Important Members of a Ship's Crew: Animals
Captain Edward Gates-James seated in front of the deckhouse on the poop deck of the bark LYNTON, in Port Blakely, Washington, 1905.
NPS, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Wilhelm Hester Photo Collection P50.12,334psl.
Animals have always served as important members of a ship's crew. Even though many of them worked to control pests, their main function was to serve as the ship mascot. The dogs, cats, birds, monkeys, and even the bear cubs that went to sea as mascots can be seen in these photos and formal portraits.
At the bottom of the page are more photos and descriptions in a photo gallery. Many of the animals were mascots, but some, like the goats, chickens, and pigs provided fresh milk, eggs, and fresh meat for a special dinner treat during a long sea voyage.
A bark is a sailing ship that can carry (has) three, four, or five masts. All the masts carry square rigged sails except the aftermost mast, the one closest to the stern, or back, of the vessel.
Did You Know?
San Francisco Maritime is the only NPS site that has a cable car turnaround adjacent to the park. Riders disembark and workers push the cars around on the track to position them for the next journey back up steep Hyde Street.