SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT. SPECIAL NAVY EDITION. PART I

Note for English lenguage Readers: This is the first part (out of four) of the transcription, from the Special Supplement of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, of an study of the strength of the U.S. Navy in 1898; the year of the war against Spain.
The Supplement of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN is of public domain, but we have requested the permission from this notable American magazine due to the norms that we follow in this web page, VIDA MARITIMA.
It will take about 15 days to complete the four parts of the magazine. The first two photos belong to the Spanish revue EL MUNDO NAVAL ILUSTRADO, as indicated in this introduction.
Dotted lines in the text are illegible in the original. We hope the support of the readers to complete full text.
El presente articulo es el primero de cuatro que completara la transcripción integra, excepto la portada, del Numero 1.165, Vol. XLV, del SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, fechado el 30 de abril de 1898, que es un Suplemento especial dedicado al estado de la U.S. Navy en aquel año en que se enfrentaría, y derrotaría, a la Armada española.
El citado suplemento tiene 40 páginas y unos ochenta documentos que serán íntegramente transcritos en estos cuatro post.
Aunque es de dominio publico, debido a la fecha en que se publico, hemos solicitado el correspondiente permiso a la redacción de SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, y nos ha sido concedido.
Al final de la transcripción, que llevara aproximadamente 15 días, todo aquel que quiera la copia en Word de esta podrá pedirla contactando con esta web.
Aunque queda un poco fuera de nuestro marco de actuación, la composición de la flota que diezmo la Escuadra del Almirante Cervera es de indudable interés técnico e histórico y ayuda a comprender la debacle. Con lo cual es parte de nuestra Vida Marítima.
Photo 1.- The INDIANA. Photo from the Spanish magazine EL MUNDO NAVAL ILUSTRADO. Year 1898.
Photo 2.- The MASSACHUSSETS. Photo from the Spanish magazine EL MUNDO NAVAL ILUSTRADO. Year 1898.Special Navy Edition of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT.
VOL. XLV. NUM. 1165.
April 30, 1998.
Munn & Co…. Editors and Propietors.
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The Ships of the United States Navy.
Historical.
Fifteen years ago the United States navy, in the modern sense of the term, did not exist. At a time when the other great maritime nations of the world were building powerful fleets of iron and steel battleships and cruisers, equipped with the latest products of the armor-plate mills and gun factories, the United States, bent upon enjoying the piping times of peace and with little thought or fear of foreign complications, paid little attention to its navy, and was, in consequence, represented upon the high seas by a fleet of antiquated wood frigates -ships which had been excellent craft in their day and generation, but which, in comparison with the up-to-date battleships of a later time, were altogether worthy to represent this great nation upon the….If the gentle reader should deem the…….., let him listen to the words of Mr. Fra………ett, of the United States navy, in speaking………..of that day: “A sense of humiliation dogged the American naval officer as he went about his duty in foreign lands. In the far East, in the lesser countries along the Mediterranean Sea, and even in the seaports of South America people smiled patronizingly upon him and from a, sense of politeness avoided speaking of naval subjects in his presence. None but naval officers and a few Americans who happened to be abroad comprehended just how insignificant and cheap the great republic appeared in the eyes of the world at and about the time mentioned.”
To anyone who is familiar with the glorious history of the American navy it seems incredible that, in the two decades that had intervened since the brilliant operations of the civil war, its status should have fallen to such a low degree. As a matter of fact, however, at the close of the war silence fell upon the busy dockyards of the navy -a silence which was to be practically unbroken, for the next twenty years. All the accumulated experience of the previous four years, and the novel types of ships in which it was embodied, were laid open as a kind of reference library or school of inshuction for the warship builders of the world at…….Foreign naval constructors were not slow to…………..and the student of naval progress must………….if he would follow the development of……………armor during the two decades which…………of the war. It was as though the………….risk and weary of the very suggestion……….published all thought of its implements and…………its mind. The shipbuilders of the old…………..the task where we had laid it down, and……….developed the fundamental ideas containing………………”MERRIMAC” and “MONITOR.”.
………….that the people of the United States found themselves, in the year 1883, to all intents and purposes, without a navy ; and with the conviction that a start should at once be made in the work of reconstruction, an act was approved which authorized the building of three steel cruisers, two of which were to be of about 3,000 tons and one of about 4,500 tons displacement, together with a dispatch boat of about 1,500 tons. The construction of these ships was undertaken by John Roach. The “DOLPHIN” was completed in his yards; but, owing to the unfortunate failure of Mr. Roach before they were finished, the other three ships had to be taken over and completed by the government. The “ATLANTA” and “BOSTON” were sister ships of what is now known as the protected cruiser type, in which protection against shell fire is afforded by a continuous curved deck of steel located at about the water line level. They were armed with 8-inch and 6-inch breech-loading rifles, and had a trial speed of about 15 ½ knots per hour, motive power being furnished by single screw horizontal compound engines.
The “CHICAGO” was also a protected cruiser, but was much larger and more powerful. Her armament consisted of four 8-inch, eight 6-inch and two 5-inch rifles, and her curious twin-screw compound overhead beam engines gave her a speed of about 16 knots per hour. All three of the ships were furnished with full sail power, the “ATLANTA” and “BOSTON” being rigged as brigs and the “CHICAGO” as a bark. White was adopted as the colour of the new navy, and the three vessels made an extremely handsome appearance, which quickly caught the eye and won the favour of the American people.
The “BOSTON” has been in practically continuous service since her launch, and the “ATLANTA” and “CHICAGO” are now at the New York navy yard, where they are being re-engined and boilered and are receiving a battery of modern rapid-fire guns.
Two years elapsed before Congress again supplemented its modest beginning of a navy by a further appropriation. In 1885 an act was passed authorizing the construction of two cruisers and two gunboats, in accordance with which the “NEWARK” a protected cruiser of 4,098 tons and 19 knots speed, and the gunboat “YORKTOWN” of 1,710 tons and 16,14 knots, were built by the Cramps, of Philadelphia. The “CHARLESTON” of 3,730 tons and 18,20 knots speed, was built by the Union Iron Works, San Francisco, and the gunboat “PETREL” of 892 tons and 11,8 knots speed, was built by the Columbian Iron Works, of Baltimore.
The act of 1886 secured a most valuable addition to the small but growing navy by authorizing, in addition to several new ships, the completion of the five powerful monitors whose keels had been laid as far back as the year 1874. Work had been carried on upon them in a desultory manner, and, in 1886, they consisted of nothing more than the hull and engines. Four of these -the “AMPHITRITE” “MIANTONOMOH” “MONADNOCK” and “TERROR” -are identical in size, being of 3,990 tons displacement. Their engines are of the old-fashioned twin-screw inclined compound type, but they have been overhauled and put in good shape and new boilers have been furnished. They have a speed of about 12 or 13 knots an hour and a powerful armament of four 10 inch guns. Protection is furnished by 7 inch continuous belts of steel and from 7 ½ to 11 ½ inch armor on the barbettes and turrets. The fifth monitor is the “PURITAN” a powerful ship of 6.060 tons. As reconstructed, she carries the full battery of a first-class battleship, viz.: Four 12-inch guns and six 4-inch rapid-fire guns, and her armor is from 6 to 14 inches in thickness. Although the work on the monitors was one of reconstruction, it was probably the most valuable of all that was authorized in this year for the new navy.
