Monday, October 24, 2005

West Coast Clipper Ship Discovery

I'm out west in Northern Califonia on biz - so a weekend story in the San Francisco Chronicle caught my eye. New evidence has surfaced of 65 previously undocumented, West-Coast-built ships of sail, including a clipper ship that set world speed records...demonstrating that west coast shipbuilders played central role in the commercial sailing industry from 1859 to 1920...big news in maritime history circles where most of the Clipper Ship credit has been handed to builders in New York and Boston. According to the article, many historians assumed that the West Coast had no shipyards capable of building clipper ships. The thinking has been that frontier-style shipyards of early California and the Northwest produced one or two ships at the mouth of a river, using the wood available, before moving to the next location to build another ship or two.

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