David W. Taylor

David Watson Taylor (March 4, 1864 – July 28, 1940) was a U.S. naval architect and an engineer of the United States Navy. He served during World War I as Chief Constructor of the Navy, and Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair. Taylor is best known as the man who constructed the first experimental towing tank ever built in the United States.

David Watson Taylor
David Watson Taylor in 1917
Taylor in 1917
BornMarch 4, 1864
Louisa County, Virginia, U.S.
DiedJuly 28, 1940 (aged 76)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Navy
RankUS-O8 insignia.svg Rear admiral
AwardsDistinguished Service Medal
Legion of Honor
John Fritz Medal
Franklin Medal (1917)

Early life and education

Taylor was born in Louisa County, Virginia. He entered the United States Naval Academy in 1881, after graduating from Randolph-Macon College where he was a member of Phi Kappa Psi.[1] He graduated from the Academy in 1885 at the head of his class, setting a scholarship record, which still stands today. He was then sent to Greenwich, England in 1885 and received the highest honors of the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, in 1888, again setting a record.


US Experimental Model Basin - interior view, c. 1900
Experimental Model Basin, c. 1900

In August 1886, Taylor was appointed an assistant naval constructor. Early in his naval career he served on various stations and in 1909 acted as chief of the navy's Bureau of Construction and Repair. In 1895 he was the first American honored by award of a gold medal of the British Institute of Naval Architects.[2]

In 1898 he constructed and had charge of the first experimental tank for models of war vessels built in the United States. He was connected with boards dealing with hull changes of naval vessels. In probably the greatest achievement of his career he created the "Taylor Standard Series" of 80 models with systematically varying proportions and prismatic coefficient.[3] This series is still used for preliminary estimates of ship resistance for twin screw, moderate to high speed naval ships. The book was revised in 1933 with the addition of data on 40 new models. The series data was re-analyzed using more recent methods of evaluating friction resistance, and the results were published in 1954.[4] Both "Speed and Power" and the Reanalysis were republished by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers in 1998, the centennial of the EMB.

The Taylor Series allows variation of the slenderness ratio, beam to draft ratio, and prismatic coefficient. While these are far from the only parameters that can be varied in a warship's hull design, it is possible to get a preliminary estimate of ship resistance from the series for essentially all warships, and many merchant ships, built since Taylor's time. Taylor's main contribution was to recognize that these three simple parameters were the critical ones for ship performance. A Taylor series estimate is accurate enough to plan the model test and to develop an idea of how much power will be required to achieve design speed, prior to model testing the actual hull form. Today the Taylor Series has been programmed in electronic form and is used in several ship "synthesis models" to do feasibility studies for new ships.

After the RMS Titanic disaster of 1912, he was assigned to investigate the problem of making ships more seaworthy through better hull construction. On this duty, he served under the Secretary of Commerce and took a leading part in the International Conference on Safety at Sea, which grew out of the Titanic sinking.

Taylor as Chief Constructor of the Navy during World War I

On December 14, 1914, a few months after the outbreak of war in Europe, Taylor became chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair, with the rank of rear admiral on December 14, 1914. He held that post throughout the war, along with the title of Chief Constructor of the Navy.

Taylor's active interest in aviation was stimulated by his appointment as a representative of the government on the National Research Council in 1916. In January, 1917, he was senior member of the Joint Army and Navy Technical Board for Design and Construction of a Zeppelin-type airship.

Through the World War, Taylor supervised the creation of numbers of new ships for naval service. For this work the navy bestowed upon him the Distinguished Service Medal, with the citation: "For exceptionally meritorious service in a duty of great responsibility as Chief of the Bureau of Construction and Repair." The French government made him a Commander of the Legion of Honor.

Taylor also aided in the development of the NC-type flying boat, the first aircraft to make a transatlantic flight.

Aeronautical activities in the post-war period

After his retirement from Naval service, Taylor focused his attention on aeronautics. He played a major role in promoting aviation's technical development, serving on several committees of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the precursor of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Taylor served as chairman of NACA's Subcommittee on Aeronautical Inventions and Designs after the subcommittee was organized in March 1927. Later that year, he was made chairman of the Subcommittee on Aerodynamics.

