Download A History of the World in Sixteen Shipwrecks by Stewart Gordon PDF

By Stewart Gordon

Tales of failures at sea, no matter if approximately Roman triremes, the treasure fleet of the Spanish major, or nice transatlantic ocean liners, hearth the mind's eye as little else can. From the historic sinkings of the giant and the Lusitania to the new capsizing of a Mediterranean cruise send, the learn of shipwrecks additionally makes for a brand new and intensely assorted knowing of worldwide background. A background of the area in 16 Shipwrecks explores the age-old, immensely damaging, repeatedly romantic, and ongoing technique of relocating humans and items around the seven seas.

In recounting the tales of ships and the folk who made and sailed them, from the earliest craft plying the traditional Nile to the Exxon Valdez, Stewart Gordon argues that the slow integration of regularly neighborhood and separate maritime domain names into fewer, greater, and extra interdependent areas deals a distinct viewpoint on global historical past. Gordon attracts a few provocative conclusions from his learn, between them that the ecu “Age of Exploration” as a unique occasion is just a fable: over the millennia, many cultures, east and west, have explored far-flung maritime worlds, and applied sciences of shipbuilding and navigation were one of the major drivers of technological know-how and exploration all through heritage. In a sequence of compelling narratives, A background of the area in 16 Shipwrecks indicates that the improvement of associations and applied sciences that made the terrifying oceans customary and became unknown seas into well-traveled sea-lanes issues profoundly in our sleek international.

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In its inimitable words, “The town of Barrow being in some respects isolated, the company has wisely decided to construct almost everything for their own ships. There is a great advantage in this arrangement. ”67 Delays and the annoyance of bargaining with distant suppliers were both circumvented by selfsufficiency, the firm effectively controlling a miniagglomeration in its entirety. Barrow’s ascendancy occurred at the same time as shipbuilding on the Thames accelerated toward oblivion. The Thames, consistent with its longstanding dominance, had amassed many of “new” shipbuilding’s early movers and shakers.

Nevertheless, the firm could not escape the tribulations attending Bessemer steel and decided to play safe by sticking with iron armor. Its hand was forced in the late 1870s, however, when the Admiralty grew disenchanted with the adequacy of the plate. 54 Profits climbed, so much so that a gratified Brown’s decided to extend its naval business into new avenues. Consequently, in 1886 it created a large press for the manufacture of heavy forgings for naval guns and marine shafting. This act proved providential, because the new plant came on stream in time to secure a large share of the work inspired by the Naval Defence Act.

No one put it more succinctly than Wilfred Smith, a distinguished British geographer, when he remarked in general on the industry, insisting that its past location “has been closely related to materials, for these are of great bulk” and therefore disproportionately expensive to move. ”23 The American situation was scarcely any different. Indeed, unequalled access to coastal stands of timber bestowed on American shipbuilders a competitive edge for decades after the republic was created. Maine in many respects painted the dispersed American industry in its most glowing colors.

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