Newark was the first modern cruiser in the U.S. Fleet. Newark was entirely American in design and fittings. Her hull was planned in the Navy Department, Washington; and her engines were designed and built by the Cramp Company. This vessel, known as Cruiser No. 1, was authorized by Act of Congress, approved March 3, 1885, but none of the bids received were within the limit of appropriation. A year later, Congress increased the amount available, and the Cramp Company contracted to build her for $1,248,000, and commenced her in the latter part of 1887. She was launched March 19, 1890, and was commissioned at Cramp's Shipyard, February 2, 1891 ; and at the same yard her battery and other fittings were placed on board. On April 17, 1891, she steamed away, going down the Delaware to League Island.
She is a protected steel cruiser, classed first-rate, with ram bow, bilge keels, and three-bladed twin screws. She was designed to have a displacement of 4,083 tons, and horse-power of 8,500; and on official trial trip exceeded the latter by about 368.577 horse-power, which gained the builders a premium of $36,857.70. The speed on the official trial was stated to be about nineteen and a half knots.
The Newark was a twin screw protected cruiser, having a poop and forecastle deck with an open gun-deck between. Tho vessel was built of mild steel throughout, and contained all the latest improvements in naval construction, ordnance, and steam engineering. The engines, boilers, magazines, shell-room, torpedo-spaces, and steering-gear were placed below a protective steel deck extending throughout the length of the vessel. The engines and boilers were further protected on both sides and from above by a coal space or bunkers, which served both as an extra armor and as fuel stores.
Tbe rig is that of a bark without bead-booms. Sail is supplied merely as an auxiliary power for cruising purposes, the area of plain sail being 11,932 square feet. Newark was the last protected cruiser of the new Navy to be provided with sail-power. At the date of her design (1885-1886), the conservatism of the older naval officers in that respect was still strong, and the presence of a bark rig on the NEWARK was the expression of a compromise between them and the new school. To people accustomed to associate spars and sails as a necessary element of the ideal ship, this rig gave the NEWARK an air of grace and majesty wanting in her low-browed, unadorned, and somewhat forbidding consorts. But the reports of officers who have commanded her do not indicate any utility on the part of her sail-power commensurate with its weight, cost, and trouble of taking care of it. Moreover, as resistance to the air at the maximum speed of the ship is generally considered by naval officers equal to at least half a knot, it may be considered settled that sail-power will not again be applied to any high-speed cruiser in our Navy. In fact the rig of the NEWARK was reduced to the modern system of military masts.
The main battery of the Newark consisted of twelve 6-inch breech-loading rides mounted in sponsons on central pivot carriages, with circular 2-inch steel shields fitted to each carriage to protect the gun's crew as well as tho mechanism of the gun and carriages from machine-gun fire.
The forward two guns, one on either side, are placed under the forecastle deck and train from 70° abaft the, beam to 95° forward, thus having a cross fire of 5° converging at 111 feet forward the stem. The after two guns are placed under the poop, and can be trained from 70° forward of tho beam to 93° abaft, thus having a cross fire of 3° converging at 243 feet abaft the stern.
The second pair from forward, together with the second pair from the stern, are placed under bridges, the forward guns training from 93° forward the beam to 70° abaft and the after ones from 70° forward to 93° abaft ; giving a fire of four forward guns and four after guns in a line parallel to the keel. The forward four guns can be concentrated at 112 yards forward the stem, and the after guns at 118 yards astern. The remaining four guns are mounted on the sides and train from 70° forward to 70° abaft the beam.
All the guns on one side can be concentrated on an object 30 feet from the side. The centers of the trunnions are 16 feet above the water. The shell of the main battery weighs 100 pounds, the powder charge 50 pounds, and would pierce about 13 inches of iron at the muzzle.
The secondary battery consists of 4 six-pounders, 57mm single shot guns, 4 37mm Hotchkiss revolving cannon, 1 one-pounder on a rail mount, and two short Gatlings on rail mounts. One of the 37mm guns is mounted in each of the fore and aft tops, formiug in conuectiou with the other machine guus a protection against boarding parties and torpedo boats.
The vessel has six above-water training torpedo launching tubes worked on the berth deck. Auto-mobile torpedoes were provided, and besides these tubes there wase a complete outfit of boat-spar torpedo goar and charges. Magazines, »hell rpomt, etc. - The magazines, shell rooms, tixcd ammunition rooms, aud torpedo magazines are situated in the hold directly abaft the machinery and boiler spaces, separated from the forward boiler room by an uthwartship coal bunker and from the atier engine room by a handing room. The flats below them are water-tight and the tops of all magazines aud shell rooms are 5.5 feet below the water line. The protective deck extends throughout the length of the vessel. Amidships longitudinally for 168 feet the deck is worked 15 inches above the load water-line. Forward it slopes down to 4 feet below the water-lino to strengthen tbe stem, and abaft it slopes to 3 feet below the water. Athwartships the deck is worked flat to within 11 feet of the sides, where it bends down, striking the sides at 4 feet 3 inches below the water-line. The horizontal portion is about 2 inches thick, increased If inch over the steeriug-gear, and the inclined sides aro about 3 inches thick. Armor shutters and scuttles of the same thickness as the deck are fitted at all hatch ways and openings. With a view to making the bottomn plating below the protective deck secure from injuries occurring to the parts above, tho plating is not worked across the edge of the deck, but is stopped, and a strip of steel about 3 inches wide is inserted.
