links for 2007-08-30

Department of "Huh?"

Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Empire, p. 50:

The world merchant marine, whose growth roughly indicates the expansion of the global economy, had remained more-or-less static between 1860 and 1890. Its size fluctuated between 16 and 20M tons. Between 1890 and 1914 it almost doubled...

But the fleet of 1860 is a sailing fleet. The fleet of 1890 is a steam fleet. What with the changability of the wind, a steamship can sail about three times as fast as a sailing ship. the 20M tons of 1890 had three times the cargo-carrying capacity of the 20M tons of 1860.