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Previously only available via the "print on demand" vendors, I today located the following document which has some very interesting information concerning the state of British Naval Architecture at the close of the 18th century.  I have not yet located Volume 2 in a downloadable format, but my quest continues.

 

European Magazine. 1791. A Collection of Papers on Naval Architecture, Originally Communicated through the Channel of the European Magazine; in Which Publication the Further Communications on This Subject Will Be Continued. proprietors of the European Magazine. https://books.google.com/books?id=SZG_hYooNwcC.

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Posted (edited)

Some neat info in those pages. In these papers, nearer the end, there is a delightful discourse between 'Candidus' (Q's) and Publicus (A's) beginning on page 10 of An Earnest Address to the People of England Containing an Enquiry into the Cause of the Great Scarcity of Timber Throughout the Dominions Belonging to His Majesty.

 

Also there are comments about losses in shipyards due to theft. One instance was a shipwright who left a fortune of 10,000 pounds to his widow. He had worked there for about eleven years on a salary of 45 pounds per year!

 

 

Edited by druxey

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Well, the shipwrights were allowed to take home "cut-offs".  Reports I've read suggest that some of them spent some time each day making "cut-offs" for making and selling  balusters, window framing, and furniture.   Apparently, there were a lot of houses, estates, etc. that benefited with having nice woodwork.  

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Yes, there was a long tradition of allowing shipyard workers to take home 'chips'. However, there was considerable abuse of what constituted a 'chip'! The figures quoted in the papers cited show that many trees' worth of wood were liberated each year.

 

 

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