Phillip Reid's picture

Real name: 

Primary Discipline

Primary Discipline: 

  • Old HierarchyHistory

Further Specification: 

maritime, history of technology
Secondary Discipline

Secondary Discipline: 

  • Old HierarchyInterdisciplinary

Further Specification: 

material culture


My interests generally converge around the sea, though recently they have expanded to include the history of technology (especially technology and culture) more generally. All my graduate work has been in maritime history and archaeology, though I am also qualified in Atlantic World history. Side interests have been a lifelong exploration of all aspects of the Second World War, and the Nixon presidency. Outside of academic work, I have professional training and experience in recreational scuba diving, sailing, piloting and navigation.

Current research areas: 

technological choice in the early modern world, especially in British Atlantic merchant ship technology, 16000--1800

Recent scholarly activity: 

Second monograph in production at Boydell & Brewer as of August 2022. Three forthcoming articles in the International Journal of Maritime History, Mariner's Mirror, and Itinerario. Article based on an 1805--06 Atlantic merchant voyage in progress.

Recent publications: 

A Boston Schooner in the Royal Navy, 1768—1772: Commerce and Conflict in Maritime British America. Suffolk: Boydell & Brewer, forthcoming 2023.
The Merchant Ship in the British Atlantic, 1600—1800: Continuity and Change in a Key Technology. Leiden: Brill, 2020.
Articles and Chapters
“’Shipped a great deal of sea’: Navigating the British Atlantic in the Eighteenth Century.” Itinerario, forthcoming, 2023.
“Risk, Uncertainty, and the British Atlantic Merchant Ship as a Technology for Profit, 1600—1800.” International Journal of Maritime History, forthcoming 2023.
“Revisiting ‘the Brigantine Problem’: the origins and development of eighteenth-century two-masted square-rigged ship types,” with Nick Burningham, Mariner’s Mirror, forthcoming 2022.
“Conveyance and Commodity: The Ordinary Merchant Ship in the British Atlantic, 1600—1800,” in Victoria Barnett-Woods, ed., Cultural Economies of the Atlantic World: Objects and Capital in the Transatlantic Imagination. London: Routledge, 2020. Winner, 2021 Elizabeth Eisenstein Essay Prize, National Coalition of Independent Scholars
“Notes from a published treatise in an ordinary eighteenth-century shipwright’s journal,” Mariner’s Mirror 104:1 (January 2018), 79—83.
“The Ordinary Merchant Ship in the British Atlantic, 1600—1800: A Call for Further Research,” International Journal of Maritime History 29:4 (November 2017), 911—26.
“Something Ventured: Dangers and Risk Mitigation for the Ordinary British Atlantic Merchant Ship, 1600-1800,” Journal of Transport History 38:2 (December 2017), 196—212.
“The Time Machine? Using Replica Analysis to Understand Merchant Ships and the Development of the British Atlantic, 1600-1800,” The Northern Mariner/Le Marin du Nord 26:3 (July 2016), 299—316.

Forthcoming research: 

I have applied (more than once) for grant funding sufficient to allow a book project, Contrary Coast: A Maritime History of Colonial North Carolina. I would also like to work toward a study of technological choice in the early modern world in general, probably as an edited collection.

Other activities: 

I have recently joined the Carolina Jaguar Club and hope to become more involved.(The cars, not the big cats, though I do love the big cats.)

Contact us

National Coalition of Independent Scholars