The other provisions of the act of 1886 called for the construction of the “TEXAS” a second-class battleship (the first battleship of the new navy), the protected cruiser “BALTIMORE” the armored cruiser “MAINE” the dynamite cruiser “VESUVIUS” and the torpedo boat “CUSHING” The plans of the “TEXAS” and the “BALTIMORE” were purchased in England. The “TEXAS” plans were drawn up by a well-known designer, William John, and the ship was built at the Norfolk navy yard. The “BALTIMORE” plans were purchased from the Armstrongs, and, after important changes had been made in them by the builders, the ship was constructed by the Cramps, of Philadelphia. In connection with this purchase of foreign plans, it must be borne in mind that steel warship construction was at this time a comparatively untried science and art in the United States, whereas the country from which the plans were purchased had been engaged in this class of work uninterruptedly for a quarter of a century. The “TEXAS” has had a somewhat checkered career; but the “BALTIMORE” won favor, both by her fine appearance and her performance, from the very day of her launch. The “TEXAS” is a 6.315 ton. ship, of 17,8 knots speed, carrying two 12-inch guns in turrets within a central barbette of 12-inch steel, besides a secondary battery of six 6-inch guns. The “BALTIMORE” is a protected cruiser of 4.413 tons and over 20 knots speed. She carries four 8-inch and six 6-inch guns at a considerable elevation above the water line. In her the lofty masts and the yards which characterized the earlier cruisers disappear, and she carries simply two military masts provided with fighting tops.
The “MAINE” like the “TEXAS” marked the introduction of a new type of ship into the new navy. She was known at the time as an armored cruiser, her protection consisting of a 12-inch belt of steel associated with a protective deck of 2-inch steel. The heavy armament of four 10-inch and six 6-inch guns really entitled the “MAINE” to be called a second-class battlehip. She was a vessel of 6,682 tons displacement and 17,45 knots speed.
The dynamite cruiser “VESUVIUS” was given a displacement of 930 tons, and on her trial she showed a speed of 21,42 knots per hour. She was provided with pneumatic dynamite guns for the discharge of shells containing 200 pounds of dynamite. The guns were rigidly fixed three abreast in the bow, and they were trained on the target by the steering of the vessel. The torpedo boat, which was named the “CUSHING” showed a speed of 22 ½ knots per hour.
Five vessels were authorized in the following year, the monitor “MONTEREY” of 4.084 tons and 13 ½ knots speed, built at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco; the protected cruiser “PHILADELPHIA” of 4.324 tons and 19,68 knots speed, built at the Cramps ; the protected cruiser “SAN FRANCISCO” 4,098 tons and 19,53 knots speed, built at the Union Iron Works, San Francisco; and the gunboats “CONCORD” and “BENNINGTON” of 1.710 tons and about 17 knots speed, built at Chester, Pennsylvania.
The following year, 1888, saw the good work of building up the navy still going on apace, and no less than eight ships were authorized. Of these the most notable and successful was the armored cruiser “NEW YORK” She marked a great advance in size and speed over anything that had yet been attempted, her displacement being 8.200 tons and her speed 21 knots.
The “NEW YORK” marked the point at which our ships began to take on a clearly defined individuality of their own, and those features of heavy armament, powerful and thorough protection and high speed which characterize our vessels were all conspicuous in this fine ship. She carries as her main armament six 8-inch rifles in steel barbettes, besides twelve 4-inch rapid-fire guns in the secondary broadside battery. A premium of $50,000 for every ¼ knot in excess of the contract speed of 20 knots won for her builders, the Cramps, a bonus of $200,000. Equally successful was the protected cruiser “OLYMPIA” of 5.870 tons and 21,78 knots speed, built by the Union Iron Works, of San Francisco. For this speed she earned for the builders the enormous bonus of $300,000. Two sister ships, the protected cruisers “CINCINNATI” and “RALEIGH” of 3.213 tons and 19 knots speed, were also authorized in this year, the former being built at New York and the latter at the Norfolk navy yard. The other ships of the programme were the three cruisers “DETROIT,” “MARBLEHEAD” and “MONTGOMERY” of 2.089 tons and 18 ½ knots speed, and the training ship “BANCROFT” The “DETROIT” and “MONTGOMERY” were built at the Columbian Iron Works, Baltimore ; the “MARBLEHEAD” by Loring, of Boston ; and the “BANCROFT” by S. L. Moore & Sons, Elizabeth port, N. J.
In the year 1889 two gunboats, the “CASTINE” and “MACHIAS” of 1,177 tons and 16 knots speed, were authorized, together with the harbor defense ram “KATAHDIN”. All three vessels were built by the Bath Iron Works, Bath, Me. The ram was formerly known as the “AMMEN” after Rear Admiral Ammen, United States Navy, her designer, who has always been an ardent advocate of the ram for offensive purposes. This is a strictly original craft, nothing of kind being found in any other navy. It relies entirely upon the ram for its offensive power, the armament consisting of a few light rapid-fire guns, for use against torpedo boats.
The next decade opened with brilliant promise for the future of the new navy. In the year 1890 was passed an act authorizing the construction of three first-class battleships, a protected cruiser of 7.300 tons and 21 knots speed, a 750 ton torpedo gunboat and a torpedo boat. This resulted in due course in the addition to the navy of the “INDIANA” ” MASSACHUSSETS” and ” OREGON” -the three most powerfully armed and armored ships in the world- together with the “COLUMBIA” the swiftest cruiser of her size afloat, and the torpedo boat “ERICSSON”. The “IINDIANA,” “MASSACHUSSETS,” and “COLUMBIA” were laid down at the Cramps yard and the “OREGON” at San Francisco.
The “ERICSSON” has the distinction of being built in the very heart of the United States -at Dubuque, Ia., from which place she was brought to the seaboard by way of the Mississippi. It was in the design and construction of this remarkable quartette of big ships that the United States showed to the world that they had lost none of their former originality and skill in naval construction. The combined efforts of such men as Hichborn, Bowles, Melville, Sampson, and Harvey of armor plate fame, had produced in a brief half dozen years warships which, in power to steam far and fast and give and take the hard blows of a naval fight, were far in advance of anything afloat at that day.
The “COLUMBIA” today holds the naval record for continuous sea speed across the Atlantic, having crossed at the average rate of 18,41 knots for the whole distance; and on her trial trip she eclipsed all previous records for speed by maintaining an average of 22,8 knots on a four hours continuous trial. This performance secured for her builders a bonus of $350,000. Elsewhere in this number will be found a detailed description of the ships of this programme, and it must suffice us to say, in this article, that some of the improvements incorporated in the “INDIANA” -notably the use of Harvey steel- marked an advance in naval construction comparable only to the appearance of Ericsson´s Monitor, some thirty years before.
In the following year Congress was apparently satisfied to authorize the construction of only one ship, the “MINNEAPOLIS,” a sister to the “COLUMBIA” She was built at the same yard and achieved a speed of 23,07 knots on a four hours trial run.
