This aluminum hatch with cover was used to pass hoses or lines through it. The outside mounting frame is 11 1/4 inches long, 8 inches at its widest, and just 5 1/4 inches at its narrow end. It has 6 mounting holes. The hatch cover measures 11 inches long including the hinge and latch. The opening is 7 1/2 inches long and less than 4 inches at its widest. It weighs about 4 pounds.
The single closure dog is original and spins open and closed freely. This very interesting piece still wears its original paint.
The word “porthole” has nothing to with its location on the port side of a ship, but originated thanks to Henry VII of England in 1485. The king demanded on mounting guns that were too large for his ships and French shipbuilder, James Baker was brought on to solve the problem. He pierced the ship’s side so that the cannon can could be mounted inside. When there was heavy weather or the cannons were not in use, the openings in the ships were fitted with covers that latched tightly. These were called porte, which means door in French. Porte became port thanks to the English and eventually any opening on a ship was called a porthole.
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