Tracks for Full Powered Steam Vessels with Distances in Nautical Miles is an information-rich maritime chart, published in June 1891 (this edition updated to May 1898) by the Hydrographic Office of the Navy Department, Washington, DC. Supervised by G.W. Littlehales, the chart documents the maritime transportation routes of the late 19th century, a period characterized by advancements in steam-powered sea travel.
As the industrial era matured in the late 1800s, sea transportation underwent a transformative change with the advent and progression of steam power. The Tracks for Full Powered Steam Vessels, which represents these significant transportation arteries, emerged as a crucial navigational tool during this era of evolving marine technology.
This chart's execution is impressive, demonstrating the collaboration of cartographers H.G. Brewer, A.C. Roberts, G. Noetzel, and engravers C.E. Birch, J.A. Waddey, and V.L. Ourdan. In addition to its geospatial details, it includes pragmatic tables providing conversion factors for knots to statute miles, and indicating speed per hour with corresponding daily and weekly distances in nautical miles. These features would have served as an invaluable reference for navigators, aiding in the accurate planning and execution of sea voyages.
The Tracks for Full Powered Steam Vessels with Distances in Nautical Miles provides a nuanced view into the maritime transportation practices of the late 19th century. It stands as a significant artifact of the period, encapsulating the era's strides in naval technology and the infrastructural developments that shaped the global maritime landscape.