Up and down the Eastern seaboard during the 1850s, American shipyards constructed numerous large wooden merchant sailing vessels that formed the backbone of the commercial shipping industry. This comprehensive volume appraises in minute detail the construction of these ships, outlining basic design criteria and enumerating and examining every plank and piece of timber involved in the process, including the keel, frames, hull and deck planking, stanchions, knees, deck houses, bulworks, railings, interior structures and arrangements. More than 150 illustrations illuminate the size, shape, location and pertinent specifics of each item. Complete with a glossary of contemporary industry terms, this reference represents the definitive study of the mid-nineteenth century's great American-built square rigged ships.
Before his retirement in 1972, William L. Crothers worked as a draftsman in the design division of the Philadelphia Navy Yard. He is also the author of a book on the construction of American clipper ships.