History is key to understanding the present. Histories of sailing ships and the lives of their captains shed light on the development of trade and foreign relations, modern management, technologies, and weapons. These stories are full of comedy, tragedy, and everything in between.
Sailing ships were the first vehicles of globalization. We still don’t understand how they did it and what it meant for the world. As sailors encountered new and different cultures, the outcomes of their adventures were sometimes remarkable, and other times tragic.
Sailing ships ventured into the unknown, just like the spaceships of today. Sailing ships—and their owners, commissioners, and captains—had to deal with the same dangers, uncertainties, and mysteries.
Many valuable lessons for today are buried in maritime history. In the early XXth century, steam engines took over the shipping business and made sailing outdated. Thousands of brigs, frigates, schooners, and clippers were abandoned and forgotten. Historians of the last century documented what they could, but the information is usually locked into copyrighted books and journals that are not available online.
Here are examples of our publications about sailing ships that had zero online presence before we put them online:
Note how rich and exciting these stories are and help us bring more ships to digital life! Your minimal contribution can bring one more vessel from obscurity into the light. Donate