The Clipper Ship Era/Appendices

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Appendix I


CALIFORNIA CLIPPER SHIPS BUILT IN THE UNITED STATES FROM 1850 TO 1857 INCLUSIVE


1850

SHIP TONS CAPTAIN BUILDER OWNER & PORT
Celestial 860 Gardiner William H. Webb, New York Bucklin & Crane, New York
Eclipse 1223 Hamilton J. Williams & Son, Williamsburg, N. Y. T. Wardle & Co., New York
Game-Cock 1392 Hollis Samuel Hall, East Boston Daniel C. Bacon, East Boston
Governor-Morton 1318 Burgess James M. Hood, Somerset Handy & Everett, New York
John Bertram 1080 Landholm R.E. Jackson, East Boston Glidden & Williams, Boston
Mandarin 776 Stoddard Smith & Dimon, New York Goodhue & Co., New York
Race Horse 512 King Samuel Hall, East Boston Goddard & Co., Boston
Seaman 546 Myrick Bell & Co., Baltimore Funch & Meincke, Baltimore
Sea Serpent 1337 Howland George Raynes, Portsmouth, N. H. Grinnell, Minturn & Co., New York
Stag-Hound 1535 Richardson Donald McKay, East Boston George B. Upton and Samson & Tappan, Boston
Surprise 1361 Dumaresq Samuel Hall, East Boston A. A. Low & Brother, New York
White Squall 1118 Lockwood Jacob Bell, New York W. Platt & Son, Philadelphia.
Witchcraft 1310 Rogers Paul Curtiss, Chelsea, Mass. S. Rogers & W. D. Pickman, Salem.

1851

Alert 764 Bursley Damariscotta, Me. Crocker & Warren, New York
Challenge 2006 Waterman William H. Webb, New York. N. L. & G. Griswold, New York.
Comet 1836 Gardner William H. Webb, New York. Buckin & Crane, New York.
Courser 1026 Berry Paul Curtiss, East Boston Richardson & Co. Boston.
Eagle 1340 Farran Perrin, Patterson & Stack, Williamsburg, N. Y. Harbeck & Co., New York.
Eureka 1050 Canefield Jacob A. Westervelt & Son., New York
Flying Cloud 1793 Creesy Donald McKay, East Boston Grinnell, Minturn & Co., New York
Flying Fish 1505 Nickels Donald McKay, East Boston Samson & Tappan, Boston
Gazelle 1244 Henderson William H. Webb, New York Chamberlain & Heyser, New York
Golden Gate 1347 Barstow New York Taylor & Merrill, New York
Hornet 1426 Lawrence Jacob A. Westervelt & Son, New York Chamberlain & Co., New York
Hurricane 1607 Very Smith & Co., Hoboken, N.J. C. W. & H. Thomas, New York.
Invincible 1767 Johnson William H. Webb, New York. J.W. Phillips, New York.
Ino 895 Plummer Perrin, Patterson & Stack, Williamsburg, N.Y. Sifkin & Ironside, New York.
John Wade 639 Willis Medford, Mass. Augustine Heard & Sons, Boston.
Monsoon 773 Winsor Trufant & Drummond, Bath, Me. G. Hussey, New Bedford.
Northern Light 1021 Hatch Briggs Brothers, South Boston James Huckins & Sons, Boston
N. B. Palmer 1050 Low Jacob A. Westervelt, New York A.A. Low & Brother, New York.
Queen of the East 1275 Bartlett Metcalf & Co., Damariscotta, Me. Crooker & Warren, New York
Raven 715 Henry Hood & Co., Somerset Crooker & Warren, New York.
Shooting Star 903 Baker J. O. Curtiss, Medford, Mass. S. G. Reed & Co., Boston.
Snow Squall 742 Bursley Portland, Me. Charles R. Green & Co., Boston.
Southern Cross 950 Stevens Briggs Brothers, Boston Baker & Morrell, Boston.
Staffordshire 1817 Richardson Donald McKay, East Boston Enoch Train & Co., Boston.
Sword-Fish 1036 Babcock William H. Webb, New York Barclay & Livingston, New York.
Syren 1064 Silsbee Isaac Taylor, Medford, Mass. G. Z. Silsbee & Co., Boston.
Tornado 1801 Mumford J. Williams, Williamsburg, N.Y. W. T. Frost & Co., New York.
Trade-Wind 2030 Osgood Jacob Bell, New York W. Platts & Son, Philadelphia.
Typhoon 1610 Salter Fernald & Pettigrew, Portsmouth, N.H. D. & A. Kingsland, New York.
Wild Pigeon 996 Putnam George Raynes, Portsmouth, N .H. Harbeck & Co., New York
Witch of the Wave 1500 Millett George Raynes, Portsmouth, N .H. Gidden & Williams, Boston.

