Scope and content
Painted by Anna Zinkeisen. In 1758 the Society of Arts offered prizes for what were known as 'ship's blocks', i.e. scale models of ships, in order to 'ascertain by experiments the principles on which a good vessel is founded'. Water resistance and resistance to rolling were two of the main qualities it was desired to test. It was not until 1761 that sufficient models had been submitted for the prizes but that year six entries, 4 32-gun frigates and 2 74-gun ships, were tried at Peerless Pool, near Old Street, in the City of London. 26,500 copies sold.