Science Museum (Great Britain).

Catalogue of the naval and marine engineering collection in the ... museum .. online

. (page 34 of 58)
Online LibraryScience Museum (Great Britain)Catalogue of the naval and marine engineering collection in the ... museum .. → online text (page 34 of 58)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

a temperature of 130 deg. C. the full benefit of this advance
j^as not at once apparent. In the S.S. "Thetis" (1853), by
Messrs. Rowan and Horton, however, with a steam pressure of
115 Ib. (i.e., 175 deg. C.), the coal consumption was only
l'S6 Ib. per indicated h.p. per hour. Expansion in three
successive stages was introduced in 1874 by Messrs. John Elder
& Co., in the S.S. " Propontis," and since then, following on the
steady increase in pressure and in the number of expansions,
the fuel consumption has been steadily diminished till it is now
below 1 Ib. per indicated h.p. per hour. Surface condensation
was a factor which also assisted in this result ; it had been tried
by Watt and was actually used for marine engines by David
Napier in 1820-1, but was not generally introduced till 1833-7
by Samuel Hall and then only slowly displaced the simpler
jet arrangement. In recent years high vacuum has assumed
great importance and the "augmented condenser" and other
apparatus has been adopted to assist the air pump.

The application of the steam turbine to marine propulsion
dates from 1894, when an experimental vessel named the
"Turbinia" was constructed. As finally fitted the vessel had
three turbines, high, intermediate and low pressure, driving
three separate shafts each with three propellers, the low pressure
and reversing turbines being coupled to the central shaft. This
exceptional number of screws was found necessary to distribute
the power developed at the high speed of revolution involved, and
the remarkable speed of 34 ' 5 knots was attained. This success
was followed by the construction of two torpedo boat destroyers,
H.M.Ss. ' Viper " and " Cobra," fitted Avith steam turbines.
They, however, were lost before lengthy trials had been made.
The steam turbine was next applied to fast cross-channel
steamers and to Atlantic liners. Comparative trials on H.M.S.
" Amethyst," fitted with turbines, and on other vessels of the
same class, fitted with rec iprocating engines, resulted in the
adoption of turbines in H.M. Navy, At present sv^eh engines

Q 2


are fitted in practically all new warships and tlieir use is being
very greatly extended in the mercantile marine. Their proved
advantages over reciprocating engines are : economy of fuel at
high speeds, reduction in weight, freedom from vibration, and
reliability in service. At cruising speeds the reciprocating
engine is more economical, and the experiment has been tried
of combining the two systems in the same ship.

The earliest successful application of the internal com-
bustion engine to marine purposes appears to have been made
in 1888, when a vessel was fitted with a Priestman oil engine.
Steady progress has since been made in this method of propul-
sion for which its advantages are : compactness, lightness,
and the power being immediately available. A disadvantage
is the difficulty of reversing, without having recourse to
special mechanism. The fuels at present in use in this connection
are : coal, coke, crude petroleum, paraffin, petrol, and alcohol.
Owing to the high cost of petrol, attempts have been made to
realise the economy that can be obtained by using producer gas
obtained from bituminous coal, and some progress has been
made in this direction.


779. Engraving of Hulls's paddle steamer. Received 1870.

N. 2172.

In 1736, Jonathan Hulls, of Campden, Gloucestershire, patented an
arrangement of steam-propelled vessel to be used as a steam tug, in which
a paddle-wheel at the stem was driven by a Newcomen atmospheric steam
engine. In the following year he published an illustrated pamphlet upon
his invention, a reprint of which is shown. It is stated that Hulls experi-
mentally tried his scheme on the Avon at Evesham in 1737 ; he appears,
however, to have abandoned the subject, as his only subsequent patent,
applied for in 1753, describes an arrangement for detecting spurious coins
by their specific gravity and an improvement in the logarithmic rule.

