From the rigging of the Niña, Pinta,and Santa Maria to the humble fisherman’s line, knots have been at the foundation of many of the most important, and everyday, events in maritime history. Without knots, much of the maritime world would literally fall apart.
Library staff recently unearthed what many in the knot-tying community consider to be the “Holy Grail on knots,” Henry North Grant Bushby’s manuscript “Notes on Knots.” Composed of eight volumes with over 1,900 hand-written pages and beautifully drawn pen and ink diagrams, Bushby’s manuscript represents an in depth study of knotting and ropework, as well as knot theory. Written between 1902 and his death in 1926, Bushby’s work was never published. Bushby’s daughter, Dorothy, donated her father’s writings to The Mariners’ Museum Library in 1957.