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[p. 57] Previous to the War of 1812 there had been very little improvement in the design of merchant vessels, and their shape was little more than a box with the corners rounded off. The Baltimore clippers were the first to improve the models by giving them long, easy water lines, and it is said that they took their ideas from the French luggers during the Revolution. But they were small vessels, and their large amount of dead rise and their having much more draft aft than forward made them unsuitable for larger merchant ships. The ‘Ann McKim,’ a vessel of four hundred and ninety-three tons, was built on these lines and she is sometimes considered the first of the clipper ship era. But she was unsuitable for a merchant vessel for the reasons given, which made her cargo capacity limited, and there was never another vessel built on her lines, although she influenced the improvement in design which took place in the next decade.
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