Posts Tagged ‘Animals’

Types of Trees Found in Georgia

November 19th, 2022

The State of Georgia is home to approximately 250 species of trees. Due to the various topographical and climactic regions, the location of trees and the densities of each species are varied throughout the state.

One of the most common trees found in Georgia is the red cedar. A mid-sized tree growing between 40 to 50 feet with a 2- to 3-foot diameter, its small leaves, berry fruit, and light-brown bark characterize the red cedar. The tree has also been found to carry a distinct fragrance, akin to sap. It is found throughout the state, particularly in areas with significant limestone ridges, such as those of northwest Georgia. Interestingly, they are rarely found along the coastal plains but have been found to be more abundant near the sea. As a species of the evergreen tree, red cedar is often used to produce fence posts, pencils, interior finish and other novelties.

The Eastern white pine is another tree that flourishes in Georgia. Found mostly in the mountains of the northern region, the Eastern white pine is noted for its blue-green and white-hued needles, cylindrical cones and coiled branches. It can grow up to 80 feet in height with a trunk size of 3 feet in diameter with bark that is soft, light-toned and patterned with straight grains and tinges of crimson. Eastern white pines are incorporated into a variety of construction projects, as well as used in interior finish and caskets.

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Georgia’s Steam Coffin

April 22nd, 2022

By the 1820′s the Savannah Steam Ship Company was in dire financial trouble. The recent city-wide fire in Savannah, Georgia had hit the company as hard as anyone, and in order to put a little money back in their coffers they chose to sell their most famous vessel, the S.S. Savannah, the 1st steam-ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean and return safely. The engine, paddles and smoke stacks, and all other parts of engineers Daniel Dodd and Stephen Vail’s revolutionary design, were removed and sold for scrap. It was only 2 years later that the ship ran aground off Long Island and was destroyed. But for a brief yet glorious time, this innovative ship was the pride of not only the city of Savannah and the state of Georgia, but of a young nation taking its 1st, tentative steps on the word stage.

The S.S. Savannah was the dream of Captain Moses Rogers of New London Connecticut. Rogers sought financial backing from wealthy shipping companies in Savannah, Georgia, which at the time was on of the most important ports in the United State. Rogers most likely appealed to their vanity; after all, what could be more prestigious than a nautical 1st launching from Georgia’s shores?

With the financial backing secured Rogers engaged talented engineer Stephen Vail to build and install the Savannah’s engine based on the patented design of New Jersey born Daniel Dodd. The steam-works were to be added to a ship already under construction in New York, some 100 feet long by 25 wide and weighing 320 tons. When completed the Savannah would be tough enough for an Atlantic spanning voyage, yet no larger than a modern tug-boat.

The key to the ships eventual success lay in her design. She was a fully functional sailing vessel, but with a complete steam-powered locomotion system that could be used when the ship was becalmed. A pair of collapsible, removable wheels made from paddles linked by iron chains would be affixed, one on each side, when the ship was under steam. An exterior, bent smokestack, 17 feet in length, could be swiveled in any direction, ensuring that the wind never blew smoke in an undesirable direction. Innovations in the engine included horizontal copper boiler plates for even weight distribution that were specially design to prevent salt from the boiled water from caking on their sides.

The Savannah’s engine was constructed at the Speedwell Ironworks. Vail worked closely with noted draftsman Samuel Carson on the engine, benefiting greatly from the complete collection of steam engine specifications that Carson acquired during his London apprenticeship to the sons of Matthew Boulton and James Watt, the original inventors of the steam ship.

After the many mishaps, mistakes and near disasters that plague any project of this nature (including badly made boring cylinders, inaccurately designed air pumps and hull-wrecking December ice-storms) the Savannah was finally completed. Unfortunately the next problem presented itself almost immediately; no crew or passengers would go near it, and no one would trust their cargo on it. The fear lay in the engine itself, a big metal box full of steam, smoke and fire, traditional enemies of wooden ships at see. Local sailors dubbed it the Steam Coffin, and it took substantial effort on Captain Roger’s part to finally find a crew for his historic voyage.

The great irony of the S.S. Savannah, in a way, is the unqualified success of its trip. No one was hurt. No piece of equipment was damaged or lost. The ship arrived in a Liverpool, England in a respectable 29 days and 4 hours. England was, to the delight of an America in which the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 were still fresh memories, both impressed and humiliated by the United State’s success. Sweden, Russia and Norway were equally impressed. No less a person the American President James Monroe wrote to the Captain to congratulate him.