Monday, August 24, 2009

The Speed and Power of Ships

I finally found a 1910 edition of The Speed and Power of Ships (by David Watson Taylor) to go with my 1943 edition!  I needed it to see what changes, if any, had been made to the initial assumptions section.  I also wanted to see whose work Taylor referenced in the original edition.  It was available in digital form from an archival site.  Given the difficulty of finding most of those early editions - even found Lamb's work on hydrodynamics from 1897 - either in library collections or for sale on used book sites, I was delighted.

The book is excellent. Taylor writes in a clear and engaging style.  His logic, as he works through the basic assumptions used in his studies of hydrodynamics, flows well and with plenty of supporting information. He mentions the suction between ships passing in a narrow channel, as well as some fascinating discussion and calculations about waves.

To be in a dialogue of sorts with someone from the start of the last century is an amazing experience.

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