Civil War era technology?

Don't know if there's a more specific group to ask, but I'll start here. Please direct me elsewhere if it's not.
During the Civil War iron clad ships 'Monitor' & 'Merrimac' battle [which
ended in a draw], did electrical motors [particularly 'heavy duty' industrial ones] exist yet? If not, roughly how long until they did?
Also, during that same battle, did hydraulic pistons [like for actuating/moving excavator-type arms] exist yet? If not, roughly how long until they did? I know steam pistons for trains had been around for quite awhile by then... but oil/hydraulic ones?
I'm designing a hypothetical unarmed, military salvage and recovery submarine for an extended CGI assignment [using Softimage XSI] and need a sense of what electrical and hydraulic technology existed during the Civil War, so my final efforts don't look *too* fanciful. My sub is going to purposely have an unglamorous, very utilitarian, decidedly non-Disney look to it.
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Electric motor theory was understood since Volta, and I'm sure there were many examples of functional benchtop electric motors - but my best guess is heavy industrial electrical motors would have to wait on Edison and the 1880s. He was doing experiments with electric rail travel and that suggests a heavy motor design.

I think hydraulics came into general use after WWI. They may have had a military application before that as the big artillery guns got heavier and higher barrel elevation was more desirable - just a guess.
I'm thinking the state of the art in power excavation was being done with the fellas that developed the canal system of the 1800s. Research that and you'll get an idea on the technology limitations of the day

WOW! Hard enough to build a CW era sub, but this one's going to be an underwater salvage vessel too. There are so many things to consider in submersible technology - I think the best you could hope for is a diving bell type of design that relies on a surface ship or platform for its power, environmental air, buoyancy and stability thru umbilicals and tethers.
Not unless you intend to adopt the Miguelito Lovelace startegy of divining distant future technologies, translated into the brass and gas raw materials of the day. I think James West had to contend with everything from tanks to television - in one of the 80s reunion specials he even had to deal with a nuke! You could almost hear Jules Verne groaning. ;-)
When you finish the project, please post a rendered screen shot in the binaries group.
WmB
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About hydraulics.... sorry, but you're out of luck there - hydraulics of any real pressure and usefulness weren't around until the late '40s, and winch / cable operated earthmoving equipment was still being produced into the 60's. And the really big stuff is still cable operated.
And for heavy-duty electric motor stuff, you need to look at some serious DC motors, or 3-phase AC electrical systems; very common in industry these days - but only dating from the late 1890's.
Before these dates, it was steam powered or muscle powered....
RobG
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I have some photos of heavy construction machinery from the beginning of the 20th Century (some forty years after the Civil War) and the steam shovel shown in these photos indicates cables operated by a steam engine with a primary arm and a secondary (with the shovel attached to the end) which was counter-balanced sort of like this: \ \ / \/ / \ _/ \ /_/ \ \
Cables ran through these arms to operate the machinery. If you'd like, I could scan and e-mail these photos to you. Just send me your address.
- John
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A professor once noted in a seminar I attended that prior to 1875 about the only structural materials available were stone, wood, brass/bronze, and cast iron. The range of mechanical materials weren't much broader. That should give you the context.
Electricity was pretty much out.
Hydraulics, in principle, existed in the form of steam cylinders. There were also pumps, valves, as so forth.
KL

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Kurt Laughlin wrote:

Steels were available, but at great expense. The steel revolution was starting, and Britain would have been using a lot more steel in the 70s than the US, but even here the steel industry was getting underway in that period. Steel was still expensive so only the military could afford wide use of it. I think railroad rails were also one of the main things converting to steel in that time. In fact, some 'ironclads' were clad with railroad rail.
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Yeah, that's what I meant by "about". To be fair, I think the prof said "iron", not "cast iron", because wrought iron was certainly available then. Bessemer steel was a mid-1850's thing but steel wasn't common until 1875 when the Edgar Thompson Works opened. For a long time the only rolled steel shapes were rails - no I-beams, angles, etc. (*) Steel was more common in mechanical parts - machine parts, needles, knives, stuff like that.
Another point of context: It wasn't until the 1880's that engineers used F=ma as a starting point for structural design. Before then, it was pretty much empirical, "This bridge is twice as long as that one, so I'll make the beams twice as big".
(*) Watervliet Arsenal has an "Iron Building" from 1859 that is made from wrought iron shapes sheathed in cast iron panels.
KL
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??? I use arithmetic but have no math past beginning algebra, and that was back in 1968. But I understand your example... "Before then, it was pretty much empirical, "This bridge is twice as long as that one, so I'll make the beams twice as big".
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wrote