The year 1892 was marked by the authorization of one sea-going battleship and one armored cruiser. The result is seen in the “IOWA” and the “BROOKLYN”.
The “IOWA” is of 11,340 tons displacement and about 16 knots speed, as against 10.288 tons displacement for the “INDIANA” type. Her armor was lighter, but of greater resisting quality; and to give her better sea-going qualities she was given higher freeboard, her forward 12-inch guns being carried about 8 feet higher than those of the “INDIANA” The “BROOKLYN” is an enlarged “NEW YORK” Her displacement is 9.215 tons; speed, 21,91 knots, and protection is afforded by a belt of 3-inch steel associated with a deck of steel from 3 inches to 6 inches in thickness. Like her prototype, she carries a main armament of 8-inch guns, of which she has 8 disposed in four steel turrets; she also carries twelve 5 inch rapid-fire guns. These are two of the most popular ships of the new navy, and are probably the best known of our later war vessels in Europe, the “NEW YORK” having represented this country at Kiel at the opening of the Baltic Ship Canal, the “BROOKLYN” doing duty at the Jubilee naval review last year in Great Britain.
In 1893 Congress authorized the construction of three gunboats, the “NASHVILLE” “WILMINGTON” and “HELENA” each of 1.392 tons displacement and from 15 to 16 knots speed. They are given considerable beam and shallow draught and are designed for operations in shallow harbors and rivers, for which purpose, also, they are furnished with twin rudders of considerable area.
In this year, also, authority was given to construct a submarine torpedo boat of the Holland type. This craft; is nearing completion at the Columbian Iron Works, Baltimore, and for details of her construction the reader is referred to the illustrated description given elsewhere in this issue. In the following year the navy secured the very modesty addition of three torpedo boats, the “FOOTE,” “RODGERS” and “WINSLOW,” each of 148 tons and 24 ½ knots speed. The contract was given to the Colombian Iron Works, Baltimore.
In 1898 the good work of building up our first line of battle was again taken up, an appropriation being authorized for building the two first-class battleships “KENTUCKY” and “KEARSARGE,” each of 11,525 tons and 16 knots speed.
These fine ships, which have just been launched, are armed like their predecessor with 13 inch and 8 inch guns, the latter being superimposed upon the former in double-deck turrets. They carry an amidship broadside battery of fourteen 5-inch rapid-fire guns and mark a considerable advance in efficiency upon the earlier ships. The double-deck turrets were adopted after much debate among our naval experts, and their performance will be watched with much curiosity.
In the same year six light-draught gunboats of composite construction were ordered, which are known as the “ANNAPOLIS” class. They are of 1,000 tons displacement and carry a battery of 4 inch rapid fire guns. Our torpedo boat flotilla was also strengthened by the addition of three torpedo boat destroyers, the “PORTER” “DUPONT” and “ROWAN” of 27 ½ knots speed and about 190 tons displacement.
These were our first attempts in the direction of the larger and faster types of torpedo boats, and the “PORTER” achieved a speed of 28,63 knots, or 1,13 knots in excess of her contract speed. The contract for the “PORTER” and “DUPONT” was let to the Herreshoff Company, Bristol, R. I., and the “ROWAN” was allotted to the Moran Brothers Company, of Seattle.
In 1896 the authorizations were made for a building programme which is now well under way. Its most important feature is the three powerful sea-going battleships “ALABAMA,” “ILLINOIS,” and “WISCONSIN,” of 11,525 tons displacement and……. speed. These ships have the high freeboard……..characterizes the “IOWA,” but their batteries…….powerful, consisting of four 13-inch rifle……..6 inch rapid-fire guns disposed on two decks. The belt, barbette and casement armor is of face hardened Harvey steel, and the protection if probably the most complete that was ever put…….battleship. The “ALABAMA” is being built………the “ILLINOIS” by the Newport News……….Company, and the “”WISCONSIN” by the Union Iron Works. In the same year contracts were let for the construction of three first-class torpedo boats of 30 ½ knots, three of 22 ½ knots and four of 20 knots speed. The competition for the construction of this batch of torpedo boats brought into the field another Pacific coast firm, Wolff & Zwicker, of Portland, Oregon.
The torpedo boat fleet was increased in the following year by the authorization of three large and fast destroyers, the “STRINGHAM,” the “GOLDSBOROUGH” and the “BAILEY.” The first of 340 tons displacement and 30 knots speed and the other two of 247 and 235 tons and 30 knots speed.
The appropriation recommended on April 1 of this year calls for the construction of three first-class battleships of 12,000 tons displacement; twelve torpedo boat destroyers and twelve torpedo boats. The addition of twenty-four torpedo craft fills a serious gap in the otherwise very complete classification of the ships of the United States navy. Judged by the proportions adopted in the other navies of the world, we have always been weak in the matter of torpedo boats and destroyers. When the programme of construction above given has been completed, however, we shall possess a fleet of twenty-six torpedo boats and twenty destroyers of from 29 to 31 knots speed.
At the opening of this brief historical review of the navy we found that America was practically unrepresented upon the high seas. At its close we find her possessed of a small but compact and homogeneous fleet containing some of the most efficient ships in the world. In 1883 we were not merely without the ships, but without the tools, the plant or the knowledge necessary to their construction. The task of creating a modern navy involved the task of creating the costly plant for the manufacture of ships, guns and armor. The double duty was confidently undertaken, and, working with a free hand, we have taught the nations of the old world better and cheaper methods of manufacture, and have thereby repaid many times over the assistance and suggestions which were rendered in the earlier years of our progress.
The Construction and Classification of Modern Warships.
The modern warship is an ever popular subject with the readers of the illustrated press. This is proved by the tenacity with which guns, ships and armor hold their place as conspicuous subjects for the pen and the brush. It is a question, however, in spite of the familiarity of the public with the technical phraseology of the warship, whether the average reader has a very accurate idea of the distinctions between the various classes of ships and between the various elements from the combination of which these ships derive their distinctive class characteristics. He is told that the “IINDIANA” is a battleship, the “BROOKLYN” an armoured cruiser, the ”COLUMBIA” a protected cruiser, and the “PURITAN” a monitor. But it is probable that he has only a vague idea as to what qualities it is that mark the distinction, or why the distinctions should need to exist at all.
With a view to answering these questions in a general way, we have prepared three diagrams and a perspective drawing which show the constructive features of the several types of warship to which we have referred above. In diagrams 1 to 3 the armor is indicated by full black lines or by shading, the approximate thickness of the armor being shown by the thickness of the lines and the depth of the shading. The fine lines represent the unarmored portions or the ordinary plating of the ships. In the perspective view the armor is shown by full lines and shading and the ordinary ship plating by dotted lines.
When the naval architect sits down at his desk to design a Warship of a certain size, he knows that there is one element of the vessel which is fixed and unalterable, and that is her displacement. By displacement is meant the actual weight of the ship, which is, of course, exactly equal to the weight of water which she displaces. This total weight is the capital with which the architect has to work, and he uses his judgement in distributing it among the various elements which go to make up the ship.
