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American-Built Clipper Ship, 1850-1856
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With the sweep of its bow, its graceful lines, and its clouds of canvas, the clipper ship sparked a romance with the American public that still endures 150 years later.

The public fervor surrounding locally built clippers generated intense intercity rivalries--and a new type of thinking. Ships suddenly were christened with romantic names; interior decor of passenger-carrying vessels reached a new level of embellishment. Pushed by their masters, who drove them as no ships had been driven before, clippers reached and maintained speeds that were previously unheard of, setting records for sailing ship passages that were never to be surpassed. Their heyday was astonishingly brief--by the 1860s giving way to safer, more commodious, iron steamships, which were not at the mercy at the wind.

The product of more than 35 years of exacting research, "The American-Built Clipper Ship" presents in exquisite detail 152 clippers that comprise the culmination of the shipbuilders' art. Every facet of clipper ship design and construction is covered, including wood species, scantlings, fastenings, midship sections, interior living areas, and details of scarphs, keels, stem- and stern-post assemblies, frames, timbers, and bracing--all included in some 160 intricately drawn illustrations by a man whose unequaled work has earned him a national following among modelers and maritime museum directors. This is possibly the most complete reference on clipper ship construction ever published. No other single source covers so many vessels in such detail.

"The American-Built Clipper Ship" will be an invaluable resource for historians, model builders, and maritime artists, as well as for any newcomer who isonly now learning how addictive the subject can become.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations Tables Lists of American-Built Clipper Ships, 1850 - 1856 Alphabetical List of Vessels Chronological List of Vessels Acknowledgments Introduction Part I Prelude to Building the Ship Chapter 1 Preparation for Construction Chapter 2 Woods Used in Construction of the Clippers Chapter 3 General Characteristics of Clipper Ship Hulls Chapter 4 Fastenings, Hole Borers, and Fasteners Chapter 5 Scarphs Chapter 6 Representative Midship Sections Part II Construction of the Hull Chapter 7 Keel Assembly Chapter 8 Stem and Sternpost Assemblies Chapter 9 Square Frames and Floors Chapter 10 Keelson and Deadwood Assemblies Chapter 11 Half Frames, Cant Frames; Bow and Stern Timbering Chapter 12 Diagonal Iron Bracing; Hull Stiffening; Hold Ceiling Chapter 13 Stanchions Chapter 14 Beams and Knees Chapter 15 Hooks and Pointers Chapter 16 Mast Steps, Trusses, and Bracing Chapter 17 Waterways, Binding Strakes, and Tween-Decks Ceiling Chapter 18 Planksheer, Rails, and Bulwarks Chapter 19 Bitts; Hatch Coamings; Deck Planking; Forecastle and Poop Decks Chapter 20 Salting; Exterior Planking; Headboards; Mouldings Chapter 21 Cargo Ports; Scuppers; Channels; Rudder Part III Completion of the Ship Chapter 22 Metal Sheathing Chapter 23 Colors of the Ships Chapter 24 Hull Ornamentation Chapter 25 Figureheads and Carved Stemheads Chapter 26 Weather Deck Arrangements Chapter 27 Fittings and Outfits Chapter 28 Ship Interiors Chapter 29 Mast and Spar Arrangements Chapter 30 Rigging Chapter 31 Flags and Signals Chapter 32 Entry into Valhalla: Fate of the Vessels Chapter 33 Conclusion and Comment References Index

About the Author

In a real sense, William L. Crothers spent his entire adult life preparing this book. Hired by the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in the early 1930s, he retired after 35 years' service in naval ship design. During his long and productive career he developed the ability to draw extraordinarily crisp and detailed ship plans. And he developed a fascination with the American clipper ship--which he pursued through all the maritime museums in the United States and several in England.

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