The Scottish Maid as ‘The World’s First Clipper’

By John Lyman, published November 1944


The author quotes a paper published by Mr. Boyd Cable in The Mariner’s Mirror of April 1943 claiming that the American Rainbow of 1845 is the first clipper ship. However, if the shape of the hull or the rigging are the main characteristics of this new type of vessel, that place should be held by the Scottish Maid of 1839, or the Glentanar of 1842, both made by the Hall’s yard of Aberdeen. The development of ship design in the United Kingdom between 1700 and 1870 is discussed, together with similar ships to those above mentioned built many years before. He includes the evolution of the formula used to find the legal tonnage of the ships and its influence in the design of hulls. Nevertheless, he concludes by accepting the evidence that the builders of large clippers were from the United States, from their experience with large North Atlantic packets.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Other (Nineteenth C)
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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