The New Student's Reference Work/Ship

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See also Ship on Wikipedia, and the disclaimer.

Ship, the name given to most sea-going vessels, but usually applied to sailing-vessels, those moved by steam being called steamers. The art of building vessels that could be moved on water is very ancient, beginning probably with the simplest forms, as the canoe and raft, though Noah's ark was more elaborate and, what is remarkable, its proportions are those still considered the best for all purposes by shipbuilders. It was six times longer than its width, and three fifths of its breadth deep. The nations living around the Mediterranean early learned the art of sailing on the ocean, building wooden vessels moved by oars, as galleys and triremes, and using sails. Their ships in a storm were often bound outside with heavy ropes or even with iron bands carried for the purpose, as the ship in Paul's voyage had to be “under-girded.” The Scandinavians were early known as fearless sailors, and their warships were made stronger than the galleys used on the Mediterranean, as they had a fiercer ocean to sail. The English navy was first made of importance by Alfred the Great, who introduced galleys with 40 or 60 oars to defend the coasts against the northern vikings. The crusades made necessary still larger ships and the use of sails, and the Great Harry, built by Henry VIII, is considered to be the first ship of the present English fleet. Spain, Portugal, Venice and the Netherlands had large navies in the 15th century. The adventurous spirit which led to the discovery of America and the passage around the Cape of Good Hope increased the demand for improved sailing-vessels, and France, Spain, Sweden and Denmark were noted for their ships. The first ship built in the United States was the Virginia, at the mouth of Kennebec River, in 1607, and shipbuilding soon became quite an industry in New England seaports. Their ships were original in plan, and built for special purpose, as frigates for war-vessels, schooners and sloops for coast service, whalers for the whale-fishery and the “clippers” for the China and India trade. The clipper-ship, the Great Republic, was the largest merchant-vessel ever built, and many of them equaled in speed the steamships of the period. A ship, strictly speaking, has at least three masts with square sails. Brigs are smaller than ships, having two masts with square sails. Schooners have two or three masts with a variety of sails; and a sloop has only one mast. The cutter is a form of the schooner, and the barkentine is a combination of the ship and the schooner. The introduction of iron and steel and the use of steam have changed the building and the size and form of ships. England has been the great shipbuilding country, but Germany, France, Italy and America are increasing their production largely. The Titanic disaster (q. v.) resulted in marked changes in shipbuilding and management, the most important of which is the “double skinned” steamship. The Hamburg-American liner Imperator was the first to be built on this principle, while the Olympic, sister of the ill-fated Titanic, originally built with a single hull, was the first to have an inner skin added. Other reforms are the increase of life boats and rafts, the checking of the speed mania and the establishment of a patrol on the North Atlantic steamship lanes to warn liners where there are icebergs or ice fields and how they are moving. All large steamships now have two wireless operators, one of whom is on duty constantly; and, in some cases, two or more captains who relieve each other. It is said that no ship in the plight of the Titanic can ever be lost under similar circumstances. See Galley, Navy, Sails, Shipbuilding, Steamship, Trireme and Yacht; Shipbuilding Industry of the United States by Hall; Modern Shipbuilding and the Men Engaged in It by Pollock.

New Imperator's Double Hull (left) and Hull added to Olympic (right)




1—Fijian Boat. 2—Spanish Caravel Santa Maria; Flag Ship of Christopher Columbus. 3—Indian Canoe.
4—“Savannah,” the First Steamship to Cross the Atlantic, 1819. The paddle-wheels could be unshipped
when the wind was fair. 5—The Clermont, the First Steamboat, invention of Robert Fulton, 1807.
6—Ship in Full Sail. 7—Chinese Junk. 8—Cunard Liner “Mauretania.” 9—A Modern Yacht.



10—Ancient Greek Galley. 11—Roman Trireme; three banks of oars. 12—The “Merrimac” and her antagonist
the “Monitor,” which revolutionized Naval Warfare. 13—Modern Torpedo Boat. 14—U. S. Frigate
“Essex,” Famous in War of 1812. 15—U. S. Monitor “Puritan,” Modern Type.
16—Modern First Class Battle Ship.