Lecture Series


History Lectures:

June 16, 2015 | 7 – 8 PM

Pump or Drown!

A History of Ships’ Bilge Pumps, 1500-1900 A.D.

with Thomas J. Oertling

Thomas Oertling will discuss the various types of hand-operated bilge pumps used on board ships between approximately 1500-1900 A.D. These were, primarily, the burr pump, the suction pump, and the chain pump.  He will also touch on topics of the physics, the psychology and the practicality of sinking ships. Oertling’s talk is the subject of his Master’s thesis which was later published as Ships’ Bilge Pumps: A History of Their Development, 1500-1900

Mr. Oertling is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Maritime Studies Program/General Academics Department at Texas A&M University at Galveston. He has been teaching courses in Archaeology, Maritime History and Maritime Culture there since 2000.  He received a B.S. from Tulane University in Anthropology in 1977 and an M.A. from the Nautical Archaeology Program/Anthropology Department at Texas A&M University in College Station in 1984 and has 35 years of experience in the field of Archaeology. 2015-06-16_Thomas Oertling_Pump or Drown_Lecture Flyer

Thanks to UTC Overseas, HMM is able to offer a FREE maritime history lecture each month!

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All lectures are held at the Houston Maritime Museum, are free to the public, and include admission to the museum collections. Refreshments are served!