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The Practical Ship-Builder
NY, 1839. NY, 1839. b/w folding plates. Oblong 4to. x-107 pp. plus plates. This is one of the legendary rarities in the literature of marine architecture, being the first American treatise on shipbuilding, and the most influential text until Griffiths published his works on clipper ships in the 1850s. Lauchlan wrote it as a young man, after a youth spent in the shipyards of New York, having served with his more famous brother Donald as an apprentice to Isaac Webb. (Later in life he would command some of his brother’s great clipper ships, including Sovereign of the Seas.) This work is notable for its glossary of shipbuilding terms, its direct and detailed treatment of shipbuilding techniques, and its seven folding plates illustrating, among other things, plans for a schooner, a pilot boat and, interestingly, a steam ship with a hull designed to resist the unique stresses on such a vessel. Scattered staining throughout, folding plates professionally laid down. Chipping to outer edges of a few of the plates, not affecting image. Bound in original mottled calf, spine laid down, with original label. Housed in a modern slipcase with a copy of the 1940 reprint, itself a scarce book, being limited to 250 copies. This reprint also includes as essay on M’Kay by historian and descendant Richard McKay. An excellent working set of the most important book in American marine architecture. Worldcat shows only four libraries holding copies. Not in Scott. Brewington, p. 95, who calls it “Rare.”
      [Bookseller: Ten Pound Island Book Co.]
Last Found On: 2014-06-17           Check availability:      Biblio    


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