Antique Granny

Antique Granny

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

SOUNDS REASONABLE TO ME

CANNON BALLS !!! DID YOU HEAR THIS RUMOR?

It was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon on old war ships. But how to prevent them from rolling about the deck was the problem. The best storage method devised was to stack them as a square based pyramid, with one ball on top, resting on four, resting on nine, which rested on sixteen.Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon.

There was only one problem -- how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding/rolling from under the others.The solution was a metal plate with 16 round indentations, called, for reasons unknown, a Monkey. But if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make them of brass - hence, Brass Monkeys.

Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey.

Thus, it was quite literally, cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey. And all this time, you thought that was just a vulgar expression, didn't you? I am pleased to share this fabulous bit of historical knowledge with you.

The above explanation of big brass monkey balLs is false. Okay click here it was fun while it lasted:)

11 comments:

Tabor said...

Ah yes...but even more interesting is where and how did you come across this little tidbit?

kenju said...

Now, I wonder if that is really true, or if someone concocted that story to fit the saying? So - where DID you find it?

Juls said...

hee hee, that's quite hilarious...Thanks for sharing

Granny Annie said...

My old sea-salt of a husband emailed this tale to me. Have you heard other tales of the sea from authentic sailors? If so, you know my problem. I have added a clickable link to the bottom of my post.

Scarlet said...

Ha! I've never used that expression before but I think I will tonight...at figure drawing class...after the male model takes off his shorts. ;)

Darlene said...

Too funny. Thanks for the giggle.

Riot Kitty said...

I will try to pull that on someone with a straight face...

Jamie Dawn said...

Ha, ha, ha.... so what if it's false?
I got a kick out of it anyway.

Lucy Stern said...

You were trying to pull a slick on over on us, good thing I read the small print.... lol.

Marla said...

Well I thought it made such good sense. You had me! Even for false information I liked it!

Gary ("Old Dude") said...

Hmmph, I thought everyone knew about cannon ball storage---I myself first learned about it while sneaking into the adult section of the library and sneaking peaks through the Encyclepedias and other adult reference books----and not finding the adult nude pics I was hoping to find got bored and started reading things in general.