Here’s a small oblong vintage brass porthole that is cast brass and weighs just 13 pounds. The outside of the frame measures 14 1/4 by 7 1/2 inches and has 10 mounting holes. The glass measures 10 1/2 by 3 3/4 inches. On the back, the raised flange measures about 12 1/4 by 5 1/4 inches by 1 inch deep. Includes the original brass beauty ring – shown in the photos. Removed from a Chris Craft boat being cut up for scrap.
The two wing-nut dogs work and the window opens freely. All the paint on this porthole is completely original. This piece has not been cleaned or restored in any way.
The original rubber seal between the window and the main frame is still in place, but may not provide a complete weather tight seal due to age and minor unevenness between the two surfaces.
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.