Saturday, March 31, 2012

Life Jackets

The crew are wearing Type V PFDs, also called "work vests." The coxswain
(driver) is wearing a Type III "float coat."
Some people just don't like life jackets. One morning I was helping passengers board an inflatable launch; in a few minutes they would all be on a sunny, isolated Mexican beach. But one guy just couldn't go along with our safety requirement to wear a PFD (personal flotation device) while in the boat.

"I've crossed the North Atlantic three times on a 40-foot boat without wearing a life jacket," he barked. "I don't see why I should have to wear one now."

We all waited while he grudgingly donned his life jacket, then we headed for the beach. All I had said was "I'm not allowed to get underway until everyone is wearing a life jacket." What I wanted to say was "You'd think you'd have learned by now."

But many people only learn the hard way. Earlier this month, Sheldon Olsen and his two-year-old son Jace disappeared while canoeing on Lake Limerick, Washington. The older Olsen's body was eventually found, but the toddler is still missing. Also found: the canoe, with two life jackets in it.

Type I PFDs, also called "offshore life
Aversion to life jackets is not limited to recreational boaters. Seeing a preview of the TV show Deadliest Catch once, I commented to a fellow crew member, and former commercial fisherman, that maybe the job wouldn't be so "deadly" if the crew working on deck were wearing life jackets. He replied that, in the cold Alaska waters where the Deadliest Catch boats work, you're going to die from hypothermia before you're going to drown. He was wrong, though. A crew member wearing a Type I PFD, the kind that keeps the wearer's head above water even when he or she is unconscious, will hold off hypothermia several times longer than someone without a PFD.

Keith Colburn, captain of one of the Deadliest Catch boats, insists that much of the footage show does not accurately portray conditions on the vessels most of time. As he told Chris Landry of the website Soundings
The most dramatic action, of course, usually makes it on the show. The “Deadliest Catch” often portrays the fishermen as “working in unsafe conditions, working unsafely and on the edge of capsizing at any given moment,” says Colburn. That’s simply not accurate, he maintains.
     “The mariners who work in the Bering Sea are prudent and professional and constantly working to minimize risk and maximize safety,” says Colburn, who has participated in the show for four years.
Colburn was selected to be the spokesman for the US Coast Guard's "Boat Responsibly" program in 2009, in part because he requires his crew to wear PFDs when on deck, even in calm water.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Misunderstood Mariners: Edward J. Smith (Re-post)

With the death of Millvina Dean on May 31, 2009 the last survivor of the Titanic disaster has passed on. A whole industry has grown up around the story of the Titanic and its captain, Edward J. Smith, an industry fueled by speculation, conspiracy theory, and outright falsehood.

Smith was born in England in 1850, and left school at age 13 to go to sea. He joined the the White Star Line, the line that would one day build the Titanic, in 1880 as Fourth Officer and seven years later was given his first command. He commanded larger and more prestigious ships as the years went on, along the way earning decorations, a rank of Commander in the Royal Navy reserve, and a reputation as the best and safest passenger liner captain in the world. The only major blemish on Smith’s career prior to Titanic was a September 1911 collision between the White Star Liner Olympic, which he commanded, and the British cruiser HMS Hawke.

Smith took command of the Titanic in 1912 and no sooner had the ship sailed on April 10 when quick action on his part helped avert a collision with the SS City of New York, which broke free of its mooring lines due to the surge caused by the Titanic’s passing. He was not so fortunate four days later: he was one of the roughly 1500 people who died when Titanic sank after striking an iceberg.

The popular image today is that of Smith going down with his ship, standing stoically on the bridge as the waters rose over his head, an image portrayed in the 1997 James Cameron film. One legend has him diving into the water with an infant in his arms, which he places on a lifeboat before swimming off to either die or look for more survivors. The last person know to have seen Smith alive was junior radio officer who says he saw the captain dive into the water from the bridge wing a few minutes before Titanic’s final plunge.

In terms of loss of life, Titanic was not the worst passenger ship disaster in history. More than 7,700 refugees, crew, and military personnel were killed on the German liner Wilhelm Gustloff when she was torpedoed by a Russian submarine in January 1945. Eighteen other liner disasters have higher casualty figures than Titanic’s. But the attention given this sinking was unequalled, and led to major reforms in maritime safety and eventually to the International Convention for the Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) that we operate under today.

