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Journal Article

Citation

Reid PF. J. Transp. Hist. 2017; 38(2): 196-212.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2017, SAGE Publishing)

DOI

10.1177/0022526617715259

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

Using diverse sources, including archaeological evidence, this paper scrutinises the technology of the ordinary British Atlantic merchant ship, assessing continuity and change during the formation and development of the Atlantic empire (1600-1800). The paper argues that observable continuities and changes in rig, in hull design, and in defensive armament were responses to risks posed to owners, builders, and crews. I state that 'risk mitigation' was the main policy of the actors involved in the business, thus suggesting an innovative research path to assess decisions to innovate and decisions not to. This can thus contribute to a better understanding of Atlantic and technological history, as well as to an understanding of risk mitigation as a driving force in business and technology, beyond the more commonly used concept of disruptive innovations. Naturally, changes did take place, and investigate why that is helps us understand the continuity more fully, and ship technology more fully.


Language: en

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