‘Things Produced by the Works of Nature’ Published 1639
The article describes and illustrates the variety of cargo boats on which Peking depended for its immense supply of foodstuffs from the South. Canal boats, about 52 feet long, each carried about 200 tons of rice. Their masts and sails were adapted to pass under low bridges and yet to cope with the variety of winds. Sea-going boats were typically 16 feet longer and navigated coastal waters using a magnetic compass ‘indeed a wonderful invention.’ Amidst the wide variety of boats on the rivers Yangtsze and Han, as described in this article, tax boats used for the transport of silver bullion were later adapted to provide travelling boats with ten small cabins.