Mr. Mitchell, formerly Director of Information for the American Merchant Marine Institute, has contributed several articles on ships and the sea to AMERICAN HERITAGE . For further reading: The Frigate Constitution, by Ira N. Hollis (Houghton, revised edition, 1931); Old Ironsides: The Story of U.S.S. Constitution, by Thomas P. Morgan (Burdette, 1963)); Tattered Ensign , by John Jennings (Crowell, 1966).
Nineteenth-century American courage and resourcefulness carried our merchant flag to the world's harbors and our nation to world prominence. The proud affection of a sea-conscious nation is reflected in our portfolio of ships by artists of three continents. Our essay, by C. Bradford Mitchell, former editor of Steamboat Bill and information director of the Merchant Marine Institute, charts the curious historic twists of public attitude and official policy that have alternately fostered and stunted our merchant navy.
The nation’s waterways, once crisscrossed by countless ferries, are now bridged or tunnelled, and all but a few of the romantic old surface shuttles are, alas, sounding their final whistles and bells