Clarence S. Bement




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Texas Tech University Libraries


Ship Name:Clarence S. Bement; Sailed: 1884-1904; Type: Iron 3-masted; Built by: Philadelphia by the American Shipbuilding Co.; Dimensions: 259.9' x 40.6' x 23.6'; Tonnage: 1999 tons.


The Clarence S. Bement was one of the few iron sailing ships built in the United States, and this ship was not a great success. More expensive to build than wood ships from Maine, American-built iron ships like the Clarence S. Bement were also considerably slower. Iron ships generally fouled quicker and with serious effect. There were no tractable anti-fouling paints until well into the twentieth century, so foul bottoms and consequent drag produced very slow sailing. Clarence S. Bement was no exception. The ship was notable for its winged white swan figurehead which can be seen to advantage in these two photographs. Clarence S. Bement burned out at sea on a voyage laden with coal Newport News to San Francisco in 1904.


Merchant Ships, Ships