Captain Henry C. Taylor to Secretary of the Navy John D. Long
U.S.S.Indiana, 1st rate,
July 19th, 1898.
I respectfully request that the cabin of the Indiana be furnished with a metallic wardrobe, sofa, and bureau, with a view to trying their qualities in comparison with the same articles in wood.
The recent experience of the Indiana has demonstrated that wood in any shape aboard ship in action is a source of danger. Previous to the beginning of hostilities all wooden bulkheads had been, as far as practicable, torn out from this ship and all wood thrown overboard which could possibly be dispensed with, but the necessary furniture of the officers quarters still remains, and in view of the recent occasions when we have been in action this wooden furniture is a menace to the ship’s safety and battle efficiency.
This request is made to test the furniture with the end in view, if compatible with the views of the Department, of furnishing the officers quarters with non-combustible material.
(sgd) H.C. Taylor.
Source Note: Cy, DLC-MSS, Papers of Henry Taylor. Addressed below close: “The Secretary of the Navy,/Washington,D.C.(Construction and Repair.)”