Chapter 13: "Iron, as a material for ship-building"

Diederick Wessel Linden: Three letters on Mining and Smelting [...]. (London, 1750).
John Grantham: Iron, as a material for ship-building [...]. (Liverpool, 1842).

published February 2018

The favorite books of Stefania Elena Carnemolla

Stefania Elena Carnemolla was our Scholar in Residence in July 2017. As part of her project on the treatment of fouling on wooden and iron ships in the 18th and 19th centuries, she reviewed books and journals on iron, wood, and naval engineering. She chose John Grantham’s 1842 Liverpool lecture on iron as a material for shipbuilding as her favorite book due to its revolutionary content at a time when shipyards mistrusted iron as an alternative to wood.

The reader

She has published two books and one edited volume containing an essay entitled “Joseph Conrad on the Titanic: A Pioneering Spirit of Safety and Life at Sea”. She has published academic articles and essays on maritime subjects, many of them on the relationship between the maritime world and science and technology.

She is also a freelance journalist with an interest in science and technology, shipping, defense and foreign affairs, geopolitics, and economics. In 2010 she was awarded a national journalism prize for her work on shipping, alien species and bioinvasion due to ballast water. She has recently translated a scholarly book on Ermanno Stradelli from Portuguese into Italian. Stradelli was a 19th century Italian explorer who lived in Brazil and contributed to our knowledge of Amazonia.

I would love to play a role in this journal:
Mechanics magazine : museum, register, journal, and gazette. 1.1823 - 69.1858

This book needs a sequel:
Dietrich Wessel Linden: Three letters on mining and smelting : in which a method is laid down, whereby these useful sciences may be greatly improved. To which is added, a fourth letter; setting forth a discovery of an easy method to secure ships bottoms from worms. (1750)

The book on my nightstand:
R. M. S.: Queen Mary (1936)

The books

Diederick Wessel Linden: Three letters on Mining and Smelting; in which a Method is laid down, Whereby these useful Sciences may be greatly Improved. To which is added, a Fourth LETTER; A DISCOVERY of an early Method to secure SHIPS BOTTOMS from Worms. (London, 1750).

This book is a collection of letters to the Earl of Halifax by Diederick Wessel Linden, a doctor, as stated by two rare biographical notes, probably of German origin, who then moved to England. The fourth letter is about a new method he developed for protecting timber from Teredo navalis, a bivalve mollusk also called shipworm, which attacks boats, ships and harbors, and has been known about for a long time.

The letter also contains a critique of previous treatments, explaining why they had been unsuccessful. Linden probably never patented his method, and yet his letter is an interesting chapter in the history of protecting ships against Teredo navalis.

John Grantham: Iron, as a material for ship-building, being a communication to the Polytechnic Society of Liverpool. (Liverpool, 1842).

The book in IRONCAT

Grantham's book in the catalog of the Iron Library