IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ucn/wpaper/201410.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Speed under Sail, 1750-1850

Author

Listed:
  • Morgan Kelly
  • Cormac Ó Gráda

Abstract

We measure technological progress in oceanic shipping by using a large database of daily log entries from ships of the British and Dutch navies and East India Companies to estimate daily sailing speed in different wind conditions from 1750 to 1850. Against the consensus, dating back to North (1958, 1968), that the technology of sailing ships was static during this period, we find that average sailing speed in a moderate breeze (the usual summer conditions in the North Atlantic) rose by one third between 1780 and 1830; with greater increases at lower wind speeds. About one third of this improvement occurs when hulls are first copper plated in the 1780s, but the rest appears to be the result of incremental improvements in sails, rigging, and hull profiles.

Suggested Citation

  • Morgan Kelly & Cormac Ó Gráda, 2014. "Speed under Sail, 1750-1850," Working Papers 201410, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201410
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/5617
    File Function: First version, 2014
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic history; Technology; Transport;
    All these keywords.

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201410. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/educdie.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Nicolas Clifton (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/educdie.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.