National Geographic : 1918 Sep
173 THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE paper pattern, on which every rivet hole is marked, every curve and twist designated. With these templates | for guidance, the vari ous parts of the ship's hull are laid off, sheared, punched, planed, and bent. Upon the skill and thoroughness of the loftsmen depend in very great measure the speed with which a ship is built, the strength of its hull, and the economy of its construction. Working in collabo ration with the lofts men are the shipfitters, who take the tem plates and mark off upon the steel plates the different parts of the hull. In some spe cial instances the ship fitter works directly from his blue-prints without the aid of templates. THE CAMOUPLEUR ARRIVES Once the ship is completed, 60 per cent of the labor being rep resented in the hull and 40 per cent in the installation of the mechanical parts and © Committee on Public Information BUILDING THE STERN OF A MODERN SHIP When America suddenly awoke to the necessity of having ships in a hurry, it was the bridge-builders and those who had erected our steel skyscrapers, who proved to be the "men of the hour." The fabricated steel ship is an adaptation of the American bridge-build ers' method of construction. the motive power, there comes upon the scene a corps of men whose profession was unknown before the war and for whom a name had to be invented by the French-camoufleurs, men who prac tice the art of concealment by protective coloration. In the use of camouflage it has been found impossible so to blend a ship with horizon or seascape as to make it invis ible; a phase of the art had to be devel oped which would effect an optical illu sion confusing to the enemy observer. Marine camouflage, instead of being a new art, is in reality the revival of a prac tice familiar to the Greeks and Romans at the dawn of the Christian era. They employed what today in modified and im proved form is known as the "baffle" system of painting. It is the use of big splotches of color and wide bands of paint to distort the dimensions and shape of vessels to such an extent that an enemy at any considerable distance is unable to determine their size, their armament, or the direction in which they are going.