History ETDs

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This thesis is a technical-historical study of ship construction and repair performed at the Royal Shipyard of San Blas in the Spanish colony of New Spain in the years 1767-1797, covering the entire official life-span of the establishment. The writer establishes preliminary technical bases for the conversion of eighteenth-century Spanish volumes, weights, and linear measures into the modern English system and discusses in detail the techniques necessary for converting ship tonnages. A chronological framework is established for the history of the shipyard, taking into consideration principal geographical, climatological, and environmental influences. A study of the means of production is made, including discussion of leadership, labor force composition and organization, labor problems, logistics, shipyard facilities, materiel, and local manufacture. Every vessel constructed at San Blas is discussed; and all documentary evidence available to the writer has been scrutinized and correlated to permit reconstruction as far as possible of hull configurations, sail plans, armament, equipage, sailing characteristics, and service reliability. The text is supported by reconstruction drawings. A synopsis is made of principal voyage repairs, careenings, and overhauls performed in the San Blas shipyard, indicating techniques, materials, costs, and quality.

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Degree Name


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First Committee Member (Chair)

Donald C. Cutter

Second Committee Member

John Francis Banner

Third Committee Member

J.E. McCarty



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