BOOM, born. A town of the Province of Ant werp, Belgium. about 10 miles south of the city of Antwerp (Map: Belgium. C 3). Its situation at the junction of the Brussels Canal with the river Rupel makes it a place of considerable commer cial importance. It has numerous and extensive brick and tile works, breweries, tanneries, ship building yards. rope-works, sail-cloth manufac tures, salt-works, etc. Population, in 1890, 14,100; in 1900, 15,700.
BOOM (Dutch boom. Ger. Baum, tree, beam). A long pole or spar used to extend the foot of certain sails of a ship; as the main-boom, jib boom. studdinysail-boom. Some of the booms are stationary; others are pivoted at one end, the other being controlled by guys or sheets, and others like the studdingsail-booms which are only occasionally used, rig in and out by means of tackles. The space in the waist of a vessel of old type and used for stowing boats and spare spars is called the booms. To boom of a vessel or boat is to shove it away with spars. The term boom is applied also to a chain of floating logs fastened together at the ends and stretched across a river, etc.. to stop floating timber. llenee. the name is adopted in military usage to denote a strong harrier, as of beams, or an iron chain or cable fastened to spars, extended across a river or the mouth of a harbor to prevent an enemy's ships from pass ing. Such a boom should be protected by a
battery or batteries, and the approaches thickly planted with submarine mines. It is considered best to have booms made double. one to stop the way of ships that have penetrated the first. A chain for this purpose was stretched across the Hudson River at West Point during the American Revolution. The Russians effectually closed the harbor of Sebastopol with a boom defense in 1854, thereby preventing the entrance of the English and French ships. This was done partly by sinking some of their own ships, and partly by the laying of booms. Some of the most gallant and daring pieces of work that have been done by seamen have been in connec tion with blowing up or cutting away booms in order to make a free passage for tne vessels of the fleet. During the American Civil War, when Farragut's fleet attacked New Orleans, formidable chains stretched across the river, and, buoyed up by hulks, were first encountered and destroyed. The torpedo-netting of steel wire or rings used to protect a ship from torpedoes which may be discharged toward it, is held suspended 20 or more feet from the ship by means of a series of hinged booms.