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the use of the cage mast in battleship evolution
The cage mast, or basket, or lattice mast was brought into the battleship design to replace the mast lookout station for observation to spot fall of shot from the guns. The design was developed by Russian engineer Vladmir Shukhov and were quickly incorporated into the American battleship fleet, both existing and the new construction of the dreadnought fleet. The fleet returning from their trip around the world received they new masts in their first visit to the shipyards in 1909 and 1910. The first new construction battleship to receive the cage mast the the South Carolina class battleship in 1901. I quick way to identify the age of a battleship photograph is to recognize that these cage mast were installed in 1909 and later. Their lifespan was short-lived as they proved they could not hold up to sustained gunfire or even a severe storm, where, in the case of the USS Michigan in 1918 had their mast collapse. Upon inspection it was found that the mast aboard the USS Connecticut also showed signs of buckling.
cage mast for the uss kansas
A week after returning from the voyage, the USS Kansas was sent to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard for overhaul where by June 17th she was returned to the fleet with the new cage mast. The photographs below are from the E. L. DeMoss, Electrician onboard the Kansas. To see more of this collection follow this LINK.