Part is allotted to the hull, part to the motive power, part to the armor protection, part to the guns, and part to the fuel, stores, furnishing and general equipment.
It is evident that the allotment of weights is a matter of compromise, whatever excess is given to one element must be taken from another else, the ship will exceed the given displacement.
Among the elements above mentioned there are some, such as weight of hull, provisions, stores, and furnishing, which for a given size of ship will not vary greatly. There are other elements, such as guns, armor, engines and fuel-supply, which may vary considerably in different ships, according to the type of vessel that is produced. If, for instance, the architect is designing an extremely fast ship of type No. 1, which has a speed of 23 knots, he will have to allot such a large amount of weight to the motive power that he will only be able to give the ship very slight armor protection and a comparatively light battery of guns. If he wishes to produce a fast ship that shall be more heavily armed and armored, he has to be content with less speed, says 21 knots, as in No. 2, and the weight so saved on the motive power appears in the shape of a side belt of armor at the water line, more complete protection for the guns in the shape of barbettes and turrets and considerably heavier armament. If, again, he desires to produce a ship capable of contending with the most powerful ships in line of battle, as in No. 3, he is content with much lower speed, say 16 or 17 knots an hour, and he increases the power of his guns until they weigh over 60 tons apiece, and protects them with great redoubts and turrets of steel 1 ½ feet thick, besides protecting his water line in the region of the engines and boilers with a belt of steel of the same dimensions.
The swift and lightly armed and armored ship is known as a protected cruiser; the less speedy but more heavily armed and armored ship belongs to the armored cruiser type, and the slowest ship, with its capacity for taking and giving the heaviest blows that modern guns can inflict, is known as a battleship.
In the construction of a warship the two qualities of attack and defense have to be supplied. The offensive powers are furnished by the guns, the torpedoes and the ram; the defensive powers are provided by giving the ship a complete double bottom and an abundance of watertight compartments, and by providing it with as much armor plating as it will carry to keep out the shells of the enemy. The greatest danger to which a warship is exposed is that of being sunk either by under-water attack by torpedoes or the ram, or by being penetrated at the water line by heavy shell-fire.
The destructive force of a torpedo is so great that all that can be done is to localize its effects. For this purpose, and also to give greater structural strength, the hull below the water line is built double —a hull within a hull. The longitudinal and transverse plate framing of the ship is built in between these shells, which are known as the inner and outer bottoms, and the space is thus divided into innumerable watertight compartments or cells. There is a possibility that a blow that would burst in the outer shell might not rupture the inner shell ; but if it should, the inflow of water is confined to a limited portion of the hull by dividing the latter by transverse and longitudinal walls or bulkheads of plating. A blow that burst in both outer and inner shells would only admit water to one of many compartments, and the ship would still have a large reserve of buoyancy.
In protecting warships against shell-fire it is recognized that there are certain parts of the ship which are of paramount importance, inasmuch as their disablement would leave it at the mercy of the enemy. These are the “vitals” of the ship, and they comprise the magazines, the boilers, the engines and the steering gear. If a shell penetrated the magazines, it would be liable to result in the blowing up of the whole ship, and if it entered the boiler, engine or steering rooms, it would probably render the ship unmanageable, in which event she would run the risk of being rammed and sunk by the enemy.
In all warships the vitals are covered by a complete protective deck of steel, which varies in thickness from 1 ½ to 3 inches. The highest part of the deck is generally at a slightly higher level than the water line amidships, and it curves down at each end to meet the bow and the stern.
In the battleships this deck is generally flat from side to side amidships for about two-thirds of the ship’s length. At the sides it rests upon a wall of vertical armor from 15 to 18 inches in thickness, which extends in the wake of the magazines, engines and boilers. This side armor is usually about 7 ½ feet in height, 3 feet of it being above and 4 ½ feet below the water line. At each end of the side armor a transverse wall of armor extends clear across the ship. This rectangular wall with its roof of 3 inch steel thus forms a kind of inverted box, snugly sheltered below which are the before mentioned “vitals” of the ship. At each end of this inverted box two huge barbettes, with walls 15 to 17 inches thick, are built up to a few feet above the main deck, and just within and above them revolve a pair of turrets with walls of 15 to 17 inch steel. (See perspective view.)
The turrets give shelter to the big guns, of which there are a pair in each, and the barbettes protect the turning gear by which the turrets are rotated. There is thus a continuous wall of 15 to 17 inch steel extending from 4 feet below the water line to the roofs of the turrets.
With this description in mind the reader will see, on looking at diagram No. III., that before heavy shells can injure the engines, boilers or guns, they must pass through from 15 to 18 inches of solid and, in the case of American battleships, face-hardened Harvey steel.
The 6-inch and 8-inch guns are protected by 6 and 8 inches of steel.
Now it can readily be understood that all this amount of heavy armor and guns adds greatly to the weight of the ship, and for this reason, in spite of her smaller engine power, a first-class battleship rarely displaces less than 10 000 tons. and in some foreign navies the displacement runs up to nearly 16,000 tons, This will be understood by reference, to the perspective view, where the armored portions of the ship are indicated by full lines and shading, the ordinary shell plating being dotted It will be seen that all that part of the ship lying below the water line is shut in by a continuous roof of steel which is 3 inches in thickness forward and aft of the bulkheads. Over the central armored citadel it is 2 ¾ inches thick. All the plating indicated by dotted lines might be shot away without the “vitals” suffering injury or the ship being sunk. The reader will see that it is its loftier sides and the extra deck and freeboard which they provide which constitute practically the difference between a battleship and a monitor.
This brings us to the consideration of the monitor type. Take away from a battleship all that portion which is shown, in our drawing in dotted lines above the water line; lower the barbettes until they rise only a few feet above the steel deck, and we have a ship of the general monitor type. The monitor is distinguished by very low freeboard -only a few inches in the extreme type- the absence of a heavy secondary battery and the possession of a main armament of heavy guns.
Such a ship labors heavily in bad weather and is not intended for service at any distance from the coasts.
To make a seagoing vessel out of her it would be necessary to add one, or even two decks, placing the guns well up above the water, after which changes she would be no longer monitor, but seagoing battleship.
In the cruiser type the protective deck does not extend across the ship at one level, but curves down to meet the hull at a point several feet below the water line. This sloping portion is made thicker than the flat portion, as in diagram No. II., where the deck is 3 inches thick on the flat and 6 inches on the slopes. In the case of the armored cruisers, a belt of vertical armor is carried at the water line and in all cruisers the V-shaped space between belt and sloping deck is filled in wife coal or with some form of water-excluding material, such as cornpith cellulose. In diagram II., which represents the fine armored cruiser “BROOKLYN,” it will be seen that before it could reach the engine room a shell would have to pass through 3 inches of vertical steel, about 6 feet of coal and 6 inches of inclined armor -a total resistance equal to 14 or 15 inches of solid steel. The guns and turning gear are protected by 5 ½ inch steel turrets and 8 inch barbettes. The barbettes, it will be seen, do not extend continuously down to the armored deck, as in the battleship, for this would require a greater weight of armor than can be allowed.
