Cigar ships were designed and built by the Winans family. Their radical marine design concept included an ultra-streamlined spindle-shaped hull with minimum superstructure.
The Winans constructed at least four ships between 1858 and 1866. Two of these attracted considerable public attention as well as skepticism and outright criticism from the technical establishment. The innovative technology would certainly have attracted Jules Verne's attention. He may well have seen two of the boats sailing or berthed in England.
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