efluids image gallery
previous BACK to Gallery of Flow Images Submit Image
Courtesy of the Netherlands Ship Model Basin

In 1758, the Society of Arts offered prizes for what were known as "ship blocks," that is, scale models of ships, in order to "ascertain by experiments the principles on which a good ship is founded." Water resistance and resistance to rolling were two of the main qualities it was desired to test.

It was not until 1761 that sufficient models had been submitted for the prizes, but that year six entries -- four 32-gun frigates and two 74-gun ships -- were tried out at Peerless Pool, near Old Street, in the City of London, as shown in the scene reproduced here, which was especially painted for the Society by Miss Anna Zinkeisen, R.O.I., R.D.I.

Water tests with models, as in this pioneer effort, are still usual in the design of new ships, though the technique is greatly improved with present day measuring apparatus.

Related links:

The Hydromechanics Directorate, NSWC (formerly David Taylor Model Basin).

For some links to museums, see:

  • U.S. Naval Academy Museum,
  • Hart Nautical Collections at MIT,
  • Mary Rose Virtual Maritime Museum Tour,
  • Maritime History Virtual Archives,
  • Hall of American Maritime Enterprise
  • Science Museum, London.

  • © Copyright on the images is held by the contributors. Apart from Fair Use, permission must be sought for any other purpose.