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Patent model for Joseph Francis's 1841 boat construction method

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Patent model for Joseph Francis's 1841 boat construction method
Photo by Hugh Talman, Negative #: 2006-23085, Patent no. 2,293, Oct. 11, 1841

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Technology
Marine Patent Models — Complete Catalog: before 1850

OTHER VIEWS
Patent model for Joseph Francis's 1841 boat construction method
Patent model for Joseph Francis's 1841 boat construction method


Patent model for Joseph Francis's 1841 boat construction method
Patent model for Joseph Francis's 1841 boat construction method


Patent drawing for Joseph Francis's wood-boat building method
Patent drawing for Joseph Francis's wood-boat building method


Method of building wood boats
Catalog #: 308,538, Accession #: 89,797
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection

Joseph Francis of New York was best known in his day for developing corrugated-iron boats, but this 1841 patent model presents his new-and, he claimed, simpler-method for constructing wooden boats.

Physical Description

The model, made of wood, is approximately three feet in length.

Details
Date Made:
1841
Locations:
New York
Credit:
Transfer from the U.S. Patent Office
History

Trade and communication in 1840s America relied heavily on waterborne transportation, of which boat building was an integral part. Joseph Francis aimed in this invention to reduce the skill and cost of constructing boats. He proposed setting up a reusable frame over which very narrow planks would be bent to form the hull. The planks would be fastened together by bolts or nails driven through their edges, and no complicated joinery was to be done where the curves of the hull converged at bow and stern. "Ordinary workmen and machinery" could build this simple boat, he wrote. It would save on material, as none of the planks would overlap, and it would not require caulking, "as the narrow planking is drawn so closely together by the...nails...." Finally, the boat's metal fasteners, buried between the planks, would not be likely to corrode and loosen the structure. Francis may have used this technique in his own boat works, but it was otherwise ignored by the nation's many skilled boat builders.

Ref:

Joseph Francis, Method of Building Boats, U.S. patent no. 2,293, Oct. 11, 1841.

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