1852

Antelope 1187 Cole J. Williams & Son, Williamsburg, N. Y. Harbeck & Co., New York.
Ariel 1340 Delano Patten & Co., Bath, Me. Patten & Co., Bath, Me.
Bald Eagle 1790 Dumaresq Donald McKay, East Boston George B. Upton, Boston.
Celestial Empire 1399 Pierce J. Stetson, East Boston C. H. Parsons & Co., New York.
Cleopatra 1562 Thayer Paul Curtiss, East Boston.
Climax 1501 Howes Howes & Crowell, New York.
Contest 1150 Brewster Jacob A. Westervelt, New York A. A. Low & Brother, New York.
Dauntless 791 Miller
Fleetwood 666 Dale George Raynes, Portsmouth, N. H. Captain and others, Boston.
Flying Childers 1125 Cunningham Samuel Hall, East Boston Cunningham & Sons, Boston.
Flying Dutchman 1257 Hubbard William H. Webb, New York
Golden City 810 Canefield Jacob A. Westervelt, New York. H. A. Pierce & Co., Boston
Golden Eagle 1120 Fabens Hayden & Co., Medford, Mass. William Lincoln & Co., Boston.
Golden Light 1141 Winsor Briggs Brothers, South Boston James Huckins & Sons. Boston.
Golden State 1363 Barstow Jacob A. Westervelt, New York A. A. Low & Brother, New York.
Golden West 1443 Kerwin Paul Curtiss, Boston GGlidden & Williams, Boston.
Highflyer 1092 Waterman Currier & Townsend, Newburyport David Ogden, New York.
Jacob Bell 1382 Kilham Jacob Bell, New York A. A. Low & Brother, New York.
John Gilpin 1089 Doane Samuel Hall, East Boston Pierce & Hunnewell, Boston.
Messenger 1350 Corning Jacob Bell, New York Slade & Co., New York.
Meteor 1063 Pike Briggs Brothers, South Boston Curtiss & Peabody, Boston.
Phantom 1177 Patterson J. O. Curtiss, Medford, Mass. Henry P. Sturgis, Boston
Polynesia 1068 Watson Samuel Hall, Boston Hunnewell, Pierce & Co., Boston.
Queen of the Seas 1400 Knight Paul Curtis, East Boston Glidden & Williams, Boston.
Radiant 1300 Hallet Paul Curtiss, East Boston Baker & Morrell, Boston.
Red Rover 1021 Putnam Fernald & Pettigrew, Portsmouth, N. H. R. C. Taylor, New York.
Simon 1436 Smith Jabez Williams, New York B. A. Mumford & Co., New York.
Sovereign of the Seas 2421 McKay Donald McKay, East Boston Grinnell, Minturn & Co., New York.
Storm (barque) 545 Roberts Sag Harbor Chamberlain & Heyser, New York.
Westward Ho 1600 Hussey Donald Mckay, East Boston Sampson & Tappan, Boston.
Whirlwind 962 Burgess J. O. Curtis, Medford, Mass. W. & F. H. Withmore, Boston.
Winged Racer 1760 Esterbrook R. E. Jackson, East Boston R. L. Taylor, New York.
Wizzard 1600 Woodside Samuel Hall, Boston Slade & Co., New York.

