Merchant Ships

Jun 30, 2012

In the words of Joseph Conrad when speaking of the great merchant sailing ships of the late 19th century:

“Fifty hulls at least, moulded on lines of beauty and speed – hulls of wood, of iron, expressing in their forms the highest achievement of modern ship-building – lay moored all in a row, stem to quay, as if assembled there for an exhibition, not of a great industry, but of a great art. Their colours were grey, black, dark green, with a narrow strip of yellow moulding defining their sheer, or with a row of painted ports decking in warlike decoration their robust flanks of cargo-carriers that would know no triumph but of speed in carrying a burden, no glory other than that of long service, no victory but that of an obscure and endless contest with the sea!” (Extract from The Mirror of the Sea, by Joseph Conrad, 1906).
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