Sunday, March 15, 2020

That's an Obscure Reference

Today's list is a short, obscure but mildly amusing group: reference books.  

The Flag Book by Preben Kannik (M. Borrow s & Co. 1959).  Beautifully laid out color flags of the countries of the world as it existed in 1959.  Includes country heraldic flags, military flags, and ceremonial flags.  Purchased from the Berlin Heights, Ohio Library book sale.

American Place-Names, George R. Stewart (Oxford University Press, 1970).  You will learn from this concise and selective dictionary for the continental U.S. that Apponagansett Bay, Apponaug, RI and Appoquinimink, DE and PA are Alqonquian meaning "uncertain." Or that Zoar, Ohio was named by a German religious sect, which considered it a name for a city of refuge since Lot fled for refuge from Sodom to Zoar.   There are 550 pages of amusements here. Bought at the State Department used book store.  It contains a brief inscription, "Thought you'd like this...Eberhard." 

The Wordsworth Dictionary of Pub Names (Dunkling and Wright, 1987).  Self-described as an intoxicating history of a famous British institution.  Inside you'll find a reference to Abadam Arms, a pub in Wales meaning son of Adam to Zulu of Ipswich.  Purchased at a used book store in Warrenton, VA.  

Naval Terms and Definitions, Commander C.C. Soule, U.S.N.(D. Van Nostrand Co. 1926).  Sailors have their own language and this beautiful little book captures that language. Filled illustrations of many of the references, this was prepared especially for the use by Midshipman at the Naval Academy in the belief that the "language of the sea is threatened with extinction through disuse and misuse...."  The book itself has an intriguing history with double inscriptions.  The first:

To my good friend Allie--C.A. Maass

Then there is what looks like a Midshipman's stamp, "D.A. Weaver 977"

The second Inscription comes from July 13, 1953:

Dear Charlie 
If I were serving and had your mind, I would want someone to give me this book.

Have Fun Charlie
Capt. Alfred Ol[illeigible]t, Commanding T.S. Empire State [II]

[There were Empire States I - IV; II has its own history; T.S. = Training Ship]

Bought this book at the State Department used book store. 

The Observer's Book of Aircraft, compiled by William Green (Federick Warne 1977).  Filled with photos, silhouettes, and brief descriptions of military and civilian aircraft.  

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