Monday, July 30, 2007

The Fast Lusitania

The August 1907 Scientific American had this news item:

“On a preliminary speed trial for the new turbine liner Lusitania of the Cunard Line, the great ship easily reached a speed of 25 knots, and this in spite of the fact that her bottom was ‘heavily coated with the chemically-saturated mud of the River Clyde.’ The constructive features of the ship are novel, and because of her mammoth proportions are of unusual interest."

Of course, this is the same Lusitania that met a tragic end as a casualty of the first World War when she was torpedoed by a German submarine on May 7, 1915. The ship sank in just 18 minutes killing 1,198 people.

It was kind of eerie reading this account from 1907 of the speed of the ship knowing what eventually happens to it. It is nice that there is a record of this ship in the literature which denotes something positive and does not focus on how the ship ended.

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