One of these things is not like the other…or is it?

U.S. Navy destroyers and torpedo boats at the Mare Island Navy Yard, California, prior to World War I, between mid-1908 and early 1914. The original photograph was published on a tinted postcard by the Pacific Novelty Company, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, California, at about the time it was taken.

Courtesy of R.D. Jeska, 1984. U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command Photograph.color Catalog #: NH 100034-KN

These ships are, despite the caption on the card (from left to right): USS Lawrence (Torpedo Boat Destroyer # 8); USS Goldsborough (Torpedo Boat # 20); and USS Farragut (Torpedo Boat # 11).

The 246-foot Lawrence, at a whopping 400-tons, was a giant compared to the 198-foot/255-ton Goldsborough and 214-foot/279-ton Farragut. However, all three vessels, regardless of their designations, had the same armament of two 18-inch torpedo tubes angeled over the bow and a couple of small 6-pounder guns, as well as the same ~30-knot speed.

The gap between DDs and TBs would, nonetheless, grow widely in the coming years.

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