Saturday, April 18, 2009

Schooner Thomas W. Lawson

The Thomas W. Lawson was a seven-masted, steel-hulled schooner originally planned for the Pacific trade, but then used primarily to haul coal and oil along the East Coast of the United States. Built in 1902, the ship holds the distinction of being the largest schooner and the largest pure sailing ship (without an auxiliary engine) ever built. The Thomas W. Lawson was a seven masted steel schooner designed by Bowdoin B. Crowninshield and built by the Fore River Ship & Engine Building Co., Quincy, MA, she carried 25 sails in all, 7 gaffsails, 7 topsails, 6 staysails and 5 jibs, with a total area of 43.000 sq feet and with a weight of 18 tons. The sails were made by the sailmaking firm E.L. Rowe & Son of Gloucecester, MA. In 1907, the Thomas W. Lawson was lost on December 13th, off Britain’s Scilly Isles, while riding out a gale, the anchor chain broke and the schooner foundered on Hellweather Reef with the loss of 15 of the of the crew.

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