A Comparative Study of Dutch and British Ship Speeds from 1750-1850

Author(s): Patricia Schwindinger

Year: 2015


The paper compares the relative speeds of British and Dutch vessels from 1750 to 1850, using data from the CLIWOC (Climatological Database of the World’s Oceans) database. Originally compiled to extend the available information on weather patterns back into the ‘pre-instrument’ period, the database also includes information on the ships that recorded the data. Average daily speeds and maximum recorded speeds were analyzed for 250 unique Dutch ships and 485 unique British ships in order to identify for trends over time and to compare the two nationalities. A steady improvement in ship design was evident throughout the period, with a sharp increase in speed visible in British ships after the introduction of copper plating in 1780. Dutch East India Company (VOC) ships showed less improvement prior to 1800 as the Company failed, but the gap between nationalities was closed after 1800. 

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A Comparative Study of Dutch and British Ship Speeds from 1750-1850. Patricia Schwindinger. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434182)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 146