Long recognized as an international authority on naval architecture and marine engineering. Taylor applied the principles of hydrodynamics to the problem of aerodynamics. Following this new field of aviation, Taylor became one of the foremost authorities in the world in aerodynamics. He specialized on problems connected with the design of aircraft propellers and of seaplane floats and flying-boat hulls.

In 1931, Taylor was awarded the John Fritz Medal, the highest honor of the American engineering profession, "for outstanding achievement in marine architecture, for revolutionary results of persistent research in hull design, for improvements in many types of warships and for distinguished service as chief constructor for the United States Navy during the World War."

Later life and death

Shortly before his death, the navy's Research and Development community honored Taylor by naming its new model basin after him. The new model basin constructed at Carderock, Maryland, the finest facility of its kind in the world, was dedicated as the David Taylor Model Basin in his presence in 1939. The Model Basin retains his name as a living memorial to this distinguished naval architect and marine engineer.

Taylor died in Washington, D.C. on July 28, 1940.


Taylor was influential in the development of the United States Navy's superiority. His legacy, and genius, live on in his descendants, awards (below), and the water basin which still retains his name (Above).

In addition to the Model Basin, the navy has honored Taylor's legacy in several ways. In 1942 the destroyer David W. Taylor (DD-551) was named in his honor. The Navy's David W. Taylor Award recognizes outstanding scientific achievement, awarded for a contribution to the development of future maritime systems through the creation of technology based upon research. He was conferred with Honorary Membership of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.[5]

The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers awards the David W. Taylor Medal for "notable achievement in naval architecture and/or marine engineering."

The SS President Cleveland was intended to be named USS Admiral D. W. Taylor.


  1. ^ Grand Catalogue of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity: February 1, 1910, page 97
  2. ^ National Academy Of Sciences Biographical Memoirs of David Watson Taylor
  3. ^ The Speed and Power of Ships, by D. W. Taylor [Washington: 1910]
  4. ^ A Reanalysis of the Original Test Data for the Taylor Standard Series, by Dr. Morton Gertler, David Taylor Model Basin Report No. 806, 1954
  5. ^ http://www.iesis.org/honorary-fellows.html

External links

Aircraft Board

The Aircraft Board was a United States federal government organization created from the Aircraft Production Board on October 1, 1917, by Act of Congress to provide statutory authority to the APB, which had been created by a resolution of the Council of National Defense on May 16, 1917. Chaired by Howard E. Coffin, the Aircraft Board was also removed from the control of the Council of National Defense and placed under the Secretaries of War and the Navy. The boards, ruled advisory in nature by the Judge Advocate General, gave their recommendations to the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps regarding the development and procurement of aircraft during World War I.The board consisted initially of Coffin, Brig. Gen. George O. Squier (Chief Signal Officer), Rear Adm. David W. Taylor (Chief of the Bureau of Construction of the Navy), S.D. Waldron, Edward A. Deeds, and Col. Robert L. Montgomery. On June 16, 1917, it added Col. Raynal C. Bolling, and on September 14, 1917, Col. Benjamin D. Foulois and Capt. N. E. Irwin, all of the Aviation Section.After Howard Coffin had resigned under corruption allegations in March, President Wilson appointed John D. Ryan in April 1918 to replace Coffin as head of the board.

Blade element theory

Blade element theory (BET) is a mathematical process originally designed by William Froude (1878), David W. Taylor (1893) and Stefan Drzewiecki to determine the behavior of propellers. It involves breaking a blade down into several small parts then determining the forces on each of these small blade elements. These forces are then integrated along the entire blade and over one rotor revolution in order to obtain the forces and moments produced by the entire propeller or rotor. One of the key difficulties lies in modelling the induced velocity on the rotor disk. Because of this the blade element theory is often combined with the momentum theory to provide additional relationships necessary to describe the induced velocity on the rotor disk (for further details see Blade Element Momentum Theory). At the most basic level of approximation a uniform induced velocity on the disk is assumed:

Alternatively the variation of the induced velocity along the radius can be modeled by breaking the blade down into small annuli and applying the conservation of mass, momentum and energy to every annulus. This approach is sometimes called the Froude-Finsterwalder equation.

If the blade element method is applied to helicopter rotors in forward flight it is necessary to consider the flapping motion of the blades as well as the longitudinal and lateral distribution of the induced velocity on the rotor disk. The most simple forward flight inflow models are first harmonic models.

Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center

The Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center is located in Potomac, Maryland and consists of approximately 3,200 scientists, engineers and support personnel working in more than 40 disciplines ranging from fundamental science to applied/in-service engineering. Carderock's Headquarters is located in West Bethesda, Maryland. The Division also conducts research and development at several remote sites across the United States.

As a major component and field activity of the Naval Sea Systems Command, the Carderock Division provides cradle-to-grave support for its technical products over a wide range of scientific areas related to surface and undersea platforms. The Division addresses the full spectrum of applied maritime science and technology, from the theoretical and conceptual beginnings, through design and acquisition, to implementation and follow-on engineering. This includes all technical aspects of improving the performance of ships, submarines, military water craft, and unmanned vehicles, as well as research for military logistics systems. In addition, the Division is uniquely chartered by the U.S. Congress to support maritime industry. The facility specialises in:

Environmental Quality Systems;

Hull Forms & Propulsors;

Ship Design & Integration;


Silencing Systems,

Structures and Materials;

Susceptibility.Division Sites:

Bethesda, Maryland (Carderock Division Headquarters), the David Taylor Model Basin is located at the facility.

Norfolk, Virginia (Combatant Craft Division)

Fort Lauderdale, Florida (South Florida Ocean Measurement Facility)

Memphis, Tennessee (Large Cavitation Channel)

Bayview, Idaho (Acoustic Research Detachment)

Ketchikan, Alaska (Southeast Alaska Acoustic Measurement Facility)

Silverdale, Washington (Bangor Detachment)

Chione venosa

Chione is a monotypic genus of flowering plants in the family Rubiaceae containing the single species Chione venosa. It is native to the neotropics, occurring in most of Mexico, and throughout Central America, the Caribbean, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It is typically a tree growing 10 to 20 meters tall. In harsh habitats, it may be dwarfed and shrubby. It has no known economic use.

David Arnott (disambiguation)

David Arnott is an American actor, screenwriter and composer.

David Arnott may also refer to:

David Arnott (minister) (born 1945), Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland

David Arnott (marine engineer), winner of the David W. Taylor Medal

David Arnott (politician) (1899–1960), Australian politician

David W. Arnott (linguist) (1915-2004), scholar of African languages

David Taylor Model Basin

The David Taylor Model Basin (DTMB) is one of the largest ship model basins—test facilities for the development of ship design—in the world. DTMB is a field activity of the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center.

David W. Taylor Medal

The David W. Taylor Medal is a medal presented by the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers for "notable achievement in naval architecture and/or marine engineering."

The medal was named in honor of Rear Admiral David W. Taylor, USN. It is gold-plated bronze approximately 2.5 inches (6.25 cm) in diameter. One side portrays Admiral Taylor; the other contains an inscription.

Although named for the same person, the medal should not be confused with the David W. Taylor Award presented by the United States Navy for contributions to the development of future maritime systems.

Distinguished Service Medal (United States Navy)

The Navy Distinguished Service Medal is a military decoration of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps which was first created in 1919. The medal is presented to recognize distinguished and exceptionally meritorious service to the United

States while serving in a duty or position of great responsibility. The award is the Navy and Marine Corps equivalent to the Army Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, and the Coast Guard Distinguished Service Medal. The Navy Distinguished Service Medal was originally senior to the Navy Cross, until August 1942 when the precedence of the two decorations was reversed. Currently, it is worn after the Defense Distinguished Service Medal and before the Silver Star Medal.

Franklin Medal

The Franklin Medal was a science award presented from 1915 through 1997 by the Franklin Institute located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. It was founded in 1914 by Samuel Insull.

The Franklin Medal was the most prestigious of the various awards presented by the Franklin Institute. Together with other historical awards, it was merged into the Benjamin Franklin Medal, initiated in 1998.

François Frenkiel

François Naftali Frenkiel (Warsaw, 19 September 1910 – Rockville, Maryland, 9 July 1986) was a physicist and one of the founders of the American Institute of Physics (AIP) journal Physics of Fluids in 1958. He was the editor of Physics of Fluids from its establishment until 1981.

