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History, Politics & Society
Inventions
Engineering

What man was responsible for the development of the Northern and Southern ironclads?

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July 04, 2015 5:57PM

The Union ironclad Monitor was designed by Swedish inventor John Ericsson. The Merrimack (also known as the Virginia) was a conventional wooden hull that was converted to an ironclad according to a design prepared by Lt. John Mercer Brooke of the Confederate navy. However, although the 1862 battle between these two ships became legendary, ironclad warships had been used since the early 1850s by the French and British, so the attribute of "ironclad inventor" is unclear.

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June 12, 2015 8:32PM

Ironically, both of the US Civil War's original ironclads, the Monitor and the Virginia owed their development to the inventor of the USS Monitor, Swedish inventor John Ericsson. He had perfected the so-called screw propeller. With this type of propeller, it allowed for the mounting of steam engines below the waterline. Thus no need for risky paddle wheels.