Consequently, the architect is only able to furnish the guns with a small armor-plated tube for protecting the ammunition in its passage from the magazines to the barbettes.
In the protected cruiser the side armor at the water line disappears altogether, and dependence is placed entirely upon the sloping sides of the protective deck, the water-excluding cellulose and the 6 or 8 feet of coal which is stowed in the bunkers in the wake of the engines and boilers. The barbettes, turrets and armored ammunition tubes of the armored cruiser disappear, and their place is taken by comparatively light shields and casements of 4 inch steel which serve to protect the gun crews.
It will be seen from the above description that each class of vessel is only fitted to engage ships of its own type. The protected cruiser “COLUMBIA” (No. I.) might, with her light 6 and 4 inch guns, hammer away all day at the “INDIANA” (No. III.) without being able to do much more than knock the paint off the latter’s 18-inch armor, whereas one well-directed shot from the 13-inch guns of the “Indiana” would be sufficient to sink or disable the “COLUMBIA.” The ” BROOKLYN” would fare better, and at close range her 8-inch guns might happen to penetrate the belt or turret armor of the “INDIANA,” but the issue of the duel would never be in doubt for an instant. A “COLUMBIA” or a “BROOKLYN” would show its heels to an “INDIANA” or “MASSACHUSSETS,” and their great speed would give them the option of refusing or accepting battle with almost any craft that is afloat upon the seas to-day.
It should be mentioned, in conclusion, that the dividing lines in the classification of warships are somewhat flexible. We may find a battleship like the 12.320-ton “YASHIMA” (Japanese), with a trial speed of 19 ½ knots. On the other hand, we see cruisers like the “VISCAYA” (Spanish), with a 12-inch belt and carrying heavy guns of 11 inch caliber.
The battleship and the cruiser of a modern navy hold the same mutual relation as the three-decker and the swift frigate in the days of the sailing ship. When a fleet set sail in the olden days to find the enemy and bring him to battle upon the high seas, the heavy and somewhat slow line-of-battle ships kept together in a methodical formation, while the frigates cruised at a distance of several miles, where they could report the first appearance of the enemy and signal to the main fleet his position and manouvers. When the main fleets had been brought within striking distance, the brunt of the battle fell upon the three-deckers. To-day the swift protected cruiser will perform the same duties for the heavily armored and more cumbrous battleships. When the attack takes place, it will be the battleships and armored cruisers that will decide the issue. Hence the battleships will constitute a nation’s main line of offense and defense upon the sea. A cruiser will avoid engagement with a battleship—it will be no disgrace to her if she shows it a clear pair of heels, trusting to her great speed for safety; for she could neither hope to pierce the armor not resist the great guns of the heavier ship.
The battleship (see Fig. 3, page 3) is built to fight.
It is designed with this sole object in view, and it must be prepared to fight at any time, and if need be, against big odds. It has great offensive power and equally great powers of resistence.
There has been only one great naval fight between modern warships –the battle of Yalu, between the Japanese and Chinese fleets- and the most, by far the most, important fact developed by that engagement was the correctness of the theories upon which modern battleships are designed. The brunt of the Japanese attack fell upon two somewhat antiquated battleships, the “TING YUEN” and “CHEN YUEN,” and for several hours the swift Japanese cruisers circled around these two grim ships of war, pouring in a perfect hail of rapid-fire shells, with occasional shells from their great 66-ton guns; yet the two battleships came out of the fight with their armor and big guns practically intact. The same deadly concentration of shell-fire would have sunk a whole fleet of cruisers. Had the Chinese battleships been manned by better crews, the Yalu would have had another ending.
The new navy of the United States is relatively strong in battleships. We have now twelve first-class ships of this type either built, building or authorized, four, the “INDIANA” “MASSACHUSSETS,” “OREGON” and “IOWA,” are in commission; two, the “KENTUCKY” and “KEARSARGE,” are launched; three, the “ALABAMA,” “ILLINOIS” and “WISCONSIN,” are about half completed, and three others are authorized.
First-Class Battleship “INDIANA.”
The following description of the “INDIANA” will apply in almost all particulars to the sister ships “MASSACHUSSETS” and “OREGON,” the three ships having been built from the same plans.
A visitor on approaching the battleship “INDIANA” by water, as she lies at anchor in a roadstead, is first of all impressed with the power of destruction which is suggested by the gleam of the many pairs of long and powerful guns with which she fairly bristles. They are her distinguishing feature, and mark the “INDIANA” as the most powerful fighting machine in the world today. Not only is she able to give the hardest blows, but she could stand more hammering than any other ship. There are faster battleships, and bigger, but none that could hit so hard or endure so long.
Together with the “MASSACHUSSETS” and the “OREGON,” she was built for the defense of the maritime cities and harbors. The trio might aptly be termed the watch dogs of the coast.
Looking at her massive form, it is difficult to realize that she has greater bulk below than above water.
The floor of the outer shell of the hull lies 24 feet below the water line, and is some 348 feet long and 69 ¼ feet broad at its widest part. Within the outer shell, and 3 ½ feet distant from it, is an inner shell, each being watertight, and forming a complete ship’s hull in itself.
The space between the two is divided longitudinally by the plate frames (answering to the wooden ribs of the old three-deckers), which are riveted to both shells.
These lateral spaces are again subdivided by a, series of plate frames, or girders, which run the length of the ship, being riveted to the cross girders at the intersection, and also to the inner and outer “skin” of the ship. This arrangement cuts the space into small compartments, or “cells,” each separate and watertight.
The double bottom constitutes the below-water armor or protection of the ship against the torpedo, for while the explosion of these deadly weapons might break in the outer skin, the inner skin would possibly remain intact, and the flooding would be confined to the cells in the neighbourhood of the explosion.
If the inner skin should be broken, the inflow of water would be localized by the athwartship and longitudinal watertight bulkheads which extend above the water line.
The double skin rises to within 4 ½ feet of the water line, where it forms a shelf, upon which is carried a wall of Harvey steel armor 7 ½ feet high, 18 inches in thickness, and extending amidships for two-thirds of the length of the ship.
At each end of the side walls is a transverse wall of steel, slightly thinner, but of the same height.
The roof of this great rectangular fort is formed of 2 ¾ inches of steel, and down below its safe shelter are placed “the vitals,” that is, the engines, boilers and stores of shot and shell. Forward and aft, beyond the 18-inch side belt, the steel deck is extended in a gradual curve to meet the bow and stern. The 2 ¾ inch steel deck is known as the berth deck, and some eight feet above it is the main deck, which extends flush throughout the ship, and finishes the hull proper. The line of this deck may be easily traced in the illustration, page 1, showing the ship at anchor. Between the top edge of the 18 inch belt and the main deck the protection consists of 5 inches of steel, backed by some 10 feet of coal, which will together keep out all the rapid-fire shells and such of the heavier shells as are fired from long ranges, or strike obliquely to the armor—as many of them will.
If we walk along the main deck, to the starboard bow and look back, we get view shown on page 1. The most striking objects in this view are the muzzles of two of the 13-inch guns of the main battery, which show their black mouths protruding 23 feet through the ports of the revolving turret.
