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FYI: Ships

Shira Yehudit Djilimand

Watching a huge ship elegantly and effortlessly glide its way through the ocean is an impressive sight. And when you learn more about these conquerors of the seas, you’ll be even more impressed!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

 Probably the first boats built by man were simple dugouts — hollowed out from entire tree trunks. The Ancient Egyptians used long narrow boats with lots of oarsmen rowing, and then added cotton sails to make the boats go fast. The Romans’ improved ship design allowed them to make ships big enough to carry a thousand people! Then came the time of the Vikings. Their famous longships, long and slim, often with a bow carved in the shape of a dragon, terrorized northern Europe in their raids. 

The Middle Ages was the age of carrack and caravels, galleons, and galleys. When Columbus and Magellan set off on their great journeys, they were in caravels, swift but sturdy sailing ships.

The first iron ship was built in 1787 by the Englishman John Wilkinson. By the mid 1800s ocean-going iron steamships were in production, the ancestors of today’s shining steel giants. We’ve come a long way from dugouts!


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