The brig (brigantine) is a two-masted sailing ship where both masts are square rigged. The rear mast carries a gaff sail as well. Its length was about 110 feet and its beam about 28 feet.
During late 1700s and throughout the 1800s the brig was a standard cargo ship. The brig was fast and well sailing, but required a large crew (100 to 120) for the yardsails. Around the turn of the century the brigs lost in competition against the steamers and the gaffsail schooners, which needed much smaller crew.
U.S. Ensign as Initial letter engraving on Bill of Lading form made out for sugar and rum carried by the Brig Mary and landed at Philadelphia.
American; dated April 1790.
THE 13 STARS AND STRIPES: A SURVEY OF 18TH CENTURY IMAGES
by David Martucci
North American Vexillological Association
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