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The Daily Telegraph: Titanic's Captain Edward Smith In Bed When Drunk When Shop Struck Iceberg.

Economic Times (India): Titanic Has No Survivors Left.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Armed Merchant Vessels

Armed guards on a merchant ship. Photo by Hanuma Bhakta
As shipping companies and maritime nations struggle to fight the ongoing threat of piracy, debate continues as to the best method for doing that. One of the most common suggestions is to arm the crews of vessels transiting dangerous waters, or hire private security forces to stand guard on vessels in these waters. The issue is far from settled, with opinions even among mariners divided, and the laws of various countries in conflict.

History of Armed Merchant Vessels. Arming privately owned vessels is not a new idea. Many merchant ships back to ancient times armed themselves against the threat of pirates or naval vessels of a hostile power. In Elizabethan England, ship captains were sent out with the express purpose of raiding enemy vessels; the Queen's privateers were the King of Spain's pirates.

This process became more formalized later with the concept of letters of marque and reprisal. These documents were charters authorizing merchant captains to arm themselves and attack enemy shipping or other targets on behalf of the issuing country. Even with such letters, the line between pirate and privateer was sometime still blurry: Capt. William Kidd was executed for piracy in 1701, despite insisting that he was acting under British authority.

The US Constitution specifically authorizes Congress to issue letters of marque and reprisal; it was considered a necessary expedient for a new nation with little or no naval power of its own.

The use of letters of marque and reprisal fell off following the Napoleonic Wars (the War of 1812 in the United States), as the world's great powers built larger navies and needed less help from merchant vessels. Increasing labor unrest and the reputation of merchant sailors as rowdy, drunken criminals also made governments wary of putting weapons into civilian hands. By the time of World War I, a special act of Congress was required to authorize merchant ships to sail armed. In both world wars, arming merchant vessels sailing into war zones was common practice.

The Modern Debate. Whether the modern piracy epidemic rises to the level of danger of the two world wars is behind the debate about arming merchant vessels today. Although some US mariners -- specifically those employed by the civilian Military Sealift Command -- have received small arms training for years, others balk at being armed, especially in light of ever-increasing regulatory, liability, and training requirements. Increasingly, the trend is to use private security forces, but the cost of these can run to tens of thousands of dollars a day.

Another issue is conflicting laws regarding armed persons on ships. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the world organization charged with standardization of maritime regulations, is against arming merchant vessels. Some large organizations of shipping companies were against armed vessels at first, but have softened their stance. Following the 2009 Maersk Alabama incident, the US Coast Guard began issuing guidance to US vessels for when and where to carry armed guards but other countries, notably South Africa, have detained both ships and crew caught carrying weapons for use against pirates. The International Chamber of Commerce notes that armed guards are not a complete defense against piracy, but should only be part of a larger plan: "If armed Private Maritime Security Contractors are to be used they must be as an additional layer of protection and not as an alternative to [best management practices]."

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Misunderstood Mariners: John F. Kennedy

The PT-109 crew, Kennedy at far right. US National Archives photo.
When John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States in 1960, he became the first Navy veteran to reach the country’s highest office. Many soldiers had been elected president, including George Washington and Kennedy’s predecessor Dwight Eisenhower, but Kennedy was the first sailor and, with the exception of Ronald Reagan, every president for the next 32 years would be a Navy veteran.

Kennedy was already in the Navy when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Back problems had kept him out of the Army, but his father’s influence got him a commission and a desk job in the Navy. With the coming of the war, Kennedy trained for service aboard patrol torpedo (PT) boats, and went on to serve in Panama, then the South Pacific.

The events of August 2, 1943 have become part of the Kennedy legend, and helped catapult him into international fame and, eventually, the White House. While on night patrol in the Solomon Islands, Kennedy’s PT boat, the PT-109, was cut in half after being rammed by a Japanese destroyer. Kennedy rallied his men and led them to a nearby island, towing his wounded second-in-command’s life jacket with his teeth. Except for the two crewmen lost in the collision, all were rescued a few days later.

