The lesson of the ironclad — some of the first tests at the navy-yard
Here in the Washington Navy-yard, as it appeared on Independence Day, 1866, are the evidences of what the American Civil War had taught not only the United States navy but the world's designers of warships.
In four short years of experimentation in the throes of an internecine struggle, the Navy Department had not only evolved the most powerful fighting fleet on the seas of the world, but had stamped it with distinctively American ideas.
In the picture, a year after the war, can be seen how the navy had begun to improve the experience it had gained.
Already the tests of piercing power of projectiles upon armor plate lie all about, precursors of the steel battleships and big guns that are the marvel of the present day. The wooden hulls of the early monitors rotted away, and as they did so steel construction was gradually evolved.
The monitor principle was finally abandoned in its entirety but the turret still remained.
Likewise the turtle-back construction of the decks of these same vessels remains in the swift and powerful torpedo-boat destroyers. |