Shipbuilders are proverbially conservative, a trait doubtless acquired from shipmasters, who with lives and property at stake, and frequently far removed from assistance, can least afford to take chances in the way of experiments. This conservatism is especially to be remarked in this country, where the principal plants are maintained largely by contracts for vessels of war, whose design and construction are limited by government specifications that permit little latitude to the contractor in the way of originality or experiment, if he wishes to insure the small profit that will protect the stockholders and keep his yard going. But the world marches, and in the last decade, the restless and constant demand for progress has compelled designers to look about them and take advantage of the strides of invention, necessary to keep pace in the sharp competition of industrial life.
The Present-Day Problem of Ship Propulsion
By Lieutenant-Commander L. McNamee, U. S. Navy