Saturday, October 13, 2012

Clipper Ships

Interesting fact I found on my trip across the internet.

In the 1840’s shipbuilders started to build a new kind of vessel. It was distinguished by having three masts that had large expanses of sails. It was designed to carry small, highly profitable cargo over long distances at high speeds, but soon became lucrative with human cargo as well.

Sailing 150 miles a day was considered a good day's run only a few years earlier, Clippers traveled approximately 250 miles a day. The best clippers could travel more than 400 miles a day! How much more would you pay to travel so quickly?
I thought that the name of the ship originated the term “clip”, to run or fly swiftly, but it turns out the ships were probably named after the verb. (which in my non expert opinion was probably not a verb at that time. I think it was a colloquial term but then again who am I?)

This meant that people were able to travel between places in half the time. So, that’s why sometimes when you read a story one person sets sail to some far away destination and months later another person follows behind them on a different ship and they get there the same time or maybe even earlier. Now I know.

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