Newton's 1st Law of Motion F)orce = M)ass x A)cceleration
WmB
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Nev wrote:

Actually, F=ma is for dynamics, not statics. Statics was used for bridge design for centuries before dynamic stability was worried about (after Tacoma narrows bridge failure). Any ex-servicemen remember breaking into route step when crossing bridges?
Anyway, statics for bridge design was used as early as late eighteenth century, widely used in early nineteenth. Statics uses a lot of trigonometry, but very few differential equations until one gets to bending beams. Builders in early nineteenth century did not like to bend beams, used truss structures with almost all loads in either tension or compression.
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wrote

Just to put a finer point on it...
Being one half of the field of study known as Mechanics, statics is a condition of Newton's First Law where a=0. If Kurt had posted F=0, I doubt anyone would have known what he was talking about. ;-)
WmB
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Yes. Any analysis begins with a free body diagram, followed by a summation of forces which must equal zero to be in static equilibrium. And, despite being statics, a significant force in any suspended structure is still be the mass of the system multiplied by the acceleration due to gravity, which is rarely zero in terrestrial structures like bridges. . .
KL
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Kurt Laughlin wrote:

The point I was trying to make, and I see I didn't do too good a job, is that statics can be done with high school trig, and doesn't need differential equations and calculus, like dynamic analysis does. Most civil engineers in nineteenth century started out apprenticing as surveyors, where they learned lots of trig, but not calc. Thus the nineteenth century civil engineer could nicely analyse truss type structures using statics. It was not just a test and make it stronger till it works. The tensile and compressive strengths of wood, cast iron, wrought iron, and the early steels was known. It was a lot harder for them to analyse a straight cantilever span, however. And things like resonance was certainly beyond most of them.
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As it has already been said Steel was a Expensive very High Ticket item in very short supply at that point. The bulk of what was made was Cast Iron. I live about 15 North of a Iron Works that ran Day & Night during the Civil War years. They cast Cannon and Cannon Balls for the Union Army. Most of these furnaces were wood fired , this particular Furnace was Coal Fired to give it a hotter & more controllable heat source in melting all the Iron Ore they used this had the effect of rendering up a Much Better Final Product. But then it was right here in New York it's only One of many that Dot the Region up here. Some of them in worse shape then they have been able to restore this one to.
The use of Iron by far out-weighed the use of Steel or almost any other metal in use at the this juncture of time in our History.
And I still say that you just Can Not put the words "CIVIL WAR and Technology" in the Same Sentence. It just does not make any Real sense to me here at all
... Carl ..........
.
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You obliviously don't know war do you ?
The Civil War is replete with technological advances, just the Hunley alone was a major military milestone.......
Allan
--
Only A Gentleman Can Insult Me And A True Gentleman Never Will