1853

Amphitrite 1867 Samuel Hall, East Boston
Archer 1098 Bursley Hood & Co., Somerset Crocker & Warren, New York.
Belle of the West 936 Howes Dennis Glidden & Williams, Boston.
Black Warrior 1878 Murphy Austin & Co., Damariscotta, Me. W. Wilson & Sons, Baltimore
Bonita 1127 Windsor Boston Hallet & Co., Boston
Boston Light 1164 Crowell Briggs Brothers, Boston James Hucking & Sons, Boston.
Challenger 1334 Hill R.E. Jackson, East Boston Whitmore & Son, Boston
Cyclone 1109 Osgood Briggs Brothers, Boston Curtis & Peabody, Boston
Dashing Wave 1239 Young Fernald & Pettigrew, Portsmouth, N.H. S. Tilton, Boston
David Brown 1715 Brewster Roosevelt & Joyce, New York A.A. Low & Brother, New York.
David Crocket 1769 Spicer Greenman & Co. Mystic, Conn. Handy & Everett, New York.
Don Quixote 1470 Nott Medford, Mass. John E. Lodge, Boston.
Eagle Wing 1174 Linnell J.O Curtis, Medford, Mass. Chase & Tappan, Boston.
Edwin Forrest 1200 D.D. Kelly, East Boston
Empress of the Seas 2200 Putnam Donald McKay, East Boston W. Wilson & Son. Baltimore
Fearless 1183 Manson A & G.T. Sampson, East Boston W.F Weld & Co., Boston
Flora Temple 1915 Myers J. Abraham, Baltimore Abraham & Oshcroft, Baltimore
Flying Dragon 1140 Baker Trufant & Drummond, Bath, Me. S.G. Reed & Co., Boston.
Gauntlet 1860 Borland T.J. Southard, Richmond, Me. Stephenson & Thurston, New York.
Great Republic 3357 Limeburner Donald McKay, East Boston A.A. Low & Brother, New York.
Guiding Star 899 Hale J. Currier, Newburyport, Mass C. Hill & Co., Mass.
John Land 1061 Howes Briggs Brothers, South Boston Baker & Morrell, Boston
Kate Hooper 1507 Johnson Hunt & Wagner, Baltimore J. Hooper, Baltimore
Kathay 1460 Stoddard Jacob A. Westervet, New York
Kingfisher 1300 Crosby Medford, Mass. William Lincoln & Co., Boston.
Lightfoot 1996 Jackson & Ewell, East Boston
Live Yankee 1637 Thorndike Rockland, Me. Foster & Nickerson, New York.
Matchless 1033 Potter Chelsea, Mass. N. S. Goddard, Boston.
Morning Light 1713 Knight Toby & Littlefield, Portsmouth, N. H. Glidden & Williams, Boston.
Mystery 1200 Samuel Hall, East Boston
Neptune’s Car 1616 Patten Portsmouth, Va. Foster & Nickerson, New York.
North Wind 1041 Gore Jacob Bell, New York Grinnell, Minturn & Co., New York.
Oriental 1654 Fletcher Samuel Hall, East Boston D. G. & W. B. Bacon, Boston.
Pamparo 1376 Coggins Charles Mallory, Mystic, Conn. J. Bishop & Co., New York.
Panama 1349 Cave Thomas Collyer, New York N. L. & G. Griswold, New York.
Queen of Clippers 2360 Zerega Jackson Ewell, East Boston Zerega & Co., New York.
Red Gauntlet 1038 Andrews J. W. Cox, Robbinston, Me. F. Boyd & Co., Boston.
Reporter 1474 Howes Paul Curtis, East Boston E. Snow, Boston.
Ringleader 1156 Matthews Medford, Mass. Howes & Crowell, Boston.
Romance of the Seas 1782 Dumaresq Donald McKay, East Boston George B. Upton, Boston.
Skylark 1209 Henry Hood & Co., Somerset Crocker & Warren, New York.
Snapdragon (barque) 619 Brown William H. Webb, New York
Spirit of the Times 1206 Klein Cooper & Slicer, Baltimore Aymer & Co., New York.
Spitfire 1550 Arey Frankfort, Me. Manning & Stanwood, Boston.
Storm King 1408 Callahan Isaac Taylor, Chelsea, Mass. John E. Lodge, Boston.
Sweepstakes 1735 Lane Jacob A. Westervelt, New York Grinnell, Minturn & Co., New York.
Undaunted 1371 Freeman Snow & Hall, Bath, Me. W. H. Foster & Co., Boston.
Viking 1449 Windsor Trufant & Drummond, Bath, Me. G. Hussey, New Bedford.
Whistler 820 Brown George W. Jackman, Newburyport, Mass. Bush & Wildes, Boston.
Wild Wave 1547 Knowles G. H. Ferrin, Richmond, Me. Benjamin Bangs, Boston.
Young America 1961 Babcock William H. Webb, New York George Daniels, New York.