Kennedy’s heroism in dealing with the loss of his boat was celebrated, but many questioned his judgment in getting the PT-109 into trouble in the first place. The boat’s radio was unmanned while many crewmembers rested, thus Kennedy was unaware of the larger situation that night. Kennedy’s handling of the PT-109 may have caused it to stall, resulting in the collision. Kennedy, while a popular commander, may have been a sloppy ship captain.

Whatever the truth, the PT-109 legend was a centerpiece of Kennedy’s political campaigns after the war. His actions after the PT-109 collision had earned him the lifelong loyalty of his crew: many appeared on a float in Kennedy’s inaugural parade next to a replica of the boat.

As President, Kennedy believed in a strong Navy. The now-famous SEAL teams were started during his administration. The Navy was key in his handling of the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. He said in a 1963 speech on board the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk that
Events of October 1962 indicated, as they had all through history, that control of the sea means security. Control of the seas can mean peace. Control of the seas can mean victory. The United States must control the seas if it is to protect your security...."

This is the second in a series of posts about presidents and near-presidents who had a nautical background, in honor of the US election this year.

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John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Muesum: Remarks at the US Naval Academy, August 1 1963

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Brendan

And then Saint Brandon bade the shipmen to wind up the sail and forth they sailed in God's name, so that on the morrow they were out of sight of any land. And forty days and forty nights after they sailed plat east, and then they saw an island far from them, and they sailed thitherward as fast as they could, and they saw a great rock of stone appear above all the water, and three days they sailed about it ere they could get into the place, but at the last by the purveyance of God they found a little haven and there went aland every each one. And then suddenly came a fair hound, and fell down at the feet of Saint Brandon and made him good cheer in his manner, and then he bade his brethren be of good cheer, for our Lord hath sent to us his messenger to lead us into some good place. And the hound brought them into a fair hall where they found the tables spread, ready set full of good meat and drink. And then Saint Brandon said graces, and then he and his brethren sat down and ate and drank of such as they found, and there were beds ready for them, wherein they took their rest after their long labour.
-- The Golden Legend: the Life of Saint Brandon
It is a source of Irish legend and pride: that 1000 years before Columbus a band of Irish monks led by an abbot named Brendan set out on a voyage of spiritual discovery that would instead lead to the first European contact with the Americas. To some the voyages of Brendan are a religious allegory, to others a stylized account of an actual group of brave and lucky voyagers, led by an extraordinary man.

The man who would become know as Saint Brendan the Navigator was born in AD 484 in southwest Ireland. After a short career building monastic cells, Brendan heard the story of Saint Barrid and his visit to the Island of Paradise. Accounts vary from there, but the basic story is that Brendan set out on a seven-year-long voyage, accompanied by fourteen monks (or sixty pilgrims), having many adventures. Among the most remarkable incidents is his coming ashore and celebrating Easter Mass on an island that turned out to be the sea monster Jasconius. Brendan also
  • discovers an Island Of Sheep where the voyagers stop for Holy Week
  • finds a “Paradise of Birds,” where the birds sing psalms
  • passed a silver pillar wrapped in a net
  • had rocks hurled at him by a mountain

Finally, Brendan and his companions arrived at “The Promised Land of the Saints,” a beautiful island divided by a great river.

The earliest known written version of the legend dates from the 1100s. Soon “Saint Brendan’s Isle” began appearing on nautical charts, first near the coast of Ireland, then moving westward and southward as time passed. By the 1700s, the island of “San Borodon” was reported to lie off the coast of Africa, in or near the Canary Islands.

Model of St. Brendan's carrach
Photo by Michealol
By this time, scholars were beginning to think Brendan’s voyages were more allegory than fact. The similarities to other Irish tales of the time, called immrams, and elements in common with other, clearly fictional tales, like those of Sinbad and Jason, led to the conclusion that whatever truth may lay at the core of Brendan’s story was covered by centuries of religious and folktale embellishment.

