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Inglefield's Useful Clips
An Inglefield Clip is an elongated clip (usually of bronze, but also of a tough synthetic material) with an eye and double-tapered gap in the beak part, making it easy for two to be clipped together. The clips, spliced to the ends of halyards, are swivelled to allow the halyards to move freely. With similar Inglefield clips spliced to the ends of the hoist lines attached to flags, it allows for rapid and easy hoisting, especially of signal flags. Speed and accuracy in signalling became paramount. The rope eye and toggles were not conducive to speed, especially in cold weather when the ropes tended to freeze solid. Edward Inglefield, then Flag Lieutenant to Rear-Admiral St. George C. D'Arcy–Irvine RN in the Channel Squadron in 1888 described how the signalmen had to open the rope eyes with their teeth, and he thought of designing clips "rather like putting the forefinger and thumb together with a slight opening". He had some made for trial and immediately his ship began winning all the flag signalling competitions. Eventually other ships realised the reason for this, and by about 1900 the Inglefield Clip had become the standard fitting for naval flags.
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