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The Transition from Sail to Steam in Immigration to the United States

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    The transition from sailing ship to steamship is analyzed for European immigrants arriving at New York City. Based on information taken from the U.S. Passenger Lists, new estimates of the timing and length of the transition are provided. Though the accepted model suggests the changeover from sail to steam could occur in only a few years, it actually took about 15 years in the Europe to New York immigrant trade. The slow transition is found to be due to slow construction of new steamships given uncertainty concerning immigrant volume and new steamship technology.The most important change in nineteenth century emigrant transportation was that from sail to steam.Gunter MoltmannMoltmann, Steamship Transport, p. 311. the transition from sail to steam in the transatlantic immigrant trade was an event of enormous significance for the history of immigration.Maldwyn Allen JonesJones, American Immigration, p. 157.

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    Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal The Journal of Economic History.

    Volume (Year): 65 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 02 (June)
    Pages: 469-495

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    Handle: RePEc:cup:jechis:v:65:y:2005:i:02:p:469-495_00
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK
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