Largely overlooked in the mists of time was the astounding technological achievement of Christopher Columbus' voyage from Spain to the New World across the Atlantic Ocean in 1492, writes David Walsh. His ships were purposely built to be stronger and more seaworthy than any others at the time. They also used special rigging to take advantage of wind from any direction and were equipped with then-cutting-edge cannons on swivels to defend against the most persistent pirates.

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