The Blackwall frigates form a connecting link between the lordly East Indiaman of the Honourable John Company and the magnificent P and O liners of the present day. They were first-class ships. Well-run, happy ships, and the sailor who started his sea life as a midshipman aboard a Blackwaller looked back ever afterwards to his cadet days as the happiest period of his career. If discipline was strict, it was also just. The training was superb, as witness the number of Blackwall midshipmen who reached the head of their profession and distinguished themselves later in other walks of life. Fifty years ago, the lithographs of the celebrated Blackwall liners to India and Australia could be bought at any seaport for a few shillings. Nowadays, those old ship portraits are cagerly snapped up by a growing group of collectors. We therefore hope that the illustrations in this book will be appreciated.
Maud Berridge (1845–1907) was the wife of a Master Mariner, and she travelled with him on at least five occasions (1869, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1886), sailing to Melbourne with emigrants and cargo. The first occasion was 1869 just after they were married, when Henry was Captain of the Walmer Castle, and they returned via New Zealand instead of travelling east and around Cape Horn. However, most of Henry and Maud's voyages were undertaken in the three-masted clipper Superb, sailing from Gravesend at the start of summer and leaving Melbourne for home at the end of the year (the southern summer, best for heading east with the trade winds and rounding Cape Horn). Record times taken from London to Melbourne under Captain Henry were 79 days (1878), 76 days (1881) and a final time of 74 days (1886). In 1880, Maud and Henry took their two sons (aged six and eight) with them. In 1883, they sailed on from Melbourne to Newcastle in New South Wales to take on a load of coal, then on through the Windward Isles to San Francisco (51 days). Here they stayed for two months exploring SF and surrounds, unloaded the coal and took on a load of wheat (in large bags) at Port Costa. They then sailed down the west coast of the Americas, around Cape Horn and on to Queenstown in County Cork (134 days). The whole voyage took 14 months. There are also some photographs of Henry, Maud and the crew taken in San Francisco, and a photo from the State Library of Victoria showing the Superb at dock in Melbourne. Maud wrote diaries of these voyages of which one in particular, that of the 1883 voyage, comprise some 50 000 words. The book will tell Maud's story through her own words and through a number of relevant contemporary documents and will paint a picture of the life of a captain's wife in the Victorian era as well as aspects of society in Britain, the US and Australia at the time. Her enthusiasm for new experiences shines through her writing.
In the past three centuries the ship has developed from the relatively unsophisticated sail-driven vessel which would have been familiar to the sailors of the Tudor navy, to the huge motor-driven container ships, nuclear submarines and vast cruise liners that ply our seas today. Who were the innovators and builders who, during that span of time, prompted and instigated the most significant advances?In the past three centuries the ship has developed from the relatively unsophisticated sail-driven vessel which would have been familiar to the sailors of the Tudor navy, to the huge motor-driven container ships, nuclear submarines and vast cruise liners that ply our seas today. Who were the innovators and builders who, during that span of time, prompted and instigated the most significant advances?In this new book the author describes the lives and deeds of more the 120 great engineers, scientists, philosophers, businessmen, shipwrights, naval architects and inventors who shaped ship design and shipbuilding world wide. Covering the story chronologically, and going back briefly even to Archimedes, such well-known names as Anthony Deane, Peter the Great, James Watt, Robert Fulton and Isambard Kingdom Brunel share space with lesser known characters like the luckless Frederic Sauvage, a pioneer of screw propulsion who, unable to interest the French navy in his tests in the early 1830s, was bankrupted and landed in debtors prison. With the inclusion of such names as Ben Lexcen, the Australian yacht designer who developed the controversial winged keel for the 1983 Americas Cup, the story is brought right up to date.Concise linking chapters place all these innovators in context so that a clear and fascinating history of the development of ships and shipbuilding emerges from the pages. An original and important new reference book.
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich houses the largest collection of scale ship models in the world, many of which are official, contemporary artefacts made by the craftsmen of the navy or the shipbuilders themselves, and ranging from the mid seventeenth century to the present day. As such they represent a three-dimensional archive of unique importance and authority. Treated as historical evidence, they offer more detail than even the best plans, and demonstrate exactly what the ships looked like in a way that even the finest marine painter could not achieve. This book is the first of a series which will take selections of the best models to tell the story of specific ship types in this case, the evolution of the cruising ship under sail. Each volume reproduces a large number of model photos, all in full colour, and including many close-up and detail views. These are captioned in depth, but many are also annotated to focus attention on interesting or unusual features. Although pictorial in emphasis, the book weaves the pictures into an authoritative text, producing an unusual and attractive form of technical history.While the series will be of particular interest to ship modellers, all those with an interest in ship design and development will attracted to the in-depth analysis of these beautifully presented books.