1854

Adelaide 1831 Wakeman Jacob Bell, New York Williams & Guion, New York.
Canvas Back 735 Clarke Baltimore S. Lurman, Baltimore.
Black Prince 1050 Brown George W. Jackman, Newburyport, Mass. Bush & Wildes, Boston.
Electric 1271 Gates Mystic, Conn. C. Adams, New York.
Fleetwing 912 Howes Hayden & Cudworth, Medford, Mass. Crowell, Brooks, Boston.
Grace Darling 1240 Doane Briggs Brothers, South Boston C. B. Fessenden, Boston.
Harvey Birch 1488 Nelson Irons & Grinnell, Mystic, Conn. J. H. Bower & Co., New York
Midnight 1000 Hatch Fernald & Pettigrew, Portsmouth, N. H. Henry Hastings, Boston.
Nabob 1254 Baxter J. Taylor, Chelsea, Mass. William Appleton, Boston.
Nonpareil 1431 Dunham & Co., Frankfort, Me. T. Richardson & Co., New York.
Nor’wester 1267 Gregory S. Lapham, Medford, Mass. Coolidge & Co., Boston.
Ocean Telegraph 1492 Willis J. O. Curtis, Medford, Mass. S. G. Reed & Co., Boston.
Rattler 794 Forrest Foster & Borze, Baltimore D. Stewart, Baltimore.
Robin Hood 1185 Sears Hayden & Cudworth, Medford, Mass. Howe & Crowell, Boston.
Sancho Panza 850 Friend Medford, Mass. John E. Lodge, Boston.
Saracen 1266 Barry Briggs Brothers, South Boston Curtis & Peabody, Boston.
Sierra Nevada 1942 Penhallow Toby & Littlefield, Portsmouth, N. H. Glidden & Williams, Boston.
Starlight 1150 Matthews Briggs Brothers, South Boston Baker & Morrell, Boston.
Star King 1170 Turner George W. Jackman, Newburyport, Mass. Bates & Thaxter, Boston.
Swallow 1435 Tucker Robert E. Jackson, East Boston. W. T. Dungan, New York.

1855

Andrew Jackson 1676 Williams Irons & Grinnell, Mystic, Conn. J. H. Brower & Co., New York.
Beacon Light 1320 Barwell Chelsea, Mass. J. A. Stetson, Boston.
Carrier Dove 1694 Conner J. Abraham, Baltimore. Montell & Co., Baltimore.
Charmer 1060 Lucas George W. Jackman, Newburyport, Mass. Burt & Wildes, Boston.
Courier 1025 Smith Newburyport, Mass. Foster & Elliott, New York.
Daring 1097 Simonson George W. Jackman, Newburyport, Mass. Bush & Comstock, Boston.
Electric Spark 1215 Howes Thacher & Magoun, Medford, Mass. Magoun & Co., Boston.
Golden Fleece 1538 Manson Paul Curtis, East Boston. Weld & Baker, Boston.
Herald of the Morning 1300 Baker Thacher & Magoun, Medford, Mass. Magoun & Co., Boston.
Mary Whitridge 978 Cheesebrough Hunt & Wagner, Baltimore. T. Whitridge, Baltimore.
Noonday 1177 Gerry Fernald & Pettigrew, Portsmouth, N. H. Henry Hastings, Boston.
Ocean Empress 1699 Cunningham J. O. Curtis, Medford, Mass. Reed & Wade, Boston.
War Hawk 1067 Simmons George W. Jackman, Newburyport, Mass. Captain and others, Boston.

1856

Alarm 1184 Matthews Briggs Brothers, South Boston. Baker & Morrell, Boston.
Euterpe 1984 Avery H. Merriman, Rockland, Me. Foster & Nickerson, New York.
Florence 1310 Dumaresq Samuel Hall, Jr., East Boston. R. B. & John M. Forbes, Boston.
Flying Mist 1150 Fennell J. O. Curtis, Medford, Mass. T. Chase & Co., Boston.
Intrepid 1173 Gardner William H. Webb, New York Bucklin & Crane, New York.
Mary L. Sutton 1450 Rowland Charles Mallory, Mystic, Conn. Charles Mallory, Mystic, Conn.
Norseman 820 Haskell R. E. Jackson, East Boston. Cunningham Brothers, Boston.
Witch of the Wave 1200 Todd Portsmouth, N. H. Titcomb & Co., Newburyport, Mass.