In 1976, British explorer Tim Severin set out to prove that -- whatever the truth of the tale -- it could have been done. Severin built a 36-foot carrach, the type of boat used by Irish mariners of the time, made from wood and leather. From mid-1976 to mid-1977, Severin sailed his craft from Ireland to Newfoundland, stopping along the way in the Hebrides and Iceland. Along the way he found many places with parallels to places in Brendan’s story, including the Island of Sheep and “Paradise of Birds in the Faroe Islands. Others have identified the "silver pillar" as an iceberg, and the mountains hurling rocks as the volcanoes of iceland.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Merchant Marine Cadet Corps

In the first century of US history, every merchant mariner in the United States came “up the hawespipe,” working his way up the chain of command from the lowest ranks on the ship. By the end of the nineteenth century, as the Age of Sail faded into the Age of Steam, demand for trained officers increased, leading Congress to step in. Starting in 1874, the Navy was authorized to lend ships to ports that wanted to train young men in “navigation, seamanship.” Schools in New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts were set up to take advantage of the new law, followed by institutions on every coast. Many of these schools remain merchant marine academies today.

Soon the schools were working with shipping companies to fill the demand for  trained officers. Under the 1891 Postal Aid Law, ships accepting government mail contracts were obligated to take on a cadet for each 1000 tons of a ship’s weight. The program was a mixed success: many cadets got little real training, being treated a free menial labor instead. On the other hand, many cadets used the program as a free ride to Europe or elsewhere and abandoned their ship once it reached a suitably exotic port.

When the US entered World War I, the Shipping Board set up a six-week program to train officers for the “Emergency Fleet,” the concrete-hulled ships built due to a shortage of steel. The program was so successful that soon its graduates were manning other ships, and by the time the program was phased out in 1921 it had produced nearly 11,00 officers.

The success of the World War I program, the failure of the Postal Aid Law, the disastrous fire on the Morro Castle, and the looming need for more mariners as Europe girded for war yet again, convinced the Roosevelt Administration that a direct federal hand was needed in providing America’s merchant vessels with officers. On March 15, 1938, the United States established the Merchant Marine Cadet Corps.

The first 99 cadets in the program trained on government-subsidized but privately-owned vessels in various ports. The Coast Guard took over running the program briefly after Pearl Harbor, then the War Shipping Adminstration. The war effort made apparent for a more centralized school with a permanent home, and in September 1943 the United States Merchant Marine Academy was established in King’s Point, New York. Schools were also established in San Mateo, California and Pass Christian, Mississippi, but both of those schools were closed with a few years.

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Monday, March 12, 2012

Monday Morning Mariner: Sailboats, The Jones Act, Gas Prices, & The Great Blizzard of 1888

Giles Martin-Raget/Americas Cup

On this date in 1888, a huge blizzard struck the northeast United States and adjacent areas of Canada. Snow piled up several feet in just three days, and winds blew 40 to 50 miles per hour with gusts up to 80 miles per hour. Four hundred people died, a quarter of whom were seamen on the more than 200 ships that were wrecked or driven aground. "A ship in port is safe, but that's not what ships are built for," goes the old saying attributed to Admiral Grace Hopper, but that's not always true.

Shipping out can be a dangerous occupation although, frankly, I feel safer on most ships than I do driving on most Interstate freeways. The insurance industry doesn't agree with me. When I recently went looking for private disability insurance, I found that many companies wouldn't even consider me because I was Class 1A or not eligible at all. So, I'm happy to have the Jones Act in place, even if I'm only covered when "in service of a vessel."

But, once again, the Jones Act is under attack. Last year the Congress approved, and President Obama signed, the America's Cup Act of 2011. When the world's premier yacht race series scheduled some of its events in Newport, Rhode Island and San Diego and San Francisco, California, the normally logjammed federal government found a way to get together on something. The Act allows yachts, support vessels, and other vessels to operate without Jones Act restrictions during the event, which runs through 2013.

On another front, gas prices threaten to become an issue in the 2012 presidential election and with rising prices come calls to rescind the Jones Act. Republican Newt Gingrich has made "$2.50 gas" a talking point of his campaign; last week following the Super Tuesday voting, Gingrich supporters could be seen waving signs decorated with that figure over a gas pump. It's unclear how rescinding the Jones Act would help lower gasoline prices, which are not based on supply but by investor reactions to political events in the Middle East, specifically the current saber rattling between Iran and the US and Israel. Once again, the Jones Act is being used as a political straw man.