The turret consists of a solid circular wall. of steel 17 inches thick, which revolves upon a circular track, located just below and within the top edge of a circular steel fort or barbette 17 inches thick, which is built up from the 18-inch armor belt below. It will thus be seen that from the top of the turret down to 4 ½ feet below the water line there is a continuous wall of steel 17 and 18 inches thick for the protection of the gun crew, the turning machinery and the powder and shell.
In the uncertainties of war it is not likely that one shot in thirty that struck this turret would effect an ”entrance” and experience shows that not one-fourth of that number would probably score a hit in half a day’s fighting, if the battle of the Yalu is anything of a guide.
Just over the muzzle of the starboard gun is seen the turret sighting hood with its two horizontal and two vertical slots, or peepholes, from which the gunner watches the enemy, and by means of convenient levers, trains and fires the guns.
Peering over the main turret are seen the four forward 8-inch rifles, placed in pairs in two turrets, one on each side of the ship. The turrets are of 8-inch steel and revolve within barbettes of 10-inch steel, the offset in the outer wall, seen clearly in the illustration, showing the top edge of the barbette. Armored ammunition tubes pass from the barbettes down to the 2 ¾ inch steel deck before mentioned, for the passage of the powder and shell. Upon the main deck, and under and slightly to the rear of each 8-inch turret, is a 6-inch gun, which is arranged to deliver broadside and dead ahead fire.
If we take our stand at the stern and look forward, we see the same arrangement of turrets and guns; so that, with the exception of the pilot house, conning tower and mast, the after half of the ship above the main deck is a duplicate of the forward half.
To the rear of the forward 13-inch turret, and forming the base of the military mast, is the conning tower, which is plated with 12 inches of steel. Here the commander will take up his position when going into battle, and through the narrow horizontal slots to be seen just above the sighting hood of the forward turret, he will watch the enemy. Inside the conning tower is an elaborate arrangement of telephones, electric calls and speaking tubes, by which he can communicate with the engine rooms, the various gun stations and the steering room at the after end of the ship. This latter is situated for protection below the water line and beneath the shelter of the protective deck. When the ship goes into action, one man, snugly ensconced within this little steel cage, can lay his hand upon any part of the ship, controlling her speed, turning her right or left at will and concentrating her guns upon any weak spot in the enemy. Above the conning tower is the pilot house, from which the navigation of the ship is carried on except in the actual time of battle.
Upon the roof of the pilot house, one on each side of the mast, are two 100,000 c. p. search lights, and on the small platform, just above them, are the two controllers, by means of which the beam of light may be raised or lowered and made to sweep the full circle of the ship. On the same platform is one of the rangefinders, by which the distance of the enemy can be very accurately determined. A similar pair of search lights and a range finder are located on the over deck, above the after end of the bridge deck. One of our illustrations shows the after port search light and one of the 6-pounder guns. If the visitor descends to the berth deck and walks to the extreme forward end of the ship, he will find himself in the bow torpedo room, page 5. Immediately in front of him he will see the fixed launching-tube, which is built into the framework of the ship, parallel to its axis, and is inclined slightly downward to the water. Its outer end is closed with a cover plate shown in the view, page 1, above the water line at the bow.
Suspended from the ceiling are the 18 inch Whitehead torpedoes. When they are to be fired they are picked up by the chain hoists, run along the overhead tracks and lowered into the tube. The breech is then closed and the torpedo is discharged, either by compressed air or by a small powder charge.
The torpedo, which weighs 835 pounds, contains three compartments. In the first is the charge of guncotton, which is fired by contact when the torpedo strikes the mark; the second is charged with air at 1,300 pounds to the square inch pressure; and the third contains the little compressed air engines, which work the screw propellers. It is provided with horizontal rudders, by which it can be made to run at any desired depth. The act of discharging the torpedo starts the engines, and they will drive it for 400 yards at 30 knots or for 800 yards at 27 knots an hour. There is another fixed torpedo tube at the stern, and on each broadside there are two movable tubes—as shown in the smaller cut— which are fitted to the side of the ship with a ball and socket joint, and are capable of being trained on an object in the same way as the guns. The space between the main turrets is occupied by the superstructure deck and the bridge deck, upon the latter of which are stowed the lifeboats, gigs and steam pinnacles. On each side of the ship a powerful steam crane is provided, with sufficient reach to enable it to pick up a boat from the water, lift it 35 feet into the air, swing it round and lower it into position on the bridge deck. It is operated by a man who stands on a platform attached to the crane, where, by means of levers, he can control the various motions of lifting and turning.
A battleship, as we have already shown, is essentially a fighting machine, and when the designer has given her sufficient structural and armored protection to enable her to take her place in the first line of battle, his next object is to arm her with as many armor-piercing and rapid-fire guns as the limits of her displacement will allow. Judged by this double standard, the “INDIANA” is without a rival; for it is a fact which has never been disputed that she carries the heaviest armament of any ship afloat to-day. This preponderance of power is due to the eight 8-inch guns which are carried in four turrets flanking the two turrets of the 13-inch guns. They are an entirely novel feature in battleship design, and may be called the chief distinctive feature of this ship. The accepted type of battleship carries usually a main battery of four heavy guns disposed in two turrets, fore and aft, supplemented by a broadside secondary battery of 5 or 6 inch guns, the first being capable of piercing armor and the latter being used against the lightly armored or unarmored portions of the enemy. Thus the “CAMPERDOWN,” of the British navy, a ship of the same size as the “INDIANA,” and less effectively protected, carries four 67-ton guns of about the same power as the heavy guns of the American ship and a secondary battery of six 6 inch guns. Against this the “INDIANA” carries, in addition to her main and secondary batteries, the eight 8-inch armor-piercing guns above mentioned—a preponderance of power which should give her the victory in a naval duel.
Our illustrations show the various elements which go to make up the armament of the “INDIANA,” and the methods of mounting and handling the great guns. This especially in the case of the 13-inch guns, each of which weighs 67 tons, is a matter calling for great skill in design and workmanship: and so well has it been carried out that one man is able to raise or lower these great masses of metal, and swing them through an arc of 270°, by the manipulation of a few small handwheels and levers situated within the sighting station of the turret. The gun itself is mounted in a gun metal seating, to which it is strapped down by the four steel bands shown in the accompanying illustration.
The seating is arranged to slide in much the same way as the rest of a lathe upon its bed, upon the upper flanges of a massive steel frame, the forward end of which is hinged to the wall of the turret, the after end being carried by the plunger of a hydraulic ram, by means of which the gun with its carriage is raised or lowered to give the proper elevation. The guns are trained by turning the turret which carries them. This is effected by hydraulic engines located within the shelter of the barbettes, below the turret, operating a pinion, which engages a circular vertical rack bolted to the inside of the turret. To check the recoil of the guns, which represents an initial energy of over 36,000 foot tons, a recoil cylinder is mounted within the gun carriage, beneath the gun. It is filled with water, and is provided with a relief valve, which is automatically opened on the discharge of the gun. The plunger or piston is attached to the seating of the gun, and as the gun recoils the water is forced through the valve, the brake action being secured by the small size of the discharge valve. After being loaded the gun is run out to the firing position by admitting water under pressure at the back of the piston in the recoil cylinders.