The tug represented has a single-acting steam cylinder, 30 in. diam..
which in its inward or working stroke lifts a weight equivalent to one-half
of its effective pull ; by utilising the energy of this weight upon its descent
during the return stroke a double-acting engine is obtained, and the
reciprocating motion of the piston gives continuous rotation to a paddle-
wheel at the stern by a form of frictional ratchet gear. Where the water
was sufficiently shallow Hulls proposed to use a pair of connecting rods
from cranks on the paddle-wheel shaft, and allow them to rest on the river
bottom so as to act as punting poles when the engine was at work.

780. Pen-and-ink sketch of the Marquis de Jouffroy's steam-
boat. (Scale 1 : 150.) Woodcraft Bequest, 1903. N. 90.

This was copied in 1830 by Mr. R. Prosser from a French print published
in 1816 as representing a steamboat constructed by the Marquis de Jouffroy
d'Abbans in 1783. The boat is 140 ft. long, 15 ft. beam, and 3'2 ft.
draught ; it has two paddle-wheels turned by a single horizontal steam
cylinder driving through a ratchet mechanism. In Paris is a declaration
that on July 15, 1783, the vessel was propelled by steam power for fifteen
minutes against the current of the river Saone, but these particulars of the
machinery did not appear till thirty- three years later.


781. Engraving of the paddle vessel " Edinburgh." (Scales
1 : 80 and 1 : 24.) Woodcroft Bequest, 1903. N. 91.

The " Edinburgh," designed by Patrick Miller of Dalswinton, an
Edinburgh banker, and launched at Leith in October, 1786, was 73*3 ft.
in length, and 22 '5 ft. in breadth. She consisted of three distinct
hulls held together by beams ; she had three masts, and each hull had
its own rudder, but the three tillers were connected so that all were
moved by the central one. She was fitted with two paddle-wheels 6 ft.
diani., 4 ft. wide, with eight floats each. One of these wheels was on
each side of the central hull, and they were rotated by winch handles driven
by manual power; the immersion of the wheels could be varied.

Besides propulsion by paddle-wheels, Miller was at the time also
advocating the use of two or three hulls abreast, claiming that they were
superior to ordinary ships in the following respects their small draught of
water, great stiffness, small amount of lee way and great buoyancy ;
moreover they required no ballast.

782. Model of double-hulled paddle ship. (Scale 1 : 48.)
Contributed by Miss Miller, 1862. Plate VIII., No. 1.

N. 316.

This represents one of the eight or more paddle-driven vessels experi-
mented with by Patrick Miller. It was built at Leith in 1787 by J. Laurie,
and probably represents Miller's final design of ship for auxiliary propulsion
by muscular power.

The two complete hulls are connected together abreast, but with
sufficient space between them for five paddle-wheels 7 ft. diam. placed
tandem. Each paddle-wheel can be raised out of the water, when sails
alone are used for propulsion, and is driven by a separate capstan on deck
worked by manual power. Bevel gear was used. " On the lower part of
the capstan was fixed a wheel with teeth pointing upwards to work in a
trundle fixed on the axis of the water-wheel." With 30 men at the capstans
a speed of 4*3 knots could be maintained. The model has five masts rigged
with square and stay sails ; each hull has a separate rudder, but the tillers
are connected. It is stated that the vessel was presented to the King of
Sweden, and that on the voyage to Stockholm it proved easy and weatheiiy
in a gale. The dimensions were : Displacement, 255 tons ; length on
deck, 100 ft. ; breadth of each hull, 12 ft. ; extreme breadth, 31 ft. ; depth
of hold, 16 ft. ; draught, 55 ft.

Another twin vessel built in 1787 had two paddle-wheels worked by
cranks instead of capstans ; its length was 60 ft., and breadth 14 -5 ft.

A lithograph of a vessel of this construction is shown.

