HMS St. Vincent Takes In Sail

An interesting little bit of history today; one of the few surviving bits of film of a British warship under sail to be taken while she was still part of the Royal Navy.

First laid down in Devonport in 1810 and launched just before Waterloo in 1815, HMS St. Vincent – a 120-gun first-rate ship of the line – managed to hang on as an armed training vessel until she was scrapped in 1906.

HMS St. Vincent Takes in Sail (Via the Imperial War Museum)

In today’s modern world where a computer seems to chug after just a few years, a 91 year service life feels like an incredible length of time – that ship not only saw out the ambitions of Napoleon but was still sailing as the Americans tore themselves apart with Civil War almost two generations later. And she watched Germany and Italy unify. She was still spreading sails whilst the world was criss-crossed with telegraph lines. And raised anchor in the years after the first powered flight.

And less than a decade this footage was shot the world would be plunged into the first truly industrial war.

See more at: Imperial War Museum – Object IWM 598

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