In describing the process of loading and firing a 13 inch gun, it is necessary to descend below the steel protective deck to the handling room, shown in the second illustration, page 5, which is located immediately beneath the turret. It is square in form, and at each corner is a watertight door which leads to the ammunition rooms, where the powder and shell are stored in suitable racks. The charge is transferred to a cradle suspended from an overhead track and run out into the handling room, where it is unloaded into the ammunition hoists, of which there are two, one to each gun. Each hoist consists of a triple cage of three hollow cylinders, the upper two for the powder, which is done up in two sections, and the lower for the shell.
The two sections of powder weigh 550 pounds and the shell 1,100 pounds.
The cage is then run up to the breech of the gun by a hydraulic ram and steel wire ropes and pulleys, the speed of the hoist being six times that of the ram. When the shell is opposite the breech it is rammed into the gun by a telescopic hydraulic rammer, which can be seen in the first illustration, page 5, pivoted against the turret to the rear of the gun, the rammer being swung back against the turret wall when not in use. The two sections of powder are then rammed in after the shot, the breech plug, which is shown swung to the left clear of the gun, is thrust into the breech and locked, the firing attachment is screwed onto the stud, shown in the same illustration, within the plug, and the gun is ready for the gunner to lay and fire. The breech plug and the mechanism for opening and closing it are very ingeniously designed, and will bear a detailed description. To enable the plug to withstand the shock of discharge, which is as great against the plug as it is against the shell, it is provided with a powerful thread and screwed into the breech of the gun. After the thread has been cut in the lathe, three wide channels are cut across it, parallel to the axis of the plug, similar channels being cut across the thread in the breech. When the plug is inserted, it is placed so that the remaining thread on both plug and breech will enter the corresponding channels. After it is driven home the plug is given one-sixth of a turn, thereby bringing the threads into engagement and locking the breech. There is a great variety of breech mechanisms employed in different navies, and some of them are extremely complicated.
The system in use on the ll Indiana” is a recent design and a great advance upon previous methods. The three operations of unlocking the plug, withdrawing it upon the swinging tray, and throwing the tray round clear of the breech are performed by one man, by means of a crank shown on the right side of the gun. The first motions of the crank turn a gear which engages a rack on the periphery of the plug and gives it a one-sixth turn, thereby disengaging the threads ; the crank shaft then operates a screw, which thrusts the plug out upon the tray; and when this operation is complete another gear is engaged which swings the tray up on its hinges.
In the illustration, page 7, showing the breech of the 13-inch guns, will be noticed a ladder leading up to a plated, boxlike structure. This latter is the position occupied by the officer who lays and fires the guns. The top of the compartment projects above the roof of the turret, and is heavily armored. It is provided with two narrow vertical and horizontal slots at which two sighting telescopes are placed, one for each gun, as shown on page 4. The axis of the telescope is parallel to the axis of the gun which it represents, and the handwheels which operate the telescopes at the same time serve to work the hydraulic rams for raising and lowering the guns, so that the two are adjusted simultaneously. The turning gear of the turret is set in motion by means of the vertical wheel shown in front of the gunner. When the sights coincide with the object, the gun is fired by means of an electric button placed conveniently to hand.
Flanking the main turrets are the four 8-inch gun turrets, whose interior arrangements are very similar to those above described. These guns are carried at a great height above water—no less than 26 feet—and they would, therefore, be well out of reach of the heavier seas in stormy weather. This great command is a valuable feature in a sea fight— command in a gun being like length of reach in a boxer. The shell being delivered from so great a height would have a “plunging” effect, and would also be less liable to be deflected by striking the tops of the waves. The four 6 inch guns, page 7, are mounted below the 8-inch gun turrets, and on the main deck. The training is effected by means of a pinion and a circular rack, laid on the deck, both of which can be seen in the accompanying illustration. The elevation of the gun is accomplished by the worm and pinion, which meshes into a vertical circular rack, which can be seen attached to the go.
The last illustration on page 6 shows a part of the broadside rapid-fire 6-pounder battery and the hinged grated shelves on which the gunners stand, the shelves hanging down vertically when not in use. There are twenty of these effective little guns in all. They fire a 2 ¼ inch shell which is capable of penetrating over 3 inches of iron at a distance of 1,000 yards, and as each can deliver some twenty shots a minute, it can be seen that a torpedo boat would be roughly handled, and probably disabled, long before she could get near enough to discharge her torpedoes. There are also 6 1 pounder guns placed in the tops and on the superstructure. The weight, penetration, etc., of the guns is as follos: (see table)
In concluding our description of the armament of the “INDIANA,” it is gratifying to be able to state that the men behind her guns are excellent marksmen.
Word has recently come from Key West that in target practice two shots from a 13-inch gun were placed in succession through the same hole, and that it is a common thing for the target to be knocked to pieces at a range of several thousand yards.
First-Class Battleship “MASSACHUSETTS.”
The first-class battleship “MASSACHUSSETS” like her sister ship the “INDIANA” was launched at the famous shipyard of the Cramp Shipbuilding Company, Philadelphia. The two ships are identical except in a few minor particulars, the “MASSACHUSSETS” carrying three torpedo tubes, as against two on the sister ship, and her speed being about three-quarters of a knot greater.
The “INDIANA” has been so fully described as regards her construction, armor, guns and operation, that it would be superfluous to repeat the particulars. We shall, therefore, confine the present article to a description of the motive power. The handsome twin triple expansion engines, one of which is shown in the large engraving, page 8, were built by the Cramp Company from designs furnished by Chief Engineer George W. Melville. Before entering into a detailed description of these very successful designs, mention should be made of the important part which Mr. Melville and his highly efficient staff have played in the upbuilding of our steam navy. In no case, as far as we know, have the creations of this bureau failed to indicate a horse power in excess of the contract requirements, and in many cases the excess has been surprisingly large. Although this result has been directly due to the skill of the contractors, too much credit can scarcely be given to the Bureau of Steam Engineering for the part it has played in securing such gratifying results.
The handsome engraving to which we have referred was made from a photograph of one of the twin main engines of the “MASSACHUSSETS,” as they stood completed in the erecting shop at the Cramps shipyard. There are two vertical, direct acting, triple-expansion engines placed in separate watertight compartments, the engines being built exactly in duplicate. The cylinders are carried by inverted cast steel Y frames on one side and by hollow forged steel cylindrical columns on the other, which are bolted to a cast steel bed plate and strong) y sway-braced. The high pressure cylinders are fitted with working liners, and the intermediate and low pressure cylinders are steam jacketed on the sides and bottom. The diameter of the high pressure cylinder is 34 ½ inches, of the intermediate 48 inches, and of the low pressure cylinder 75 inches, the common stroke being 42 inches.
