"Ex Scientia Tridens"

Cast Iron Bookends with Heavily Sculpted Bas Relief Sailing Ships (LEO Design)

On this day in 1845, the United States Naval Academy was founded in Annapolis, Maryland. The Academy's motto, Ex Scientia Tridens, is the Latin for the phrase "From Knowledge, Sea Power."  It's comforting to know that some US leaders still appreciate the important link between knowledge and power!

33 miles from Washington, DC, the Academy admits 1,200 "plebes" each year (also called "Midshipmen") and graduates about 1,000 students as new officers, mostly for the US Navy or Marine Corps.  A prospective student must be 17 to 23 years of age, unmarried, without children, and be of good moral character.  Applicants are tested for physical, intellectual and emotional fitness and must have the recommendation of their state's US Senator, Representative or Delegate.  The Academy also hosts a handful of international exchange students, usually from their countries' corresponding military academies.  There is no financial cost for attending, however, graduates are committed to fulfill a period of service in the military.

I am impressed by the Academy's Code of Honor.  With it, the Naval Academy demands that moral fortitude is amongst the highest of human aspirations.  Oh, that all Americans subscribed to such an oath—right up to the top of the military chain of command!

Midshipmen are persons of integrity: They stand for that which is right.

They tell the truth and ensure that the full truth is known. They do not lie.

They embrace fairness in all actions. They ensure that work submitted as their own is their own, and that assistance received from any source is authorized and properly documented. They do not cheat.

They respect the property of others and ensure that others are able to benefit from the use of their own property. They do not steal.

Unlike in other academies, the Naval Academy does allow a Midshipman to confront a perpetrator first, attempting to correct the aberrant behavior of a classmate, before reporting him or her to superiors.

The bookends above, made in the 1920's or 1930's, boast a deeply-sculpted bas relief ship, plying choppy seas to some (unknown) destination.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com)

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248