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1874 Scientific American  
idea of Robert L. Stevens, an ironclad vessel of great speed, with machinery entirely below the water line, driving the screw. The arm�ment was to be the heaviest breechloading rilied ordnance, with elongated projectiles, both shot and shell. The usual delays deferred the decision of the gover.nment, and the preparation of plans and preliminaries occupied several years; but finally, in 1843, a contract was made, and, in 1854; tbe keel of the ironclad was laid. and the work pro. gressed
more » ... o. gressed intermittently, as change� of pla.n and of naval ad minie.tration interrupted it, until Mr. Stevens' death. The vessel as first proposed was to have been 250 feet long, 40 feet beam, 28 feet deep, of 900 indicated hone power, and protected by armor 4* inches thick. At Mr. Stevens' death he had made a far more formidable vessel. The dimensions, when General McClellan was engaged to rebuild and com plete the ship, were: lengtb, 415 feet; beam, 45 feet; depth 22� feet; and thickness of armor proposed, 61 inches. The power of the machinery was estimated at 8,624 horse power, and her twin screws were to drive the vessel twenty miles an hour. The vessel was in this form at tbe commencement of the late WlLr, but witbout armor or armament. 'fhe Navy Department appointed a board to examine tbe vessel, the majority of which board after, as claimed by Mr. Stevens, a cursory inspection, reported against completing tbe vessel, exce.,t on terms unsatisfactory to Mr. Stevens. Professor Henry, in a minority report, urged prompt completion and her employment against the enemy. It is difficult to imagine what good work might not have been done had this powerful vessel been placed in our fleet, as might have been done, early in 1861. Mr. Stevens obtained for his vessel favorable
doi:10.1038/scientificamerican08081874-88a fatcat:b2tgpfkq6bh5hnaffvgooouwge