Behind the present rapid expansion in the methods of training enlisted men lies a rapid change from the days of sail and smooth-bore which could be handled by almost any kind of labor.
Long voyages, poor food, bad living conditions, and simple methods did not need and did not attract, in those days, a very high grade of labor.
While the great transformation began with the introduction of steam, how recent the really modern ship is will be realized when it is recalled that at the beginning of the cruise around the world in 1907 there were no fire-control systems. On the way around the Horn the crews, themselves, installed the crude fire-control systems from which grew those of today. Before that there were no range keepers, no directors, no fire-control communications, no plotting rooms.