Re-inventing the Ship: Science, Technology and the Maritime World, 1800-1918, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Re-inventing the Ship

Science, Technology and the Maritime World, 1800-1918, 1st Edition

By Don Leggett

Edited by Richard Dunn


240 pages

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Ships have histories that are interwoven with the human fabric of the maritime world. In the long nineteenth century these histories revolved around the re-invention of these once familiar objects in a period in which Britain became a major maritime power. This multi-disciplinary volume deploys different historical, geographical, cultural and literary perspectives to examine this transformation and to offer a series of interconnected considerations of maritime technology and culture in a period of significant and lasting change. Its ten authors reveal the processes involved through the eyes and hands of a range of actors, including naval architects, dockyard workers, commercial shipowners and Navy officers. By locating the ship's re-invention within the contexts of builders, owners and users, they illustrate the ways in which material elements, as well as scientific, artisan and seafaring ideas and practices, were bound together in the construction of ships' complex identities.


'In Re-inventing the Ship, the two scholars have compiled a collection of essays that investigates the British ships of the long nineteenth century as objects of science, technology, and maritime culture. … would make an appropriate addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in maritime affairs.' EH.Net 'As a whole, the contributors to this volume offer a hugely enriching behind the scenes� perspective on the re-invention of the ship in the long nineteenth century. The approaches, questions and findings generated by these authors afford historians of science, technology and the sea a much fuller understanding of the intersection of science and technology during this collaborative period of transition from wood and sail to steam and iron.' The Northern Mariner 'The diversity of these approaches makes a truly dense and thought provoking collection that often feels as if it is bursting with potential. The manner with which its authors re-visit debates, re-examine old scholarship and introduce new approaches often excites the reader with the possibility of future research. Consequently, Re-inventing the Ship will be of interest to anyone interested in the interconnected themes of the economic, political, cultural and technological transformations of Atlantic maritime traditions between the late eighteenth and early twentieth century.' Journal of Transport History

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: re-inventing the ship in the long 19th century, Don Leggett and Richard Dunn; Symbolic ships, sail and steam, Christopher Harvie; 'This great national undertaking': John Scott Russell, the master shipwrights and the Royal Mail steam packet company, Crosbie Smith; 'The Robinson line of boats': networks of trust in a 19th-century shipping company, Oliver Carpenter; Neptune's new clothes: actors, iron and the identity of the mid-Victorian warship, Don Leggett; The health of workers in the Royal Dockyard, Portsmouth, Richard Biddle; Where is Bathybius Haeckelii? The ship as a scientific instrument and a space of science, Anne Flore Laloë; 'Their brains over-taxed': ships, instruments and users, Richard Dunn; Naval culture and the fleet submarine, 1910-1917, Duncan Redford; 19th-century American warships: the pursuit of exceptionalist design, William M. McBride; Epilogue: 'A force to be reckoned with', Andrew Lambert; Index.

About the Author/Editor

Dr, Don Leggett, University of Kent, UK; and Richard Dunn, National Maritime Museum, UK.

About the Series

Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series

Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series
The Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies Series is the publishing platform of the Corbett Centre. Drawing on the expertise and wider networks of the Defence Studies Department of King's College London, and based at the Joint Services Command and Staff College in the UK Defence Academy, the Corbett Centre is already a leading centre for academic expertise and education in maritime and naval studies. It enjoys close links with several other institutions, both academic and governmental, that have an interest in maritime matters, including the Developments, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC), the Naval Staff of the Ministry of Defence and the Naval Historical Branch. The centre and its publishing output aims to promote the understanding and analysis of maritime history and policy and to provide a forum for the interaction of academics, policy-makers and practitioners. Books published under the eagis of the Corbett Centre series reflect these aims and provide an opportunity to stimulate research and debate into a broad range of maritime related themes. The core subject matter for the series is maritime strategy and policy, conceived broadly to include theory, history and practice, military and civil, historical and contemporary, British and international aspects. As a result this series offers a unique opportunity to examine key issues such as maritime security, the future of naval power, and the commercial uses of the sea, from an exceptionally broad chronological, geographical and thematic range. Truly interdisciplinary in its approach, the series welcomes books from across the humanities, social sciences and professional worlds, providing an unrivalled opportunity for authors and readers to enhance the national and international visibility of maritime affairs, and provide a forum for policy debate and analysis.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / Strategy
HISTORY / Oceania