François Frenkiel, received his undergraduate education in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Ghent, Belgium, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of Lille in France where he studied under the direction of Kampé de Fériet. He immigrated to the US in 1947 and was associated successively with Cornell University, the U.S. Naval Ordnance Laboratory, the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and, from 1960 until his retirement, with the David W. Taylor Naval Ship Research and Development Center.

In addition to being the founder and longtime editor of Physics of Fluids, he served on a large number of national and international committees, e.g., to name but a few, the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics (IUTAM), the U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, and the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society of which he was the chairman and secretary on numerous occasions.

He published extensively in the field of turbulent flows and pioneered the application of high-speed digital computing methods to the measurement of turbulence and the mathematical modeling of urban pollution. He was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Frenkiel retired in 1981 and died on 9 July 1986, in Washington, D.C.

The American Physical Society has named an award in his honor.

John Niedermair

John Charles Niedermair (1893–1982) was an American Naval architect whom the U.S. Naval Institute reports as being 'Among the most noted U.S. naval architects of [the 20th] century' and whom the American Society of Naval Engineers note as 'the father of today's modern United States Navy ships'. He worked in the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Ships from 1928 to 1958 during which time he directed the design of what were to become 8,000 ships, notably the Landing Ship, Tank. He received the U.S. Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award; the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers 1958 David W. Taylor Medal; the U.S. National Academy of Sciences 1976 Gibbs Brothers Medal; and the American Society of Naval Engineers 1978 Harold E. Saunders Award.

Morton number

In fluid dynamics, the Morton number (Mo) is a dimensionless number used together with the Eötvös number or Bond number to characterize the shape of bubbles or drops moving in a surrounding fluid or continuous phase, c.

It is named after Rose Morton, who described it with W. L. Haberman in 1953.


The XBQM-108A was an experimental VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle developed by the United States Navy during the 1970s. Although the XBQM-108A successfully conducted tethered flight tests, the project was cancelled before any free flights could be conducted.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Montgomery County, Maryland

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Montgomery County, Maryland.

This is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Montgomery County, Maryland, United States. Latitude and longitude coordinates are provided for many National Register properties and districts; these locations may be seen together in a map.There are 79 properties and districts listed on the National Register in the county, including 3 National Historic Landmarks.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted April 12, 2019.

SS President Cleveland (1947)

SS President Cleveland was an American passenger ship originally ordered by the Maritime Commission during World War II, as one of the Admiral-class Type P2-SE2-R1 transport ships, and intended to be named USS Admiral D. W. Taylor (AP-128). The ship was laid down on 28 August 1944 at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard in Alameda, California, but was cancelled on 16 December 1944.Redesigned for passenger service long before, she was launched on 23 June 1946 as President Cleveland, completed in 1947, and bareboat chartered to American President Lines.The ship was used in the film Susan Slade, filmed in 1961, featuring Connie Stevens, Troy Donahue, Dorothy Maguire and Lloyd Nolan.

The ship can be seen in the film Woman on the Run, released in 1950, featuring Ann Sheridan. It appears in the background during a San Francisco, California, Embarcadero waterfront scene at 46 minutes and 40 seconds.

The ship was featured in a 1962 Britannica Films production called "The Seaport", filmed in San Francisco.She was sold to Oceanic Cruise Development, Inc. (C.Y. Tung Group) on 9 February 1973, and renamed Oriental President. The ship was scrapped at Kaohsiung, Taiwan, in 1974.

Sikorsky S-72

The Sikorsky S-72 was an experimental hybrid helicopter/fixed-wing aircraft developed by helicopter manufacturer Sikorsky Aircraft.

Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers

The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers (SNAME) is an internationally recognized non-profit, professional society of individual members serving the maritime and offshore industries and their suppliers. For many, SNAME has been absolutely essential to career development and success in the industry. With more than 6,000 members around the world in 85 countries, SNAME is THE International Community for Maritime and Ocean Professionals!

USS David W. Taylor (DD-551)

USS David W. Taylor (DD-551), a Fletcher-class destroyer, was a ship of the United States Navy named for Rear Admiral David W. Taylor (1864–1940).

David W. Taylor was launched 4 July 1942 by Gulf Shipbuilding Corporation, Chickasaw, Ala., sponsored by Mrs. Imogene Taylor Powell, daughter of RAdm Taylor; and commissioned 18 September 1943, Lieutenant Commander W. H. Johnsen in command.


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