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At the dawn of the 20th century, the United States Navy was in the midst of a revolutionary technological transformation. The obsolete wooden sailing ships of the post-Civil War Navy, with their underpowered auxiliary steam engines, were swept away, and replaced by steel-hulled warships with powerful steam engines. This New Steel Navy was the first step in the long process that would eventually lead the United States Navy to a position of world dominance.

This website examines the lives of the men who made that transformation possible – the officers and enlisted sailors of the Navy. They lived a life that was rugged and frequently dangerous, a life that was transformed by the new technologies of the ships on which they served. They fought battles at sea, and even on land. They existed in a physically claustrophobic, yet socially divided world that adhered to naval traditions both old and new. They endured these hardships, and enjoyed brief moments of fun whenever possible. Pay a visit to an often overlooked moment in time, and get to know the sailors of the New Steel Navy.