MARINE FIRSTS

 

* The first schooner built in America was launched at Gloucester, Cape Ann, MA, in 1714.

 

* The first lightship was placed in the Elizabeth River off Craney Island, VA, on July 14, 1820. The displacement was 70 tons and was built at a cost of $6,000.

 

* The first motorboat was invented by James Rumsey and exhibited in September, 1784, on the Potomac River, in the presence of George Washington. It worked against the stream by mechanical means.

 

* In ancient times hardly anything was known about tides, because there are virtually none in the Mediterranean Sea. The first Greek to report tides was the explorer Pytheas, who explored the North Atlantic in 270 B.C.

 

* The first American yacht was the Jefferson, a 22-ton sloop constructed in Salem, MA, in 1801. She was 35 feet 10 inches long and 12 feet 4 inches wide, with a 6-foot depth. She was first rigged as a schooner, then as a sloop.

 

* The first propeller ship was invented in 1844 by Isambard BruneI.

 

* The U.S.S. Sea Gull, a Hudson River ferry converted into a warship in 1823, was the first warship operated by steam.

 

* The first ship from the Atlantic Coast to anchor in a California port was the Otter, on October 29, 1796.

 

* The Galena was the first iron-clad warship designed for service at sea. She was launched at Mystic, CT, on February 14, 1862.

 

* On her maiden voyage in 1909, the world's largest converted icebreaker, the S.S. Manhattan, 1,700 feet long and 150,000 tons, made the first double voyage through the Northwest Passage of the Artic Ocean, northern Canada to Alaska and back.

 

* Two U.S. Navy atomic submarines, the Nautilus and the Skate were the first ships to sail under the North Pole.

 

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