A Bosun's Starter
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A late 18th/early 19th Century Bosun's starter or otherwise known as a cosh or persuader. The starter is formed with a twisted baleen shaft mounted on either end with a lead weight covered with needle hitched twine and fitted with a lanyard to one end. This type of starter/cosh would be carried aboard ship by the Bosun and his mate and used to hit any of the slacking/lazy crew members on the back to get them to work at a satisfactory pace hence the name "Starter". They were also carried on land by the Press gangs who were tasked with finding new crew members for His Majesty's Navy.