783. The original marine steam engine, with drawings.
Woodcroft Bequest, 1903. Plate VIII., No. 2. N. 5.

This is the engine made in 1788 for Patrick Miller by William Syming-
ton, of Wanlockhead, who in June, 1787, obtained a patent for a "new
invented steam engine on principles entirely new." Miller had been making
experiments in the propulsion of boats by hand- worked paddle-wheels, and,
owing to the severe labour that was found necessary, it was suggested to
him by James Taylor, his son's tutor and a personal friend of Symington,
that he should employ steam instead of manual power to drive the paddle-
wheels. Accordingly Symington was engaged to design an engine, the
castings for which, it is recorded, were made in brass by George Watt, of
Edinburgh. In October, 1788, the engine was placed on one deck of a
double-hulled pleasure boat 25 ft. long by 7 ft. beam, and the boiler on the
other deck. The engine was geared up by chains with two paddle-wheels
placed one in advance of the other in the space between the two hulls.

It is stated that this machinery propelled the boat on Dalswinton Loch
at the rate of 5 miles an hour, but when only a few runs had been made
it was removed, and after various vicissitudes was finally dismantled and


condemned as scrap in 1853. Mr. Bennet Woodcroft, F.H.S., howevei,
secured the pieces, and Messrs. John Penn and Son re-erected them in
1854, replacing some missing parts, and the engine then ran satisfactorily
under steam at their works.

The engine has two vertical open-topped Newcomen cylinders 4 in. diani.,
by about 18 in. stroke, in each of which works a piston connected by two chains
with a drum which turns in opposite directions alternately. Each piston
has a rod carried in overhead guides, and the two chains enable power to be
exerted in both the up and the down strokes, but it does not appear that
the steam used was above the atmospheric pressure, as it could blow out
through the condenser. There are two horizontal paddle shafts, on each of
which are two loose pulleys with ratchet teeth round their inner flanges,
and between each pair of pulleys is a disc keyed to the shaft and carrying
two pawls. Chains from the central drum turn these loose pulleys in
opposite directions, and the teeth on the ratchet wheels alternately engage
with the pawls and so drive their paddle-wheel continuously in one

The lower end of each cylinder is fitted with a second piston used
as an air pump, and these air pump pistons are connected by a small
oscillating beam arranged beneath the engine tank or bed. Below each
cylinder is a jet condenser with three discharge valves and a reverse valve,
the details of the arrangement being shown in the adjacent sectional
drawings. Each cylinder valve-box contains a steam and an exhaust valve,
the space between communicating with the cylinder, and below each
exhaust valve is a passage to the condenser controlled by the reverse valve.
The valve gear is a tappet arrangement, with a plug-rod worked by a chain
from a pulley on the central drum shaft, and having four pins that lift the
two steam and the two exhaust valves.

When one of the main pistons reaches the bottom of its stroke, the steam
valve is opened, and the steam pressure immediately closes the valve in the
air pump piston, and forces the air pump piston downwards until the pressure
in this condenser rises to that of the atmosphere. The condenser valves
then lift, and the air, steam, and water are discharged into the tank, the
reverse valve preventing any passing into the cylinder. The cylinder piston
is at the time moving upward, and that in the other cylinder is descending
owing to the excess of atmospheric pressure upon it, this doing the useful

Symington's engine was really an atmospheric engine with a separate
condenser, but it was not considered to be an infringement of Watt's patent.
Miller afterwards wrote to Messrs. Boulton and Watt suggesting their
co-operation in introducing steam navigation, but they declined.

Three drawings and three lithographs are exhibited adjacently and
serve to further elucidate the construction.

784. Model of the stern- wheel steamer " Charlotte Dundas "
(working). (Scale about 1 : 24.) Made from particulars
supplied by W. H. Rankine, Esq., 1903. Plate VIII.,
No. 3. N. 2349.

