- The Last of the Windjammers - Two Volumes With Illustrations and Plans
Brown, Son & Ferguson Nautical Publishers, Glasgow Scotland UK, 1969 and 1970.
Reprint: two volumes, quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titling, blind-stamped upper board titles and endpaper maps; 966pp. [518pp. + 448pp.], with two monochrome frontispieces, 167 plates likewise and many monochrome schematics, many folding. Minor wear; text block edges spotted, especially the top edges; previous owner's ink inscription to the half-title page of Volume 2. No dustwrappers. Near fine else. The publishers describe this book as 'a real book of the sea'; with its broad scope geographically, economically and technically. In his usual style Lubbock combines anecdotes, ships log extracts, newspaper reports, personal interviews, photographs and clear general arrangement drawings and rigging plans of the sailing ships dating from the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 to the early 1920s. Chapters are included on the life and personnel in Sail; the History of Cape Horn, vessels in the big Sailing Ship Trades such as Jute Clippers and Grain Carriers; Small Fry - Swansea Copper-ore-men, Clipper Barques; intercolonial and South Sea Traders, Fruit Schooners and Fish Carriers. The second volume tackles the Last Boom in Sail - the Lime-juicers of 1888-9 - The Carriers of the Nineties and the Square Riggers of the Twentieth Century. Inimitably, Lubbock writes: 'Under the stimulus of steam competition sail came to its perfection. No more beautiful ships were ever launched than the iron clippers of the seventies and the medium clippers of the eighties. Probably the most perfect of composite clippers was the Adelaide passenger ship Torrens, which was not launched until 1875, whilst the American Cape Horners, which were turned out by Down East shipwrights throughout the eighties, were the very last word in wooden ship construction. ...By 1880.. steamships had passed the sailing ships' total with 408 ships built and a tonnage of 485,661 tons as against sail's 59,845. There were, of course, many other factors in this eclipse, but undoubtedly the Suez Canal was a knock-out blow for sail... When the Suez Canal was opened in the autumn of 1869, the Seven Seas were covered with sailing ships of every description, and deep water voyages to the other side of the world were being made by vessels which were no larger than the familiar coasting schooner. It was no unusual thing to see 300 sail held up in the Downs or the chops of the Channel by a long continuance of head winds and there are still many living who can remember the forest of masts and yards from ships in the docks and Pool of London showing like delicate spiders' webs against the hazy city sky... Coasting craft, brigs, snows, brigantines, schooners, ketches and cutters abounded in every port, however small. Large fleets of magnificent sailing trawlers and drifters worked the Channel and the North Sea, whilst smaller smacks, such as the Cornish luggers and Fifeshire scaiths, dotted the British seas with their tanned sails. Even the highest powered steamers were not the unsightly objects they have since become, for they had clipper lines, fiddle bows and rounded sterns, were mostly barque rigged and set their canvas at every opportunity. In those days the holiday-maker at the seaside had every variety of rig to feast his eyes upon, and the marine artist had a difficulty in choosing a subject from the mass of material presented wherever he went." - the author
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