ARMY & NAVY: No More Holystone

Six days shalt thou labor and do all thou art able, And on the seventh—holystone the decks and scrape the cable. —Richard Henry Dana Celebrated in song and story of the English-speaking navies and merchant marine is the holystone, a porous slab of sandstone used as an abrasive for keeping wooden decks snow-white.* In the U. S. Navy the holystone has been used since the Government first built ships. Formerly applied by seamen on hands and knees, holystoning is now performed with long-handled implements, mopwise. Nevertheless, there were always corners where...

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