Editor's note: The following text was originally published in "Stories. Cobb's Toys. Third Series, No. 7" published in 1835. Thanks to volunteer researcher George A. Thompson for finding, cataloging and transcribing this article. The facts, language, spelling and grammar of the article reflects the time period when it was written.
A Ship is the largest kind of vessel which is used to transport or carry the produce or merchandise of one country or nation across the sea or ocean to another country.
A Ship has three masts, which are long poles that stand upright like the body of a tree. The rigging consists of cloth-sails, yards, roped, braces, &c. The body of the Ship is called the hull or hulk. In one part of the hull are the boxes, barrels, &c., containing goods and, in the other part is a cabin or little room where the men on board the Ship eat and sleep.
The sails of the Ship are spread out or extended by means of the ropes, yards, &c., and then it is blown along by the wind upon the water. Sometimes it goes eight or ten miles an hour, or more. When the wind is very violent, the Ship is sometimes driven ashore upon the rocks and dashed to pieces. Sailors who navigate Ships are often several years on a voyage, and many months without seeing land. They often undergo great hardships, sometimes being a number of days without food, and also suffer much from the wet and cold, being obliged frequently to work during storms.
There can not be a more beautiful and majestick sight than a Ship at sea with all sails full spread.
There are various kinds of vessels, of different names, depending on the number of masts and shape of the rigging. Brig has two masts, and, like a Ship, is square rigged. A Schooner has two masts, also, but is not square rigged. A Sloop has but one mast, and is not square rigged. Sloops and Schooners seldom go out to sea. They are, in general, employed in going from place to place, along the seacoast. Sometimes, however, they go to the West Indies and carry pork, flour, &c., and bring back molasses, sugar, coffee, &c.
Steam-Boats are used carry passengers, produce, and merchandise, up and down large rivers, lakes, and bays. They are also frequently used to carry passengers and merchandise from one place to another along the seacoast.
They are called Steam-Boats because they are moved or forced along the water by the power of steam. The steam engine which moves the wheels is a powerful machine. The men first put a great deal of water into a large boiler, which they heat very hot; and, when the water is thus heated it produces a great deal of steam, which goes into the engine through a pipe. The steam, which is very powerful, tries to escape or force itself out of the engine; and, in doing this, it sets the wheels in motion; and the wheels of the engine, being connected with the two large wheels each side of the Steam-Boat, which are placed in the water, cause them to be turned round in the water which makes the Steam-Boat pass along rapidly from eight to fifteen miles an hour.
Steam-Boats are, in general, fitted up very neatly and have a number of rooms for passengers to eat and sleep in.
Travelling by Steam-Boat is very pleasant as well as expeditious. There is some danger, however, as the boiler, which contains the hot water, sometimes bursts and scalds the passengers to death. But perhaps it is as safe as to travel in stages; for, they are often upset and the passengers badly hurt.
The first Steam-Boat was invented by Robert Fulton in the city of New York. They are now used very extensively on the lakes, rivers, and bays in the United States as well as in Europe; and, we can scarcely imagine how to do without them now, as they will ascend rivers against the tide and current, and the wind also; when sloops, schooners, &c., would not be able to sail at all.
Canal-Boats are used to carry produce, merchandise, and sometimes passengers on the Canal. these boats are always drawn by a horse or horses. Canal-Boats or the largest size are drawn by two or three horses, and the smaller ones by one horse.
Canals are basins or courses of water, which are made through countries where there are not natural rivers, lakes, or bays, for sloops, schooners, or steam-boats, to pass on. In some places the Canals are cut through rocks; sometimes they are carried over rivers or creeks in aqueducts or over culverts. It is a delightful sight to see a Canal-Boat, loaded with passengers or goods, passing through farms, over rivers, and through wilderness countries.
Travelling by Canal-Boat is not as rapid as by Stage-Coaches or Steam-Boats. There are a great many Canals in this country now which are of great importance to commerce, and to those who wish to emigrate or remove from one country to another. The longest Canal in the United States, and the one on which there are the most Canal-Boats used, is the Hudson and Erie Canal, from Albany on the Hudson River, to Buffalo at the foot of Lake Erie. Its length is three hundred and sixty-three miles. This Canal is carried across the Mohawk River twice; and also across the Genesee River at the city of Rochester.
If all the produce and merchandise which are now carried on the Canal in boats, should be drawn in wagons by horses as formerly, there would scarcely be room on the Great Western Road for them to pass each other.
Canal-Boats move very slowly, from three to five miles an hour.
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