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By Stephen K. Stein

The primary determine within the modernization of the U.S. Navy.

The occupation of Washington Irving Chambers spans a formative interval within the improvement of the U.S. army: He entered the Naval Academy within the doldrum years of out of date, frequently rotting ships, and left after he had helped like-minded officials persuade Congress and the general public of the necessity to undertake a brand new naval process equipped round a fleet of technologically complex battleships. He additionally laid the foundation for naval aviation and the real function it will play within the sleek navy.

This paintings covers Chambers’s early naval profession, his paintings on the new place of work of Naval Intelligence, his participation within the Greeley reduction excursion, and a survey for the projected isthmian canal via Nicaragua, sooner than changing into the most important recommend for naval modernization. As such, Chambers labored as a pioneering torpedo fashion designer, supervised building of the Maine, modernized the hot York army backyard, and have become a member of the 1st everlasting school on the Naval warfare College.

in the course of his lengthy profession, Chambers not just designed torpedoes, but in addition a number of warships, together with a prototype Dreadnought-style battleship and a number of small units that ranged from torpedo advice platforms to the 1st catapult for launching airplanes from ships. on the shut of his profession, Chambers bought the navy’s first plane and based its air arm. operating with Glenn Curtiss, Chambers guided a coalition of aviation fanatics and pioneers who popularized naval aviation and validated its features. Chambers prepared the 1st take-off and touchdown of an plane from a boat and different demonstrations of naval aviation. mixed together with his tireless advocacy for modernization, those contributions secured a spot in naval and aviation background for the innovator.

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Additional resources for From Torpedoes to Aviation: Washington Irving Chambers & Technological Innovation in the New Navy 1876 to 1913

Sample text

During one of these efforts, lightning struck repeatedly about the ship. Blinded and disoriented, Chambers was almost blown overboard, but managed to cling to the rigging. The battered ship arrived in New York on December 20, whereupon a number of the crew deserted. 22 Chambers’s commanding of¤cers again thought well of him and sent in glowing reports on his ¤tness in anticipation of his promotion exam. ”23 Early Cruises / 27 In March, Chambers traveled to Annapolis for his promotion exams, which he passed easily.

The trip took a day, and Chambers enjoyed the journey. New places fascinated him and he marveled at the lush, tropical scenery of the long ride. On arrival, they took rooms in the Grand Hotel paying for them out of their own pockets, a common complaint of of¤cers in the cashstrapped navy. Lieutentant Rodgers again chose to room with Chambers. ” Chambers found time to court two of them, one quite seriously. His ¤rst love, Sarilla, broke off the relationship, throwing Chambers into a deep, though rather short, depression.

Garlington wanted to lead an army expedition to rescue Greely. Commander Bowman H. McCalla envisioned a navy operation. Others recommended a compromise—navy ships carrying an army relief party. President Arthur decided on an all-navy rescue operation, though Congress did not authorize funds for the expedition until February 13. Because the navy had no ships suited for Arctic exploration, it would have to purchase them overseas. The only ships in the world built for this work were the famous Dundee whalers, built in Scotland and made out of several different woods to balance strength and elasticity, and iron reinforced bows to smash through ice.

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