Technological Dynamism in a Stagnant Sector: Safety at Sea during the Early Industrial Revolution

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Title: Technological Dynamism in a Stagnant Sector: Safety at Sea during the Early Industrial Revolution
Authors: Kelly, Morgan
Ó Gráda, Cormac
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8728
Date: Jun-2017
Abstract: Against the consensus that sailing ship technology was stagnant during the early Industrial Revolution, we find striking improvements in safety at sea. Between 1760 and 1825, the risk of being wrecked for Atlantic shipping fell by one third, and of foundering by two thirds, reflecting improvements in seaworthiness and navigation respectively. Seaworthiness improved through replacing the traditional stepped deck ship with stronger flushed decked ones derived from Indian designs, and the increasing use of iron reinforcement. Improved navigation owed little to precise longitude estimation and stemmed mostly from accurate charts and instruments, and accessible manuals of navigational technique.
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Start page: 1
End page: 42
Series/Report no.: UCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Series; WP2017/11
Keywords: Technological progressShipping
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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