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An account of the unsung seafarers, and fabulous sailing ships, of R&J Craig of Glasgow, focussing on the high point of merchant sail-power between 1870 and 1895. The narrative describes the origin of the 4-mastered iron ship which prolonged the usefulness of windjammers during the ascendancy of steamships.
R&J Craig created the world-renowned square-rig ships known as Craig's "Counties". Based on real people & events this is a gripping factual story of the origin of the world’s first 4-masted iron merchant ship in 1875. Its phenomenal success prompted Robert and John Craig, of Glasgow, to launch a further 11 superb clippers. They traded initially between Cardiff, Calcutta and Dundee, creating an unanticipated demand for 4-masted iron & later steel ships.
These vessels flourished at the peak of the sailing ship era, and continued for 50 years longer than predicted. The remarkable careers of each of Craig’s twelve renowned 4-masters are revealed in detail for the first time in one publication. Amazingly, the dilapidated hulls of the County of Peebles (first ‘4-master’) and County of Roxburgh, a later sister-ship, still survive and there are new images of them. The latter was possibly the fastest merchant wind-ship ever created.
This is a fascinating new book, incorporating previously unpublished material. It is written by one of our talented new authors, a Graduate of Strathclyde University and Chartered Engineer who has travelled widely. His seafaring ancestors go back over 5 generations. It is not only a good read but it discusses real-life issues of interest to the general reader (men and women) on Britain’s maritime heritage. It is richly illustrated with breathtaking original 19th century photographs, and recent images (including some in colour) of key locations.
In view of her particular interest in this subject, Her Royal Highness Princess Anne has graciously added a Foreword reflecting how this story is a key part of the United Kingdom’s maritime heritage.
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