This vessel was built in 1801 by A. Hart at Graiigemouth, and engined
by William Symington for service on the Forth and Clyde canal. The
dimensions of the vessel were : Length, 56 ft. ; beam 18 ft. ; and depth

The engine was of 10 nominal h.p., with a single direct- acting cylinder
22 in. diam. and 4 ft. stroke, placed on deck. The piston-rod was guided in
slides and the connecting rod acted on an overhanging crank on the paddle-
shaft, an arrangement patented by Symington in 1801. The condenser and
air-pump were below deck, the pump being worked by a bell-crank from the
crosshead. Steam was supplied by an internally-fired boiler that was
arranged on the other side of the boat. The engine drove a single paddle-
wheel placed at the stern of the vessel in a recess 4 ft. wide and 12 ft. long,


the whole being housed in, The double stem carried two rudders, which
were controlled by a steering wheel in the fore part of the vessel.

In 1802 two loaded vessels each of 70 tons burden were successfully
towed by the " Charlotte Dundas," a distance of 19-5 miles on the canal.
The canal owners, however, decided that any benefit which might accrue
from the use of steam tugs would not compensate for the injury that
would be done to the banks by the wash of the paddles, and therefore
rejected the vessel, which then remained for a number of years laid up
in a creek of the canal, and in 1861 was finally broken up.

A lithograph and a drawing of the vessel are also shown ; the latter
shows the engine placed below the deck.

785. Lithograph of P.S. "Clermont." Woodcroft Bequest,
1903. N. 85.

This plate is from Bennet Woodcroft's " Steam Navigation," 1848. The
" Clermont " was built in 1807 by Charles Browne of the East River, New
York, to the order of Robert Fulton as the outcome of study and practical
experiments in navigation by steam carried out by the latter on the Seine at
Paris in 1803,

The " Clermont " was wallsided for the greater part of her length with
the stem and stern enclosing an angle of 60 deg. The engine was 24 in.
diam. by 4 ft. stroke, and was supplied by Messrs. Boulton, Watt & Co.
By means of bell-cranks, fly-wheel and spur gearing, designed and executed
by Fulton, it worked two side paddle-wheels 15 ft. diam. by4 - lft. wide.
The boiler was of the externally-fired land type.

The trial trip took place successfully on August 17th, 1807, on the River
Hudson between New York and Albany, the speed attained being 4 7 miles
per hour. After completing her equipment, she ran as a packet on this
route till the end of the season. During the winter of 1807-8, she was
rebuilt and refitted and under the name "North River " continued to run
on the Hudson for many years.

Original dimensions : Displacement, 100 tons ; length, 150 ft. ; breadth,
13 ft. ; draught, 2 ft.

786. Rigged model of P.S. "Comet" (working). (Scale
1 : 24.) Presented by the Committee of the McLean
Museum, 1900. Plate VIII., No. 4. N. 2255,

This model was made by Mr. T. Rennie, from the original lines of the
vessel, which, as well as a model, have been preserved.

The " Comet " was built at Port Glasgow in 1811-2 by Messrs. John
Wood & Co. to the instructions of Henry Bell, proprietor of the baths at

In August 1812 the vessel commenced running on the Clyde between
Glasgow and Greenock, as a public conveyance for passengers, at the
advertised fares of 4s. for the first cabin and 3s. for the second. The enter-
prise was financially unsuccessful, so that in 1813 Bell "made her a jaunting
" boat all over the coasts of England, Ireland, and Scotland." The public
had, however, found the new mode of travel so convenient that within a
year the three paddle steamers " Elizabeth," " Clyde," and " Glasgow " were
under construction for the service which the " Comet" had abandoned.

In 1816 the " Comet " was plying on the Firth of Forth, and in 1818
Bell employed her in establishing steam communication between the West
Highlands and Glasgow ; in 1820, while on a passage from Fort William,
she went ashore at Craignish Point and became a total wreck.

The engine (see No. 787) was placed on the port side, and the boiler,
which was of the land type, was on the starboard. At first there were two
sets of radial paddles, on detached arms, on each side, driven by spur gear,
but, this arrangement giving trouble, paddle-wheels were afterwards substi-
tuted, and the number of wheels was reduced to two ; the steaming speed was
about 6 7 knots. There was a single funnel, which served also as a mast


and carried a yard and square sail as represented in an adjacent drawing
which shows the vessel under sail and steam.

