchased the victorious craft. The pole will either be erected in center field or in the vicinity of the old Superbas’ flagpole.

    Jan 1914 NY SUN The Famous yacht Reliance (has been worth only her value in old metal, 10.000 only) was sold to Capt. Leonard Miller by C Oliver Iselin,

    JULY 1914 OLD RELIANCE GOES TO THE SCRAP HEAP
    Mr. Cowhey was the successful bidder among 43 firms who applied for her when put up at auction.
    …The main and topmast is being for 1.000 to the Brooklyn Federal League baseball club for a flagpole
    (Note , The mast stood until 1921, when it was bent in half by a lightning strike!! )

    With warm regards,
    Go Mens, Amsterdam, NL

    Reply

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