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COASTING—COB

water guard” or the “preventive service.” The crews of the boats were partly drawn from the revenue cutters, and partly hired from among men of all trades. The “coast blockade” was extended to all parts of the coast. The revenue cutters and the riding officers continued to be employed, and the whole force was under the direction of the custom house. The whole was divided into districts under the command of naval officers. In 1822 the elements of which the preventive water guard was composed were consolidated, and in 1829 it was ordered that only sailors or fishermen should be engaged as boatmen. In 1830 the whole service consisted of 50 revenue cutters, fine vessels of 150 and 200 tons, of the “preventive boats,” and the riding officers. In 1831, during the administration of Sir James Graham, the service was transferred to the admiralty, though the custom house flag was used till 1857. After 1840 the men were drilled “in the common formations,” mainly with a view to being employed for the maintenance of order and in support of the police, in case of Chartist or other agitations. But in 1845 the first steps were taken to utilize the coastguard as a reserve to the navy. The boatmen were required to sign an engagement to serve in the navy if called upon. In May 1857 the service was transferred entirely to the admiralty, and the coastguard became a part of the navy, using the navy flag. The districts were placed under captains of the navy, known as district captains, in command of ships stationed at points round the coast. Since that year the coastguard has been recruited from the navy, and has been required to do regular periods of drill at sea, on terms laid down by the admiralty from time to time. It has, in fact, been a form of naval reserve.

The rise and early history of the coastguard are told in Smuggling Days and Smuggling Ways, by the Hon. Henry N. Shore, R.N., (London, 1892). Its later history must be traced in the Queen’s (and King’s) Regulations and Admiralty Instructions of successive years.  (D. H.) 


COASTING, usually called tobogganing (q.v.) in Europe, the sport of sliding down snow or ice-covered hills or artificial inclines upon hand-sleds, or sledges, provided with runners shod with iron or steel. It is uncertain whether the first American sleds were copied from the Indian toboggans, but no sled without runners was known in the United States before 1870, except to the woodsmen of the Canadian border. American laws have greatly restricted, and in most places prohibited, the practice, once common, of coasting on the highways; and the sport is mainly confined to open hills and artificial inclines or chutes. Two forms of hand-sled are usual in America, the original “clipper” type, built low with long, pointed sides, originally shod with iron but since 1850 with round steel runners; and the light, short “girls’ sled,” with high skeleton sides, usually flat shod. There is also the “double-runner,” or “bob-sled,” formed of two clipper sleds joined by a board and steered by ropes, a wheel or a cross-bar, and seating from four to ten persons.

In Scandinavia several kinds of sled are common, but that of the fishermen, by means of which they transport their catch over the frozen fjords, is the one used in coasting, a sport especially popular in the neighbourhood of Christiania, where there are courses nearly 3 m. in length. This sled is from 4 to 6 ft. long, with skeleton sides about 7 in. high, and generally holds three persons. It is steered by two long sticks trailing behind. On the ice the fisherman propels his sled by means of two short picks. The general Norwegian name for sledge is skijälker, the primitive form being a kind of toboggan provided with broad wooden runners resembling the ski (q.v.). In northern Sweden and Finland the commonest form of single sled is the Sparkstottinger, built high at the back, the coaster standing up and steering by means of two handles projecting from the sides.

Coasting in its highest development may be seen in Switzerland, at the fashionable winter resorts of the Engadine, where it is called tobogganing. The first regular races there were organized by John Addington Symonds, who instituted an annual contest for a challenge cup, open to all comers, over the steep post-road from Davos to Klosters, the finest natural coast in Switzerland, the sled used being the primitive native Schlittli or Handschlitten, a miniature copy of the ancient horse-sledge. Soon afterwards followed the construction of great artificial runs, the most famous being the “Cresta” at St Moritz, begun in 1884, which is about 1350 yds. in length, its dangerous curves banked up like those of a bicycle track. On this the annual “Grand National” championship is contested, the winner’s time being the shortest aggregate of three heats. In 1885 and the following year the native Schlittli remained in use, the rider sitting upright facing the goal, and steering either with the heels or with short picks. In 1887 the first American clipper sled was introduced by L. P. Child, who easily won the championship for that year on it. The sled now used by the contestants is a development of the American type, built of steel and skeleton in form. With it a speed of over 70 m. an hour has been attained. The coaster lies flat upon it and steers with his feet, shod with spiked shoes, to render braking easier, and helped with his gloved hands. The “double-runner” has also been introduced into Switzerland under the name of “bob-sleigh.”

See Ice Sports, in the Isthmian Library, London (1901); Tobogganing at St Moritz, by T. A. Cook (London, 1896).


COATBRIDGE, a municipal and police burgh, having the privileges of a royal burgh, of Lanarkshire, Scotland. Pop. (1891) 15,212; (1901) 36,991. It is situated on the Monkland Canal, 8 m. E. of Glasgow, with stations on the Caledonian and North British railways. Until about 1825 it was only a village, but since then its vast stores of coal and iron have been developed, and it is now the centre of the iron trade of Scotland. Its prosperity was largely due to the ironmaster James Baird (q.v.), who erected as many as sixteen blast-furnaces in the immediate neighbourhood between 1830 and 1842. The industries of Coatbridge produce malleable iron, boilers, tubes, wire, tinplates and railway wagons, tiles, fire-bricks and fire-clay goods. There are two public parks in the town, and its public buildings include a theatre, a technical school and mining college, hospitals, and the academy and Baird Institute at Gartsherrie. Janet Hamilton, the poetess (1795–1873), spent most of her life at Langloan—now a part of Coatbridge—and a fountain has been erected to her memory near the cottage in which she lived. For parliamentary purposes the town, which became a municipal burgh in 1885, is included in the north-west division of Lanarkshire. About 4 m. west by south lies the mining town of Baillieston (pop. 3784), with a station on the Caledonian railway. It has numerous collieries, a nursery and market garden.


COATESVILLE, a borough of Chester county, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., on the west branch of Brandywine Creek, 39 m. W. of Philadelphia. Pop. (1890) 3680; (1900) 5721 (273 foreign-born); (1910) 11,084. It is served by the Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia & Reading railways, and interurban electric lines. For its size the borough ranks high as a manufacturing centre, iron and steel works, boiler works, brass works, and paper, silk and woollen mills being among its leading establishments. Its water-works are owned and operated by the municipality. Named in honour of Jesse Coates, one of its early settlers, it was settled about 1800, and was incorporated in 1867.


COATI, Coati-Mundi, the native name of the members of the genus Nasua, of the mammalian family Procyonidae. They are easily recognized by their long body and tail, and elongated, upturned snout; from which last feature the Germans call them Rüsselbären or “snouted bears.” In the white-nosed coati, a native of Mexico and Central America, the general hue is brown, but the snout and upper lip are white, and the tail is often banded. In the red coati, ranging from Surinam to Paraguay, the tail is marked with from seven to nine broad fulvous or rufous rings, alternating with black ones, and tipped with black. Coatis are gregarious and arboreal in habit, and feed on birds, eggs, lizards and insects. They are common pets of the Spaniards in South America. (See Carnivora.)


COB, a word of unknown origin with a variety of meanings, which the New English Dictionary considers may be traced to the notions of something stout, big, round, head or top. In “cobble,” e.g. in the sense of a round stone used in paving, the same word may be traced. The principal uses of “cob” are for a stocky strongly built horse, from 13 to 14 hands high, a small round loaf,