shipbuilding on prince edward island n.
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Shipbuilding on Prince Edward Island

Shipbuilding on Prince Edward Island

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Shipbuilding on Prince Edward Island

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  1. Shipbuilding on Prince Edward Island

  2. Napoleonic War • Europe was blockaded during the Nap. War, leaving Britain cut off from her traditional timer supplies forcing Britain to look to the North American colonies. • Why PEI?

  3. Why PEI? • Plentiful timber supply – “floating forest” • Many ports, access to Atlantic Ocean • Labour – experienced European shipbuilders • Offered tenants a way to pay their rents by cutting timber or working in the shipyards

  4. The Chief industry • By 1820 lumbering and shipbuilding were the chief industry of Prince Edward Island, accounting for three quarters of all exports. Shipbuilding was a very important part of the economy during the early 19th century. • The export of foodstuffs increased significantly but not to benefit of the tenant farmers, many of whom pass their farm produce to their landlords in lieu of cash rent payments.

  5. Trades in shipbuilding • The Sawyer • Saw timber along its length to make pairs • Worked/hired in pairs • Paid by day/job/amount of wood cut • Ship Carpenter – works in mould loft that has a clear floor space that is half the length of largest ship to be built there • The Planker • Cover wooden frames/beams both inside and out

  6. The Sailmaker – • Expensive product; well paid • Seven year apprentice, pass from father to son • Worked in large, clear lofts • Used canvas • 4 stiches per inch; 20 yards per hour • Blockmaker /Mastmaker • Pulleys • Contained moving parts • To lift heavy frames onto the keel, beach ships for repairs

  7. Cont. • The Caulker • All important to keep the ship water tight • Bottom of every ship caulked once every five years • Walked to work with folding stool on back and bag of tools hanging form the caulking mallet which is slung over their shoulder • Ship Joiner • Moulding and trim; the interior appearance • A finishing touch on the ship

  8. Cont. • Ship Carver – figureheads • Ship Smith – gradually more important as switch from wood to steel • The Painter/Gilder/Glazier – paints hull, spars, decks and tween docks; three coats of paints and varnish

  9. Cont. • The Pumpmaker • Ships are not always water tight; need a way to pump excess water • The Ropemaker • Made from hemp and manila “hemp”; grew in most temperate regions notably Russia

  10. Cont. • The Ship Rigger • took the masts and spars from the mastmaker, the iron work from the shipsmith, the rope from the ropemaker, pulleys form the blockmaker, the sails from the sailmaker and erected the whole apparatus.

  11. What can we learn about all the different trades utilized in the shipping Industry?

  12. So what.... The shipbuilding industry created jobs ? • It was a specialized industry, the first of its kind on Prince Edward Island. • Specialized? The industry created employment for skilled labourers. • The industry sold a finish product rather than raw products ( timber, produce, fish). • When you process materials, or make finish products more profit can be made, therefore making the industry very important to the Island.

  13. That ethel is a large one • Largest ship built in Charlottetown, Ethel, launched in Ch’town harbour 1858, weighing 1795 tons ! James Duncan or call him J.D • What’s tonnage? • Old way- cargo space • New way - volume

  14. Who was the most famous Island shipbuilder..?

  15. James Yeo

  16. James Yeo • Came from England in 1819 • Began his business life dealing with lumber and operating the general store in Port Hill • Very poor, but created “smart business” as a land agent- “stealing” rents • Launched his first boat 1833 • Eventually owned 5 shipyards and largest shipbuilder on PEI – sail lofts provisions for riggers and accommodations for workmen • Extended Yeo family credited with building 300 vessels • Conservative, Port Hill representative in Assembly 1839 – 1867 ( 6 years) • Use of blackmail; loans for votes

  17. Which one is not like the other? • Master Builder - supervised the day to day construction of the vessel • Master Owner – the person who owned the shipyard and employed the master builder. • But yes, sometimes one was the other. • James Yeo

  18. What is his historical significance?

  19. Dimensions of historical significance • Significance depends upon one’s perspective. • Social, Cultural, Economic, Oral, • Significance depends on context. • For example: Industry/economic or development of rural west prince. • Change over time • Historians will never run out of material to research. Always new information/evidence; new interpretations of the same event.

  20. Social impact of shipbuilding • Summerside replaced Princetown as the capital of Prince County • Gave Islanders a sense of pride • Launchings attracted a large crowd and schools were closed. • Gave capital to skill labourers, attracts settlers; spreads wealth to farmers and the lumber industry • Keeping young skilled labour. Hindered outmigration

  21. Number of ships built 1796-1810 71 ships launched 1830s 504 1860s 913 1870s 545 1880s 129