Cornhill Magazine,  4 (1861), 715–24.

On a Further Reconstruction of the Navy

[Edward J Reed]




Steamships, Invention, Military Technology, National Efficiency, Engineering, Status, Government, Professionalization, Patronage

    Complains about the Admiralty's 'culpable delay [...] in adopting great mechanical improvements' with regard to the navy. Indeed, the navy's current 'humiliating' (715) inadequacies do not lie 'in failing to invent new mechanical agencies, but in refusing to apply them promptly when invented' (716). After the delayed introduction of 'iron cased [...] line-of-battle-ships' (715–16), the next improvement which the navy urgently requires is the addition of iron casing to 'the remainder of our vast war navy' (716). The efficacy of this new technology has been demonstrated by 'the great successes which the Warrior has [...] so fully accomplished' in recent months (722). Adds that 'we are glad to know that that opinion has since been officially confirmed by the bestowal of a Companionship of the Bath upon Mr. Isaac Watts, the chief constructor of the navy, and the responsible designer of the ship. We mention the official recognition of the scientific skill displayed in the Warrior with the more pleasure, inasmuch as it is a mark of respect for a profession which has been too much slighted in times past' (722–23).

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