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Ships Are Safe in the Harbour
(Author Unknown) 
All I live for is now
All I stand for is where and how
All I wish for are magic moments
As I sail through change
My resolve remains the same
What I chose are magic moments
Because ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are made for
The mind could stretch much further
But it seems that is not what our minds are trained for
We call for random order
You can't control Mother nature's daughter
Ships are safe in the harbour
But that is not what ships are built for
The witch hunter roams
The scary thing is that he's not alone
He's trying to down my magic moments
As we sail through change
Ride the wind of a silent rage
And sing laments of magic moments

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mysteries of the Monitor and Merrimack

March 8, 1862. The iron clad steamer Merrimac had come down from Norfolk, sunk the sloop of war Cumberland, fired a number of shots at the Congress. She surrendered and at night was set on fire. Both vessels were lying at Newport News. We stacked our arms and slept in the open air. About midnight the magazine on the Congress blew up with a terrific noise.
March 9. A lovely day today. (Sunday) This forenoon witnessed the naval battle between the rebel steamer Merrimac and the U. S. iron clad steamer Monitor and Minnesota. After 4 hours fighting the rebels retreated.
-- Eugene Goodwin, 99th New York Infantry Regiment

The Civil War Battle of Hampton Roads, fought 150 years ago this week, is often considered the beginning of the end for the wooden warship. The USS Monitor, with a crew of 59, fought the CSS Virginia (formerly the Union vessel Merrimac) with a crew of more than 300, in a battle that, while indecisive, proved the tremendous advantage an ironclad warship had over wooden vessels. Other aspects of this historic battle, however, are not  so clear.

The Ship Without A Captain. Lieutenant Catesby ap Roger Jones was executive officer of the Virginia. He had overseen the repair and refitting of the former Merrimac, but other Confederate officers senior to him wanted the captain’s post on board. To avoid an uncomfortable situation, the Confederate command just never got around to appointing a captain. Thus, Virginia entered the battle with Jones as acting captain only.

The Fog of War. Monitor’s orders were to defend the crippled Union warship Minnesota, which had been damaged by Virginia on March 8. On the morning of the 9th, Jones took Virginia back toward Minnesota, hoping to finish the job. At first he didn’t realize that Monitor was a warship, thinking her a barge carrying a boiler of some kind. As soon as he realized what he was dealing with, however, he ordered Virginia’s guns to fire, and the battle was on

For several hours, and at close range, the two ships fired on each other. Neither had been sent into battle with the proper ammunition for penetrating a metal hull, however. Finally, Virginia fired a shot that blinded the captain of the Monitor, who was the only person who could see to direct the movement of the vessel. Monitor withdrew so the ship’s second-in-command could move into the observer position, but by the time she returned, Virginia has withdrawn as well, Jones thinking he had won the day.

Who Won The Battle? Both sides claimed victory, but at the time the Battle of Hampton Roads was not about the ironclads, but about the Union blockade of the South. Virginia had been ordered to inflict as much damage on the Union fleet as possible in hopes of lifting the blockade. The South may have won the battle in terms of number of ships destroyed and casualties inflicted, but ultimately the blockade held.

Faces of the Dead. Neither ship survived the year. Virginia was destroyed by her own crew in May to avoid her being captured by Union troops. Monitor sank in rough weather off Cape Hatteras in December, with a loss of 16 of her crew. There she remained until her re-discovery in 1973.

In 2002, Monitor’s turret was recovered, along with the skeletal remains of two of her crew. Unable to identify them by other means, scientists reconstructed the faces of the men based on their skeletal structure in the hopes that someone would recognize them from a family resemblance or an old photo. Failing that, the remains will be interred as “unknowns” at Arlington National Cemetery.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Shipboard Noise

Michael Zucker, et al., Classification of Ship Radiated Noise from
Recordings Made in the Hudson River
I lived half my life in eight by five room, just cruisin' to the sound of the big diesel boom-- Jimmy Buffet, "Landfall"
My boss was angrier than I'd ever heard him. "The noise level on our vessels is within Coast Guard standards," he told me. My second mate had been walking around with a decibel meter, measuring the noise level in various parts of the ship. But the main office wanted that stopped. We were in compliance with the law: stop trying to prove we weren't.

Among the many health, safety, and environmental regulations that modern ships are subject to are those controlling how much noise a ship can make, both in its interior, and how much it can expose the outside world to.

