Construction methods for building the steel ocean tug Narkeeta (YT-3) in 1892 did not deviate from standards as this photograph may imply. The tug's brickwork was not a test of non-strategic materials construction but rather an experimental camouflage scheme. Black stripes on the white background produced a soft gray effect at moderate distances. Larger black patches were applied to those areas which usually reflected light. Visibility of the ship was reduced when the light was behind the observer. Why didn't they just paint her light gray?
This and other photographs are available as prints through the Naval Institute Photo Archive. You may place orders or leave messages 24 hours a day at 1-800-233-8764, contact [email protected] , or visit our Web site,  .