Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum Speaker Series Presents “Food at Sea” in 1812″

August 31, 2015
Simon Spalding

Simon Spalding

Have you ever eaten Lobscouse or Dandyfunk? On Thursday, September 24, join Simon Spalding as he explains the culinary practices of the world’s navies and merchant ships in the early 19th century, with fascinating details of how food was preserved, prepared, and consumed aboard sailing ships of the era. The lecture will be held at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory (MAC Lab) at 7pm, at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (JPPM). The lecture is free and open to the public.

Learn how naval organizations for the provision of adequate food and drink developed during the 17th and 18th Centuries, and how food issues in naval vessels differed from contemporary merchant ships. This lecture will also cover the evolution of cook-stoves in the British Navy, and how systems of food distribution evolved which survived until the 1940s in British naval practice. The replacement of beer by grog, the practice of substituting local foods in the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, and the gradual introduction of antiscorbutic measures in the British Navy will all be covered in this lecture as well as the differences in food issues and practices in the American, French and Dutch navies.

Simon Spalding is an author, historian, and performer, accompanying his voice with fiddle, 5-string banjo, and Chinese erhu. Since the 1970s, Simon has lectured and performed at festivals, museums, and concerts throughout North America and twelve European countries. He has produced numerous commercial recordings, film scores, and educational programs. Simon has served as a crew member aboard the sailing vessels Zawisza Czarny, Elissa, Niagara, Pioneer, and others, including trips across the Atlantic and Baltic. Simon’s book “Food at Sea – Shipboard Cuisine from Ancient to Modern Times” is the first book to cover this fascinating subject for the entire span of human history.

The JPPM 2015 speaker series concludes on October 22 with a lecture entitled “Oyster Wars of the Chesapeake.” The speaker is Author & Historian, John R. Wennersten. For lecture details or additional information on other JPPM events, visit, call 410-586-8501 or email

The speaker series is made possible by a grant from the MARPAT foundation in memory of Thomas W. Richards.

Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum, a state museum of archaeology and home to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, is a program of the Maryland Historical Trust, a division of the Maryland Department of Planning. It is located on 560 scenic acres along the Patuxent River and the St. Leonard Creek in St. Leonard, Calvert County, Maryland.