Welcome! I’m a maritime historian working on British Atlantic ship technology in the 17th and 18th centuries. My work integrates Atlantic, maritime economic, and technological history with the technical history of the ship and both traditional nautical and experimental archaeology. On this site you’ll find events, links to my published work, my blog posts, and contact information. Thanks for visiting.
I am an independent scholar based in Wilmington, North Carolina, USA. I work in Atlantic World history, maritime history, and the history of technology. So far, my scholarship has focused on merchant ship technology in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in the British Atlantic. With sailing and diving experience and enthusiasm in hand, I first studied maritime history and nautical archaeology at East Carolina University (M.A. 1998), where I wrote my thesis on the German bark Peking. I worked in the museum and historic site world, taught history as an adjunct for ten years, restored and outfitted a 1977 Pearson 28 sloop, and published several magazine articles about that and other cruising sailboats. I began doctoral study in maritime history in 2012 and received my PhD with distinction from Memorial University of Newfoundland in May 2017. My dissertation is titled “‘A Very Good Sailer’: The Ordinary Merchant Ship and the Development of the British Atlantic Empire, 1600–1800.”
My first book, The Merchant Ship in the British Atlantic: Continuity and Innovation in a Key Technology, was published by Brill in April 2020. I am currently working on a second, with the working title A Boston Schooner in the Royal Navy: Commerce and Conflict in Maritime British America, 1768–1772. Please see the Publications page for a list of all published and forthcoming work.
Please e-mail queries to phillipfrankreid [at] gmail.com.