1857

Black Hawk 1108 Bowers William H. Webb, New York. Bucklin & Crane, New York.
Black Hawk 970 Shoof J. Courier, Newburyport, Mass. M. Devenport & Co., Newburyport, Mass.
Hotspur 862 Porter Roosevelt & Joyce, New York Wisener, McCready & Co., New York.
Twilight 1482 Gates Charles Mallory, Mystic, Conn. G. Gates & Co., Mystic, Conn.

Appendix II


RECORD PASSAGES OF THE CALIFORNIA CLIPPER SHIPS MADE IN 110 DAYS OR LESS FROM 1850 TO 1860, INCLUSIVE


1850
SHIP PORT OF
DEPARTURE
ARRIVAL AT
SAN FRANCISCO
DAYS
Celestial New York November 1 104
Race Horse Boston November 24 109
Samuel Russell New York May 1 109
Sea Witch New York July 24 97

1851
Challenge New York October 29 109
Flying Cloud New York August 31 89
N. B. Palmer New York August 21 106
Raven Boston November 19 105
Sea Witch New York November 20 110
Seaman New York March 11 107
Stag-Hound New York May 26 107
Surprise New York March 19 96
Typhoon New York November 18 106
Witchcraft New York August 11 103

1852
Celestial New York February 17 106
Comet New York January 13 103
Courser Boston April 28 108
Eclipse New York April 22 104
Northern Light Boston March 8 109
Sea Witch New York December 8 108
Staffordshire Boston August 13 101
Sword-Fish New York February 10 90
Flying Fish Boston February 17 98
John Bertram Boston March 26 105
Shooting Star Boston August 17 105
White Squall New York July 29 110
Wild Pigeon New York January 28 104
Sovereign of the Seas New York November 15 103

1853
Bald Eagle New York April 11 107
Contest New York February 24 108
Contest New York October 24 97
Flying Cloud New York August 12 105
Flying Dutchman New York January 27 104
Flying Dutchman New York October 7 106
Flying Fish New York February 1 92
Golden Age (barque) Boston May 31 103
Golden Gate New York March 20 102
Hornet New York August 12 105
Invincible New York September 9 110
John Gilpin New York February 2 93
Meteor Boston March 10 110
Oriental New York May 7 100
Phantom Boston April 21 104
Bebekah (barque) Baltimore May 10 106
Sea Serpent New York June 1 107
Sword-Fish New York May 30 105
Storm (barque) New York April 10 109
Tornado New York May 2 109
Trade-Wind New York February 24 102
Westward Ho Boston February 1 103
Witchcraft New York July 8 110
Winged Racer New York March 30 105
Young America New York August 29 110

1854
Archer New York April 29 106
Challenger Boston June 9 110
Courier Boston April 28 108
David Brown New York March 23 98
Eagle New York February 16 103
Eagle Wing Boston April 5 106
Flying Cloud New York April 20 89
Golden City New York February 8 105
Herald of the Morning Boston May 7 106
Hurricane New York September 4 99
Matchless Boston February 8 109
Pamparo New York January 25 105
Polynesia New York April 10 104
Ringleader Boston February 8 109
Romance of the Seas Boston March 23 96
Samuel Russell New York January 20 106
San Francisco New York February 8 105
Stag-Hound New York August 14 110
Westward Ho New York February 28 106
Witchcraft New York August 15 97
Young America New York October 20 110

1855
Boston Light Boston April 11 102
Cleopatra New York March 4 107
Don Quixote Boston March 29 108
Electric New York March 4 109
Flying Cloud New York June 6 108
Flying Fish Boston January 10 109
Flying Fish Boston December 27 105
Golden Eagle New York August 25 106
Governor Morton New York April 2 104
Greenfield (barque) New York May 6 110
Herald of the Morning New York May 16 99
Meteor Boston August 30 108
Neptune's Car New York April 25 100
Red Rover New York June 13 107
Telegraph Boston April 9 109
Westward Ho Boston April 24 100

