The Age of Ships

 Posted by on 15 February 2012 at 8:00 am  History, Technology
Feb 152012

The August 2011 City Journal featured a fascinating article entitled, “The Age of Ships, subtitled, “A time before passenger jets, when ocean liners were ‘the greatest of the works of man’”.

Author Michael Anton covered the history and technology behind the luxury ocean liners in the era after Titanic, before airplanes displaced ships as the dominant means of passenger travel across the Atlantic Ocean. The competition between commercial lines was fierce, especially to be able to cite the fastest Trans-Atlantic crossing times.

There are lots of interesting tidbits, but I especially liked the story Vladimir Yourkevitch, who fled Russia after the Communist takeover and had to take a job in France as a riveter in the Renault factory. The image of an immigrant factory worker trying to persuade the chairman of a major French shipyard that his revolutionary new ship hull design would work is something straight out of fiction. But it did indeed work, and that ship would later set one of the speed records.

(Read the full text of “The Age of Ships“.)

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