The History of Scurvy

The word scurvy may make you think of pirates and sailors on long sea voyages, but "land scurvy" affected many European Crusaders who spent months trudging through the Middle East. In 1747, Scottish physician James Lind found that oranges and lemons could cure scurvy, but that didn't help all sailors.
The British establishment grasped onto the concept of citrus, and then did it really really wrong. First, they substituted cheap and easy to get limes - readily available from British holdings in the Caribbean - for the more effective lemons or oranges. Then they further boiled the limes in copper vessels, which had the non-helpful side effect of reducing the (thus far unknown) Vitamin C content even further.

People began to suspect that maaaaybe this whole citrus thing was not as effective as it had been claimed. Of course by then steam engines in ships brought the age of sail and voyages of longer than 6 weeks to an end. Semi-success-via-roundabout-ways!

Read more about how gradual advances gave us the real cure for scurvy at Atlas Obscura. Link

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No mention of arbor vitae? I remember reading something about early French explorers making a tea from the "cedar" needles after seeing native tribes drinking it.
Hence the name "tree of life".
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Interesting, but a fair bit of inaccuracy. The British Navy did indeed use lemons, rather than limes, most of the time, but they also figured out that green vegetables, sauerkraut, apples were effective alternatives. Apples could be stored effectively in barrels of sawdust for a year or so.

Long sail voyages in square-riggers continued long after the steam-ships came.
Their economic advantage remained until the second-world war, and on some routes, with some cargoes, they were cheaper to run.
Most of the sailing ships involved in ocean trade were seized, interned, confined to port during the war,and received little or no maintenance during that period. Afterwards, the capital cost of re-equipping and repairing was just too great, the last grain-race took place in 1949, and then the long-distance, Cape-Horn voyages ceased.

The winners of the Grain Race, from the Spencer Gulf in Australia to Europe, came in at anything between 83 and 110 days sailing, far greater than the six weeks (42 days) quoted.
Scurvy, by then, was virtually unknown.
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Soubriquet some claim sail is still an economic way of transporting none perishable cargoes, but the argument is flawed. While sail saves on fuel it does not save on crew wages. A sailing vessel would require a larger crew than a powered vessel add to that the fact that a longer voyage would take more man hours and the crew wages would far outstrip the cost of fuel.

And of course many steam powered merchantmen were built during the war meaning that there was a supply of powered shipping to replace the sailing vessels which had been laid up.

Today it may be possible to build a sailing vessel requiring a smaller crew, particularly using kites rather than masts and sails, but nobody seems to be interested in doing so. Since Jones and Merry invented the Flexifoil there have been several ideas put forward for large kite powered vessels, but none seem to have made it to production. The beauty of kite power is of course that it can be applied to a powered vessel. So that it can be used to supplement or replace the normal propulsion when wind conditions are right. This may become popular as fuel prices rise further.
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