Home >> Chamber's Encyclopedia, Volume 4 >> Abraham Cowley to Cobra Da Capello >> Clipper


speed and americans

CLIPPER is a name familiarly given to a ship built expressly for speed. The require ments of trades in which the merchandise carried was of a perishable nature, and ren dered a quick passage desirable, were probably among the first causes which directed scientific attention to the lines of vessels for the purpose of ascertaining the form adapted to offer least resistance to the water. For many years the fruit-clippers have been cele brated for their rapid passages; and the opium-clippers, and slavers, have attained an unenviable notoriety for speed. The modifications of the old form of vessel have been gradual, the desideratum aimed at being the combination of the greatest carrying capa city with the form best adapted for speed. Perhaps the most successful improvements have been those of the Aberdeen builders, the Americans, and Mr. Scott Russell. A C.,

as compared with an ordinary sailing-ship, is longer and narrower (though of late the tendency has been to increase the beam); very sharp at the bows, which are generally hollowed more or less below the water-line; gracefully fined away towards the stern, which is usually elliptical; and, altogether, presenting the contrast of the race-horse to the beast of burden. Some of the C. ships now running from Liverpool to America and to Australia are among the most magnificent vessels in the world. The Lightning, during a voyage from 3Ielbourne to Liverpool, ran 2,530 English miles in one week, or at the rate of 151 m. an hour during the whole period. The Americans have fully done their part in introducing rapid C. ships, both for ocean and for river navigation, for steamers and for sailing-ships.