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I'm not sure. But I don't think you can put the words "Civil War & Technolog" in the same sentence. You'd have to check it. You certainly had pullies and gears and some of this could at the time be driven with an system using anintricate aray of overhead of Flat Belts to transfer motive power from one stationary machine in a line to another. But it All still had to be feed (Mechanical Power) by a Coal or Wood fired Steam Engine. This was the "State-of-the-Art" for the time that was it.
HEY , Just WHAT was so wrong with the Great Miguelito Lovelace , Hmmmm
I seem to remember another show called "Legend" I think with the guy who played Q on Star Trek. They had a similar story line with that show, but he was this Mad Scientist from the around Croatioa.
Somehow I think in the overall scheme of things that Jules Verne would be sort of pleased with the way they wrote some of the technology into the "Wild Wild West"
... Carl ..........
.
Rama-Lama-BIG-BORG ; BORG TEMPLE N.Y. Central-Park-West ; Master Builder of blessed temple KITS ; Keeper of Secret Temple Decoder Rings & Bracelets ; Fluent-in-1st--Degree--TALK-to-the-HAND --TEMPLE-ETTE--Guards--SIX--&--SEVEN--
The----WORLD--WIDE--WEB----is totally jam packed with thousands of people who are Destined to be nothing more then a faded weatherbeaten ---CHALK--OUTLINE--- along the---INFORMATION--SUPER--HIGHWAY---
This is My Main Modeling Page and Web-Site http://community.webtv.net/CYBER-BORG-4/ThemodelsIlikethe
And Introducing "SPOT -the- CAT" http://community.webtv.net/CYBER-BORG-4/MODELERSHELPERall
A brief look into what is really me http://community.webtv.net/CYBER-BORG-4/HeresSomeReallyBig
Yessss , I'm the -real- "Bad Santa" http://community.webtv.net/CYBER-BORG-4/COMEgetYourPresent
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I would say no to electricity, and a qualified yes to hydraulics - which is older than steam engines. Remember the only submarine of it's time was human powered (CSS Hunley, gives new meaning to the term crankshaft!). Good place to start is to check out some sites that detail the design - after all the Navy just pulled it up a year or so ago.
http://www.hunley.org / http://www.submarine-history.com/NOVAone.htm http://www.submarine-history.com/NOVAtwo.htm
Try asking in the railroad newsgroups also.
Another possibility is that you could pre-suppose later technologies that came around the 1880's to 1900 before the first U boats.
Also remember battery technology was experimented with by many in the late 1700's, Ben Franklin included, though I doubt the scientists knew what to do with the electricity at that time. Perhaps this could be used in your design.
KWW
: Don't know if there's a more specific group to ask, but I'll start here. : Please direct me elsewhere if it's not. : : During the Civil War iron clad ships 'Monitor' & 'Merrimac' battle [which : ended in a draw], did electrical motors [particularly 'heavy duty' : industrial ones] exist yet? If not, roughly how long until they did? : : Also, during that same battle, did hydraulic pistons [like for : actuating/moving excavator-type arms] exist yet? If not, roughly how long : until they did? I know steam pistons for trains had been around for quite : awhile by then... but oil/hydraulic ones? : : I'm designing a hypothetical unarmed, military salvage and recovery : submarine for an extended CGI assignment [using Softimage XSI] and need a : sense of what electrical and hydraulic technology existed during the Civil : War, so my final efforts don't look *too* fanciful. My sub is going to : purposely have an unglamorous, very utilitarian, decidedly non-Disney look : to it. : :
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Uh, there never was a Civil War battle between ships called Monitor and Merrimac. The South never, ever had a ship in its service called Merrimac.
The Merrimac was the USS Merrimac, pride of the American navy. At the outbreak of war it was in the process of being overhauled and was not in seaworthy condition. Since the port it was being overhauled in was in Virginia the port personnel scuttled it to keep it from falling into Confederate hands.
The Confederacy salvaged its engines and hull and used them to build a new ship- the CSS *Virginia*.
The Virginia's first action was attacking the federal blockade at Hampton roads. The next day the brand new Union ship, the USS Monitor, met it in battle. Tactically the battle was a draw, since neither ship could do significant damage to the other. Strategically it was a decisive Union victory, since the Confederates were stopped cold in their attempt to break the blockade.
Remember, it was the Monitor vs. the Virginia.
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You're right, of course. I vaguely remembered one of the ships was refit and renamed, but not which one. Thanks for the clarification.
Yet oddly, what few websites I briefly looked through, mentioned the name change towards the end almost in passing. So out of 'popular habit' I and likely most other people remember the battle as between the 'Monitor and the Merrimac'. Still, I'll be sure to include that [re]naming tidbit in the explanatory text at the beginning of my final project... actually my 'Senior Project'.
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Nev wrote:

The saddest thing...is that when "ironclads" is mentioned, most people think of *only* the Monitor and the Virginia. There were *many* "ironclads" in use by both sides during the war, of many varied sizes and configurations.
--

Greg Heilers
Registered Linux User #328317 - SlackWare 10.1 (2.6.10)
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