Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/177

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167
MODERN WAR VESSELS OF THE UNITED STATES.

abreast of the progress being made in shipbuilding, marine engineering, and naval artillery, and were thus enabled when the opportunity was given by Congress to promptly take up the work of rehabilitating the navy, and carry it forward successfully. Congress in its appropriation had stipulated that the new vessels were to be constructed of steel; this meant a considerable PSM V44 D177 Iowa battleship midsection sectional view.jpgFig. 3.—Iowa. Midship Section.
C, C, C, coal; P, P, P, passages.
outlay in capital to the metal producers of the country, who, with the exception of some firms making a specialty of tool steel, had been engaged mainly in the manufacture of wrought iron. However, having full confidence in the determination of Congress to give the country a new navy, they did not hesitate to at once install plants capable of manufacturing steel suitable for shipbuilding and boiler construction, of steel of a higher grade for the construction of high-powered built-up guns, and of producing steel for armor plates weighing from thirty to forty tons each. It is worthy of note that these industries, built up within a decade under the stimulus given by the rebuilding of the navy, to-day challenge the world to produce better material. So rapid has been the progress of our manufacturers, and so fully have all demands upon them been met, that one of our shipbuilding firms is now constructing two mammoth steamers for the Inman International Line, whose ves-