The influence of industrial technology and material procurement on the design, construction and development of H.M.S. Victory
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The aim of this paper is to show how industrial technology and material procurement influenced the development of British warship design and construction for the period 1760 to 1830 using the construction of HMS Victory as and archaeological base to work from. While much has been written about ship construction, technology and materials, these subjects have to some degree remained divorced from each other and thus need to be analysed collectively. To achieve this, this dissertation has been formulated into two parts; Part I covers the initial orders to build the Victory, the concepts of ship design, construction technique, and the materials employed when she was initially built. It also covers the designer and his contribution to ship development at the period and the possibility that he was influenced by current French shipbuilding practices. In brief, this section highlights the implications and possible inadequacies of general ship design in C.1760. Part II discusses the actual technological and constructional development of the Victory throughout her active career. The issues raised through this examination show that she very much reflects general ship development at the time. Besides endorsing the significant influence of industrial expansion, this section also emphasises the point that much can be learnt by analysing the ship using the same techniques as employed on an archaeological site. Sadly, the latter point has long been neglected, therefore, one of the objectives of this paper is to demonstrate that by archaeological investigation of individual timbers, a new dimension can be added to our understanding of structural development and building practices. To achieve this, I have chosen to examine HMS Victory as the most suitable three dimensional source, as her active working life falls within the dates specified above.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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