The English have the advantage of us in regard to iron ships was well as wire rigging, on account of the cheapness of material. Iron ship are increasing in number in England, and in many respects they are superior to wood, but they can not be built here until iron becomes cheaper. An iron ship in England cost only about the same as a first-class wooden ship, but in the United States would probably cost three times as much as a wood-built ship. The depreciation on an iron ship is much less than one of wood, and when the iron vessel is worn out, the old material will go far towards paying for new. These are important considerations. There is no one thing which we so much need, as the ability to produce iron as cheaply as England. We have the crude materials in abundance, cropping out on the surface of the earth instead of being compelled to dig hundreds of feet deep for it, but we need the skill and the labor which is requisite.
Updated 1996-10-05 by Lars Bruzelius
Sjöhistoriska Samfundet | The Maritime History Virtual Archives.
Copyright © 1996 Lars Bruzelius.