The pistons are dished steel castings, and the piston rods, 7 inches in diameter, are of forged steel, as are also the connecting rods, which are 6 5/8 inches diameter at the upper end and 8 ½ inches diameter at the lower end. The crossheads are of forged steel and they are provided with manganese bronze slippers faced with white metal. The eccentrics are of cast iron, the straps of composition and the rods of forged steel. The steam reversing engine, with 14-inch by 20-inch cylinder, is connected to an arm on the reversing shaft, and the hand reversing gear, consisting of wheel, worm shaft, pinion and rack, is also connected to an arm on the reversing shaft. At the forward end of the main engine will be noticed the engine for turning over the main shaft. It is attached to the frame of the high pressure cylinder and has a pair of cylinders 7 inches diameter by 7 inches stroke. It turns a worm on its main shaft, which in turn operates a vertical worm shaft gearing to a, large worm wheel on the shaft of the main engine as shown.
There are two main condensers in which the circulating water passes through the tubes, the total cooling surface being 12,710 square feet, and in each engine room there is a Wheeler condenser connected with the auxiliary exhaust pipes. Each main engine is supplied with a Blake double vertical single acting air pump in which the steam cylinders are placed directly over the pump cylinders, the pump and piston rods being in one length. For each condenser there is a double inlet centrifugal circulating pump which drew from the sea, bilge and main drain-pipe and may discharge into the condenser or overboard. These pumps have each a capacity of 9,000 gallons per minute.
They are driven by single cylinder, horizontal engines with cylinders of 6-inch stroke and 12-inch diameter.
The shafting is hollow and of forged steel. The line shafting is in two sections and is supported on three bearings. The propeller-shafts are fitted with a composition casing from just inboard the stern tube shafting box to the propellers. The thrust bearings are of
cast iron and are of the horseshoe pattern.
The propellers are of manganese bronze and are three bladed. The pitch is variable, from 14 feet 8 inches to 16 feet 3 inches. The bosses are secured to the shaft by a feather key and a steel nut which is screwed on and locked in place.
There are six steel boilers, four double-ended main and two single-ended auxiliary, all of the horizontal fire tube type. The former have eight and the latter two corrugated furnaces. The longitudinal joints are treble riveted, with double butt straps. The joints on the circumference are lapped and treble riveted. The furnaces are fitted with Cone’s patent shaking grate bars. The steam pressure is 160 pounds. The shell plating of the main boilers is 1 19/64 inches thick; the diameter is 15 feet and the length 18 feet. The tubes are 2 ½ inches outside diameter and their total heating surface is 3.647,5 square feet, the total heating surface of each boiler being 4.310 feet. The closed stokehold system of forced draught is employed, and air is supplied by ten Sturtevant blowers.
The work that has to be done by the boilers is understood when it is borne in mind that, in addition to supplying the main engines of over 10,000 horse power, they must supply steam for 86 auxiliary engines, or a total of 158 cylinders.
The official trial consisted of two runs in opposite directions, over a measured distance of 31 miles, with a smooth sea and generally favourable conditions. The draught of the “MASSACHUSSETS” was 23,79 feet forward and 34,38 feet aft, and her displacement 10,365 tons. The average speed was 16,21 knots. The revolutions per minute were for the starboard engine 132,3 and for the port engine 133,06.
The boiler pressure was 163 pounds and the pressure at the engines 155,6 pounds.
The total indicated horse power was 10.402,6, and a maximum horsepower of 11.440 was indicated during fifteen minutes of the run to the south.
The boilers gave great satisfaction and there was no tendency to prime. The main engine ran without any heating of consequence, and it was necessary to use but little water. A careful examination was made of boilers and engines after the trial and all parts were found to be in excellent condition.
We are informed by Mr. George W. Melville, engineer-in-chief of the navy that circumstances prevented the carrying out of a trial for coal consumption of sufficient length to give reliable data.
First-Class Battleship “OREGON.”
The distinction of having built the first of the first-class battleships of our new navy belongs to two firms—the Cramp Shipbuilding Company, of Philadelphia, who constructed the “INDIANA” and the “MASSACHUSSETS,” and the Union Iron Works, of San Francisco, the builders of the “OREGON.”
The Eastern built ships are identical as to design, and the “OREGON” varies from them
only in a few insignificant details.
The Union Iron Works have played an important part in the creation of our modern navy, and considering the difficulties under which they labored in being so far removed from the great centers of the iron and steel industries, it is greatly to the credit of this enterprising firm that the ships turned out from its yards have shown such a uniform excellence. Like those of its great Eastern rivals at Philadelphia, its warships have shown a gratifying excess of speed over contract requirements, the most notable case being that of the protected cruiser “OLYMPIA,” which steamed 21,69 knots, as against the contract speed of 20 knots—a feat which, on the basis of $50,000 for every quarter knot excess, brought to the builders the handsome bonus of $300,000. Tills bonus, it may be mentioned, was exceeded in the case of the “COLUMBIA” and “MINNEAPOLIS,” built at the Cramps’ yard, the former winning $350,000 and the latter $414,600 for the contractors.
We have given such a full description of the sister ships “INDIANA” and “MASSACHUSSETS” (see pages 1 to 10) that it is unnecessary to reiterate the details in connection with the “OREGON.”
The contract speed of the “OREGON” was 15 knots per hour and the estimated horse power of the engines 9,000. For every quarter knot by which she exceeded the contrast speed the builders were to receive a bonus of $25,000, and for every quarter knot by which she fell below the contract a penalty of $25,000 was to be paid. On her trial she maintained an average of 16,79 knots, the engines indicating 11,111horse power, or 2,111 in excess of the estimate.
Our illustration of the ship, page 10, is reproduced from a photograph which was obtained during her trial trip under novel and hazardous circumstances. On account of the wide beam and somewhat bluff bows of a battleship, it rolls up a great bow wave when the engines are pushing the ship, as in this case, beyond the speed for which it was designed; and it occurred to an enterprising Californian photographer Mr. 0. V. Lange that the great onrushing ship with its bows smothered in a mass of boiling water would be a good subject for the camera. Arrangements were quietly made with the captain of a little tug to shoot across the “OREGON” bow as she came on at full speed, a plan of which the “OREGON’s ” commander had no knowledge. The vessels were almost together, and it was too late for the great ship to swerve either way, when the tug was seen moving directly across the course of the battleship, at whose stem a foaming wave was piled at times 12 feet high and spreading far on either side. The tug could not turn back, as the bow of the “OREGON” seemed about to bear directly down upon her, and there was consternation aboard the little vessel. The photographer says: “The “OREGON”’ seemed to he coming like a cannon ball, but I determined to get that picture if it was my last. I steadied my nerves a moment, glanced into the finder, and clicked the shutter. Then, with the camera under one arm, I ran to a stanchion and grasped it. The next moment there was a noise of rushing water and a violent whirling and pitching of the tug,” which, it was said, had escaped collision by the fraction of a second, the ship’s side flashing by within 10 feet…
(To be continued in Part II)

2 comentarios en “SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN SUPPLEMENT. SPECIAL NAVY EDITION. PART I

  1. Muy interesante pero la verdad, poco didactico, la mayoria de sus lectores no tienen los suficientes conocimientos de inglés y menos con vocabulario nautico. Me parece un error poner el articulo en original, ya se que requiere trabajo de traduccion, pero es necesario. Sus articulos eran interesantes, desde ahora menos, siento decirselo.

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