1856
Antelope New York March 15 97
David Brown New York April 28 103
Don Quixote Boston May 31 108
Electric Spark Boston April 9 106
Flyaway New York April 8 106
Mary L. Sutton New York July 20 110
North Wind Boston July 21 110
Phantom New York April 29 101
Red Rover New York April 7 110
Reporter New York March 27 107
Ringleader Boston February 3 106
Sweepstakes New York May 25 94
Tornado New York March 27 110
Wild Hunter Boston April 29 108
Young America New York October 14 107

1857
Andrew Jackson New York February 28 100
Flying Dragon New York April 10 97
Flying Dutchman New York September 10 102
Flying Fish Boston October 2 100
John Land New York July 30 104
Reporter New York April 17 110
Westward Ho New York March 26 100

1858
Andrew Jackson New York April 27 103
Dashing Wave New York August 18 107
Don Quixote New York March 4 108
Esther May Boston May 19 103
John Land New York July 24 108
Twilight New York April 16 100

1859
Andrew Jackson New York April 5 102
Robin Hood New York March 25 107
Sierra Nevada New York December 17 97
Young America New York July 24 105

1860
Andrew Jackson New York March 23 89
Archer New York March 18 106
Lookout New York February 20 108
Mary L. Sutton New York May 12 103
Ocean Telegraph New York March 13 109
White Swallow New York August 7 110


During the forty-five years that have elapsed since the close of the Civil War a large number of sailing ships have been built for the California trade, and it is a notable fact that only two of these vessels made the passage from an Atlantic port to San Francisco in less than one hundred days. The Seminole, built by Maxon & Fish at Mystic, Connecticut, in 1865, arrived at San Francisco from New York, March 10, 1866, in 96 days, and the Glory of the Seas, already mentioned as the last ship built by Donald McKay, made the same voyage, arriving at San Francisco, January 18, 1874, in 94 days.

The two most successful ships in after years were the David Crocket and Young America. Both were built in 1853, and both continued in the San Francisco trade until 1883, during which time the David Crockett made her best twelve passages from New York to San Francisco in an average of 109 7/12 days each, her best being 102 days in 1872. The Young America, during this period also made twelve passages in an average of 110 7/12 days each, her best being 102 days in 1880.

As these ships were by many years the oldest survivors of the California clippers, there was a good deal of rivalry between them, and their records show that they were very evenly matched. It should, however, be remembered that about the year 1860 their spars and canvas were considerably reduced and that they were fitted with double topsail yards, all of which hampered their speed in moderate weather. Indeed, they resembled two faded beauties who in their youth had been rival belles.

Appendix III


CHINA TEA CLIPPERS, 1859–1869

SHIP TONS CONSTRUCTION BUILDER YEAR
Falcon 937 Wood Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1859
Isle of the South 821 " Laing & Co., Sunderland 1859
Fiery Cross 888 " Chalour & Co., Liverpool 1860
Min 629 " Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1861
Kelso 556 " Pile & Co., Sunderland 1861
Belted Will 812 " Feel & Co., Workington 1863
Serica 708 " Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1863
Taeping 767 Composite Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1863
Eliza Shaw 696 " Alexander Stephen, Glasgow 1863
Yang-tze 688 " Alexander Stephen, Aberdeen 1863
Black Prince 750 " Alexander Stephen, Aberdeen 1863
Ariel 853 " Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1865
Ada 686 " Alexander Hall, Aberdeen 1865
Sir Launcelot 886 " Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1865
Taitsing 815 " Connell & Co., Glasgow 1865
Titania 879 " Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1866
Spindrift 899 " Connell & Co., Glasgow 1867
Forward Ho 943 " Alexander Stephen, Glasgow 1867
Leander 883 Composite Lawrie & Sons, Greenock 1867
Lahloo 779 " Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1867
Thermopylæ 947 " Walter Hood, Aberdeen 1868
Windhover 847 " Connell & Co., Glasgow 1868
Cutty Sark 921 " Scott & Co., Dumbarton 1868
Caliph 914 " Alexander Hall, Aberdeen 1869
Wylo 799 " Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1869
Kaisow 795 " Robert Steele & Sons, Greenock 1869
Lothair 794 " Walker & Son, London 1869

Appendix IV


RULES FOR TONNAGE MEASUREMENTS


The English system of measuring the tonnage of vessels in the eighteenth century is given in Falconer's Marine Dictionary, 1780, as follows:

"To determine the burden, or, in other words, the tonage, of a ship, it is usual to multiply the length of keel into the extreme breadth of the ship within board, taken along the midship beam, and multiplying the product by the depth in the hold from the plank joining to the keelson upwards to the main-deck, and divide the last product by 94; then will the quotient be the burden required, in tons."

