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Ships and Submarines, 1913: Images from Scientific American’s Archives [Slide Show]

The state of the art in civilian and military nautical technology, from the year before World War I broke out in Europe
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ARMS RACE:

In 1911 Brazil ordered this battleship, the “Rio de Janeiro” from a British shipyard. Money problems forced Brazil to sell the unfinished ship to the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). When World War 1 broke out, the British Royal Navy confiscated the still-unfinished ship and eventually launched it as “HMS Agincourt.”....[ More ]

BATTLECRUISER KONGO:

The image shows the stern, the massive rudders and propellers of this powerful warship, built in England for the Imperial Japanese Navy. The ship entered active duty in August 1913, fought in two world wars and was sunk by a submarine torpedo in November 1944.....[ More ]

GIANT TURBINE:

The “Vaterland” was another luxury ship of the Hamburg-American Line. The photograph shows one of the “intermediate pressure” turbines for the ship. When World War I broke out, the ship was stuck in New York Harbor for three years before being seized by the U.S.....[ More ]

THE SEEANDBEE STEAMER:

Pushed forward by large paddle-wheels on the sides. The ship was built in 1913 for the Buffalo and Cleveland Transit Company for use on the Great Lakes. In World War II the ship was converted into an aircraft carrier for training pilots.....[ More ]

DESIGNING THE "AQUITANIA":

A wax model of the ship was carefully built to test how the lines of the hull would act in the water. Today we would use a complex computer program to find out similar information.....[ More ]

BUILDING THE "AQUITANIA":

A close-up of the detailed work that went into building this massive ship. The caption for this photograph is “cutting the side lights with the pneumatic machine.”....[ More ]

THE CUNARD LINE'S "AQUITANIA":

This painting (photographed in black-and-white) shows the huge and attractive luxury liner built in Clydebank, Scotland, and launched in April 1913. In her long career the ship carried, at various times, troops, hospital patients, emigrants and tourists.....[ More ]

CROW'S NEST:

The liner is unidentified, but the alert crewman in the crow’s nest, a lookout station on a ship, is pictured as quite a heroic figure. Note the ship’s telephone, used for reporting on ocean hazards such as icebergs.....[ More ]

THE IMPERATOR'S POOL:

The height of luxury, at least for the 908 first-class passengers. The ship also carried 1,700 passengers in “steerage” class, where they were treated little better than cattle. Rather like travel today.....[ More ]

THE IMPERATOR:

Most luxurious ocean liner (briefly) of the Hamburg-America Line. The maiden voyage in June 1913 showed dangers from stability and fire. The ship sat idly during World War I and was afterward given to the Cunard Line as part of war reparations.....[ More ]

SUBMARINE DESIGNED BY JOHN CAGE

A fairly small submarine, the 110-horsepower engines burned gasoline mixed with compressed air. Exhaust gases were pumped outside the hull, where they bubbled to the surface, giving away the submarine’s position.....[ More ]

SUBMARINE DISASTERS:

With the new invention came accidents, quite a few of them. This article on safety and rescue apparatus showed how crews could escape from submarines stuck in the gloomy depths of the ocean.....[ More ]

RUSSIAN SUBMARINE:

Navies around the world were keen to use this relatively recent invention. This Russian design would have been 5,400 tons, with retractable turrets. It would have been huge compared with other submarines of the time.....[ More ]

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