Saturday, February 26, 2011

Clothing the Big Battle-Ship -- February 26, 2011

From the 21-February-1895 San Francisco Call. William A Coulter did many maritime drawings for the newspaper. Click on the image for a larger view. Oregon was a pre-Dreadnought battleship, built at San Francisco's Union Iron Works. When the Spanish-American War was on the brink of erupting, Oregon sailed around the Horn to the east coast in three weeks. This provided ammunition for proponents of a Panama Canal. Oregon served in the fleet that destroyed the Spanish fleet at Santiago de Cuba. In 1914 she visited the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco. Starting in 1925, she was preserved at Portland, Oregon as a museum ship. When World War II broke out, she was scrapped. The Harvey Process was a method of treating armor plate which produced a hardened face and a more elastic back which could prevent splinters from flying through the ship. The Holzer shot was a type of armor piercing ammunition.




Small Slabs of Blue-Gray Metal That Will Shield the Gunners.

The battle-ship Oregon, the next floating fighter from the Union Iron Works, is fast progressing toward the day of her completion. Even from the unfinished condition there is shadowed forth a promise of what the great steel destroyer will be when she springs full armed and equipped from the hands that molded her from shapeless masses of unsightly metal.
She is now taking on her first tier of forward turret plates, steel, and case hardened by the Harvey process. These small slabs of blue-gray metal are each 12 feet long, 8 feet wide, 18 inches thick and weigh 30 tons. The great density of this impenetrable armor can be readily understood when in recent tests a forged steel projectile which perforated uninjured with considerable velocity seventeen inches of wrought iron was broken like glass by the hard face of a Harveyized nickel plate.
An eight-inch Holtzer shot, weighing 250 pounds, with a 7700 striking velocity and an energy of 5008 foot-tons and a calculated perforation through 11.71 inches of steel, was shivered against a 10-ton plate.
A sample Harveyized plate, 10 feet long by 6 feet broad by 14 inches thick, representing 250 tons of nickel plate, was tested with three 500-pound steel shots from a 10-inch gun, with a striking velocity of 1400 feet per second. The penetration was slight and the projectiles were considerably damaged.
The 18-inch steel coating, weighing 420 tons, which is being riveted to the Oregon's forward turret, is valued at $140,000; costly but ample protection for the two 13-inch guns stationed there.

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