The space between the vertical longitudinal bulk-heads extending on each side, and throughout the length of the machinery spaces and the sides of the vessel will be filled with coal, forming a coal-armor belt amidships 9 feet thick, and forward and aft about 7 feet thick, extending 5 feet above the load water-line.
The vessel had a double bottom extending throughont the space reserved for the engines and boilers, or about 127 feet, tb» depth between the inner skin and outer skin plating being about 39 inches. This double-bottom space was divided into 12 water-tight cells by means of solid floors uiitl vertical keel. The engine and boiler space was divided into 17 water-tight compartments, by means of athwartship bulk-heads and longitudinal bulk-heads, when all doors aro closed, eacli engine being in a separate compartment. There are 12 complete water-tight bulk-heads, extending from the inner skill of the double bottom, and from the outside plating before and abaft to the protective dock, and, by means of bulk-heads and water-tight platforms, the space below the protective deck is divided into 70 water-tight compartments when all the water-tight doors are closed. If all the water-tight doors below the protective decks were left open there are still 37 water-tight compartments.
The space between the protective and berth deck is divided into 72 water-light compartments when all the doors are closed ; with doors open there are 46 compartments. On the berth-deck there are 6 water-tight athwartship bulk-heads, dividing it into 7 water-tight compartments. All the openings from the berth-deck to the engine and boiler rooms are protected by coffer-dams, while all scuttles and hatches to storerooms are water-tight. Thus, below the gun-deck, when all the water-tight doors are closed, there are 147 distinct water-tight compartments, but when all the water-tight doors are open, which should never occur when the vessel is in commission, there are still 85 watertight compartments.
Tbe coal supply at normal draught is 400 tons, but the vessel has a bunker capacity of 850 tons. Tbe motive power is furnished by two triple expansion engines, in separate water-tight compartments. The cylinders are 34, 48, and 76 inches diameter, by 40-inch stroke. The four boilers are 13.5 feet iu diameter by 19.5 feet long, designed for a steam pressure of 100 pounds; grate-surface, 540 square feet. These engiues are capable of developing 8,500 horse-power under forced draught, the air being driven into the lire-rooms by blowing-fans. Steam starting and reversing gear, ash-hoisting engines, steam turning-gear for the main engines, distilling apparatus, a windlass for hoisting the anrliors and other heavy weights, and a steam winch for boats and light weights are fitted.
The exhaust system of ventilation which has been found very efficient in the US Navy was been adopted for the Newark, and special attention was paid to the ventilation of the coal-bunkers. The vessel was lighted throughout by the incandescent system of electric lighting, and was supplied also with elertrie search-lights. Throughout the length of the vessel and on both sides were 41 air-ports, each having a light 12 inches iu diameter, and in addition to these there were 7 coaling-ports on each side, having lights in them 10 inches in diameter. These ports can all be opened and used as ventilators. Under the poop and forecastle on each side are fourteen air-ports, with lights 12 inches in diameter.
A very complete system of drainage was been provided, by which the total power of steam and circulating pumps can be concentrated on any main or intermediate compartment. In addition to the steam pumping system there were four bund-pumps on the berth-deck, which had independent suctions to each main compartment of the double bottom. These pumps deliver into the tire-main or directly overboard, as required, and can be used for flooding any compartment or flushing the drain-pipes.
The fire-main extends along the berth-deck, with stand-pipes to the gun-deck, poop, and forecastle, having cocks for those at intervals. This main is supplied by one of the large steam-pumps or by any or all of the baud-pumps. The vessel will also be supplied with ten lift-pumps for salt water to supply seamen's bead, officers' closets, galleys, sick-bay, etc., and one fresh-water lift-pump to deliver to galley, daily supply tanks, etc.
The Newark is fitted as a flag-ship. The space under the poop was converted into quarters for the admiral and captain. In the wardroom there were fourteen state-rooms, each entered from a passage about 5 feet wide along the middle line of the vessel. Forward of the state-rooms, a space 13.5 feet long and the entire width of the ship was reserved for mess purposes, and fitted with tables sideboards, and safes. Forward of the wardroom were the steerage, pantries, lavatories, warrant officers' state and mess rooms, and wardroom, steerage, and warrant omcers' water-closets. The sick-bay and dispensary were in the extreme forward compartmont. The remainder of the space ou this deck is reserved for the accomodation of the crew. The height in the clear between the berth-deck and the guu-deck beams was 6 feet 7 inches. The crew's head was in the forward compartment of the gundeck, entered either by a water-tight door through the bulk-head or by a hatch from the forecastle.
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