Sources. Most of the noise a ship generates is mechanical. The two most common sources are propeller cavitation, in which the turning of the propeller creates bubbles that than burst, and crankshaft vibration, produced by the internal workings of engines. On a large, modern, steel ship these noises are carried through the ship's structure, and their vibrations often cause other objects to vibrate, creating further noise. Other noise may be created by pumps, electrical equipment, and even waves slapping against the hull.

Problems. The most immediate concerns about noise come from its effect on human beings. On a ship, too much noise makes it difficult to get proper rest, leading to reduced alertness and more chance of an injury or watchkeeping error. Exposure to high noise levels may lead to hearing loss, also a safety concern in the short run, but a medical expense and quality-of-life issue later.

Beyond the human effects, noise and the vibrations causing it also increases wear and tear on equipment and structures. Equipment constantly subject to vibrations wears out quicker, fails sooner, and needs to be replaced more often. Propeller cavitation decreases the efficiency of the propellers, and thus increases fuel costs

Noise also affects the marine environment. A recent study of North Atlantic Right Whales found that the whales' ability to communicate was reduced by 85-percent when a ship passes near them. The low frequency sounds emitted by propeller cavitation in particular interfere with communication needed for feeding, mating, and social behaviors like gathering into a pod.

Sonar. For a decade, experts have debated how much sonar from Navy ships affects the behavior of whales and other marine life. On one side are claims that sonar, at the very least, leads to increased beaching behavior in some species of whale. Others dismiss the claims as unproven or at least that the effects are not as widespread as claimed. The issue reached the US Supreme Court in 2008, but the court did not look at the science so much as the authority of the president to ignore environmental regulations. More recently, whale watching captains in Puget Sound reported audible sonar pings from a Navy ship several miles away.

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Henry Shreve and the Washington

The steamboat Washington. Photo courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers.

Acting upon a single wheel placed in the stern, without a beam or fly wheel, it propels the vessel at the rate of 10 mph with the current and the captain assured us that he could make seven miles against it.
-- Cincinnati Gazette, September 23 1816, on the arrival of the Washington.
On March 2, 1817, shipbuilder and Captain Henry M. Shreve set out on a voyage that would make history. In command of the paddlewheel steamboat Washington, Shreve left New Orleans for Louisville. Forty-one days later (the upriver passage took 25 days, tying the existing record) he returned, marking the first time a steam-powered vessel completed a round trip on the Mississippi River.

At the time of the Washington’s voyage, steamboats had been running on the Mississippi for only six years. In 1811, the New Orleans left Pittsburgh for her namesake city under the command of Nicolas Roosevelt, inventor of the vertical paddlewheel and great grand-uncle of President Theodore Roosevelt. Although she was caught in the New Madrid Earthquake while en route, she eventually reached New Orleans and made regular runs between there and Natchez until running aground in 1814.

Meanwhile, Shreve had built the Enterprise, also in Pittsburgh. On her first voyage, in December 1814, the ship successfully ran a British blockade and delivered supplies to General Andrew Jackson’s army near New Orleans.

Shreve’s battles didn’t end with Jackson’s victory: for years he was engaged in a lawsuit filed by the heirs of steamboat pioneer Robert Fulton and others, who claimed a monopoly on Mississippi steamboat trade. The monopoly was eventually broken, in part because many of Shreve’s technical innovations (like high-pressure boilers) made steamboat travel on the Mississippi practical in the first place.

The Washington incorporated many of those innovations, including a look that is associated with paddlewheelers to this day: flat bottoms, two decks (the upper for passengers, the lower for the boiler), two tall stacks behind the pilothouse. In later boats, Shreve would build separate boilers for each side paddlewheel and vertical pistons into his designs. Shreve also coined the term stateroom for passenger cabins on a ship; the cabins on the Washington were named after US states.

Thanks in part to Shreve's inventions and his breaking of the Fulton monopoly, steamboat trade on the Western Rivers (the Mississippi and its tributaries) exploded. Ten years after Shreve's first round trip, more than a hundred boats were engaged in active trade on the rivers. By the time of his death in 1851, there was a steamboat arriving at New Orleans every day.

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