Steam Titans

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by William M. Fowler, Jr.

Think Walmart and Amazon are engaging in battle? Well, that’s just a skirmish compared to Britain’s Samuel Cunard vs America’s Edward Knight Collins and their Herculean efforts to dominate the 19th Century trans-Atlantic shipping trade – the most important commerce in the world at that time. Ultimately, both countries lost the monetary, political, weather and national-will battle. Today neither nation is even in the top 20 states in numbers of flag merchant ships, though 90 percent of world trade still moves by sea!

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Prime Meridian Day

bluejayblog

The day I visited Greenwich, England was a chilly, foggy, drizzly one.  My friend, Graham, decided the borough would be the best place to begin the day’s tour.  I remember the welcome respite from the drizzle as we strolled underneath the River Thames through the Greenwich Foot Tunnel.

Soon, we stopped to admire the famous “Cutty Sark” clipper ship then walked past the National Maritime Museum.  Next, we approached the Royal Observatory to an area, PrimeMeridian-01paved in brick. I cleaned the mist from my eyeglasses then spotted the Prime Meridian. On impulse, I stood on the actual line. One foot was on the Western Hemisphere and the other on the Eastern Hemisphere.  I made a mental note that I was standing at 0-degrees longitude. After a minute or so, I again cleaned the moisture from my glasses, so my friend and I could continue our walk.

If you remember the geography…

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