This rule continued in force till 1819, when it was changed by the Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty as follows:

"Multiply the length of the keel by the breadth of beam, and that product by half the breadth of beam, and divide the last product by 94, and the quotient will be the tonnage" (Marine Dictionary, William Burney, LL.D., 1830). Dr. Burney remarks: "It appears from the general construction of merchant ships, that more attention is paid to evade the tax on tonnage than to their sailing well with the wind in different directions; and if the real tonnage of ships were taken, an alteration would soon be made in the construction for the better."

This form of the rule continued until 1842, when by Act of Parliament the following method was adopted:

"Divide the length of the upper deck between the after part of the stem and the fore part of the stern-post into six equal parts. Depths: at the foremost, the middle, and the aftermost of these points of division, measure in feet and decimal parts of a foot the depths from the under side of the upper deck to the ceiling at the limber strake. In the case of a break in the upper deck, the depths are to be measured from a line stretched in a continuation of the deck. Breadths: Divide each of those three depths into five equal parts, and measure the inside breadths at the following points—viz., at one fifth and at four fifths from the upper deck of the foremost and aftermost depths, and at two fifths and four fifths from the upper deck of the midship depth. Length: At half the midship depth, measure the length of the vessel from the after part of the stem to the fore part of the stern-post; then, to twice the midship depth add the foremost and the aftermost depths; add together the upper and lower breadths at the foremost division, three times the upper breadth, and the lower breadth, at the midship division and the upper and twice the lower breadth at the after division, for the sum of the breadths; then multiply the sum of the depths by the sum of the breadths, and this product by the length, and divide the final product by three thousand five hundred, which will give the number of tons for register" (Young's Marine Dictionary, 1846).

In 1854 this rule was changed by the Merchant Shipping Act, which provided that the actual cubic contents of a vessel's hull should be measured, a registered ton being reckoned as 100 cubic feet. This is known as the Moorsom system, and is still in use and likely to continue. It was adopted by the United States in 1865; Denmark, 1867; Austria, 1871; Germany, France, and Italy, 1873; Spain, 1874; and Sweden, 1875.

The old practice of calculating tonnage in the United States was adapted from the English, and the mode of measurement was as follows:

The length was measured on deck from the fore part of the stem to the after part of the stern-post; the breadth from outside to outside planking at the broadest part of the vessel; the depth of the hold from the plank on deck to the ceiling of the hold. This last measurement was not used, the depth of a vessel for tonnage purposes being assumed to be one half of her breadth. In order to find the tonnage, three fifths of the breadth were deducted from the length and the remainder multiplied by the breadth, and this product multiplied by one half the breadth, or the assumed depth, the last product was then divided by 95, giving the formula:

Thus in a vessel measuring 100 ft. x 20 ft. x 18 ft.:

Length of vessel … 100
Subtract 35 breadth … 12
Length for measurement … 88
Multiply by the breadth … 20
1760
Multiply by half breadth … 10
17,600
Divide 17,600 by 95 … and
the result is … 185+1219
Total tonnage … 185+1219

This mode of measurement continued from colonial times until the Moorsom system was adopted in 1865.

The dimensions of ten representative American and British clippers were as follows:

Length Breadth
Nightingale (1851) 178 " 36 "
American Oriental (1849) 183 ft. 36 "
Celestial (1850) 158 " 34 " 6in.
Stag-Hound (1850) 209 " 39 "
Flying Dutchman (1852) 187 " 38 " 6in.
British Falcon (1859) 191 " 4in. 32 " 2in.
Taitsing (1865) 192 " 31 " 5in.
Titania (1866) 200 " 35 "
Spindrift (1867) 219 " 4in. 35 " 6in.
Thermopylæ (1868) 210 " 36 "
Although these British ships show less breadth than the American, yet they have more breadth in proportion to length than the earlier British clippers, such as the Stornoway (1850), Lord of the Isles (1855), etc.