Sounding Weight Physical Object


Accession Number
1986.008.0641
Creation Date
circa 1700
Materials
Description
19.3 x 5.9 cm. With hole for line.
Exhibition Label
This heavy sounding lead, or plummet, served as a weight to carry a line from the ship’s side to the sea floor. The length the line traveled to the bottom told the ship’s pilot how deep the water was, an important measurement for maintaining a safe course. The lead comes from the wreck of the London-based slave ship Henrietta Marie sunk near Key West, Florida in 1700. In the realm of sounding leads, this 19 centimeter tall piece is relatively small, weighing 2.737 kilograms.