[Firehol-support] ll men were born equal, dec

Kappelmann Shebchuk objects at es.mpg.com
Sat Aug 29 17:18:48 BST 2009

Ce was not then adopted. With the improvement of cannon the importance
of plate-armor became more and more apparent; and at length Mr. Stevens,
under the sanction of our Government, instituted a series of experiments
upon iron plates, and soon after commenced building an immense floating
battery for the defence of New York, at Hoboken, which is still
unfinished, but which, it is rumored, will, if Congress appropriates the
means, be completed the present season. Stevens was the first to carry
out the idea of a mail-clad steamer; and it is alone due to the apathy
of the late Administration, which has neglected our navy while indulging
in its Southern proclivities, that our nation has not the honor of
launching the first steamer in a coat-of-mail. The frame, however, of
such a vessel has been long in place, the hull is nearly complete, the
engines are far advanced, and the finishing stroke may soon be given.
Stevens, in the course of his experiments, made the important discovery,
that a single plate of boiler-iron, five-eighths of an inch in
thickness, and weighing less than twenty-five pounds to the superficial
foot[A], when nailed to the side of a ship, was impenetrable by shell
and red-hot shot, the two missiles most dangerous to wooden walls. When
a solid shot strikes the side of a wooden ship, it passes in and usually
stops before it reaches the opposite side. The fibres of the wood yield
and close up behind it, and it often happens, from the reunion of the
fibres, that it is difficult to find the place perforated by the ball,
and if found, it is often easy to remedy the injury by a simple plug.
But if a red-hot shot enter the ship, it may imbed itself in the wood or
coils of cordage or sails, or reach
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