The " Comet " was the first vessel moved by steam that carried on a
regular service in Europe successfully, and this she did 13 years before the
first public steam railway was inaugurated.

Burden, 25 to 30 tons; length on keel, 40-25 ft.; breadth extreme,
11-25 ft. ; depth, moulded, 5 6 ft.

787. Engine of Bell's P.S. " Comet." Presented by Messrs.
R. Napier and Sons, 1862. Plate VIII., No. 5. N. 904.

This engine, made by Mr. John Robertsqn, of Glasgow, has a single
inverted upright cylinder, 12 5 in. diam. by 16 in. stroke, placed over the
crank-shaft and driving, by means of two side-rods, a pair of half side-levers,
from which a connecting rod transmits the power to the overhanging crank.
The crank- shaft carries a balanced fly-wheel, 6 ft. diam., and a spur pinion;
also a single loose eccentric, driven by a pin projecting from the fly-wheel
boss and provided with two side holes corresponding with the positions for
running ahead and astern. The slide valve is worked from a balanced
rocking- shaft, and an extension of the eccentric rod forms the means by
which the eccentric is traversed when reversing has to be performed. The
condenser is embodied in a single casting, forming the main portion of the
engine framing and the water tank, in which the vertical air-pump, driven
from the side levers, is accommodated.

Steam was supplied by an externally-fired, low-pressure boiler, made by
David Napier, and set in brickwork. When first tried the engine had a
smaller cylinder (it was 11 '5 in. diam.), but after being used for some
months it was replaced by the present one.

788. Oil painting of P.S. "Comet." Presented by Mrs.
Campbell Muir, 1903. N. 2344.

This painting, attributed to Alexander Nasniyth, is believed to represent
the " Comet" when she was plying on the Firth of Forth (see No. 786).

789. Photograph of painting of P.S. "Comet" and " lona."
Lent by John Hamilton, Esq., 1876. N. 1467.

This is taken from a painting by Win. Clark, of Greenock, in 1874,
which illustrates the advance made in marine engineering in half a century.
The vessels represented are the " Comet " of 1812 (see No. 786), and the
" lona " of 1864 both Clyde passenger steamers.

790. Drawings of early paddle steamers. (Scale 1 : 48.)
Lent by George Baird, Esq., 1876. N. 1462.

The first drawing represents the P.S. " Elizabeth," originally a barge, but
rebuilt and engined by Charles Baird in 1815 at St. Petersburg for service
on the Neva.

The engine was of the side-lever type, with a single cylinder and air
pump ; the boiler was externally fired and had a brick chimney. The wheel
had four floats which were kept vertical by means of bevel gear.

The second drawing shows a steamer built by Mr. Baird in 1817 for
carrying passengers between St. Petersburg and Cronstadt. The appended
description states that the six-float paddle-wheels were driven at 50 revs, per
min. by gearing from a side-lever engine fitted with a fly-wheel ; the general
arrangement resembles that of the " Comet " (see No. 787).

791. Photograph of engraving of P.S. " Prinzessin Charlotte."
Lent by G. P. Rubie, Esq., 1876. N. 1452.

This represents ths first steamer built in Prussia. It was a double-
hulled vessel constructed in 1816 by John E/ubie at Pichelsdorf for the
navigation of the Elbe, Havel, and Spree. Between the hulls was a single
paddle-wheel driven by an engine of 14 h.p. made by J. B. Humphreys.

B.m., 236 tons ; length, 130-4 ft. ; breadth, 19-3 ft.


792. Drawings of P.S. " London Engineer." (Scale 1 : 48.)
Maudslay Collection, 1900, and " The Engineer," 1897.

N. 2241.

This vessel, which was specially designed and fitted for plying between
London and Margate, was built of wood in 1818 by Brent of Rotherhithe,
and engined by Messrs. Maudslay, Sons and Field.

The engines were of the bell-crank type, somewhat resembling those of
the " Comet" (see No. 787), and had two vertical cylinders 36 in. diam. by
30 in. stroke, driving a paddle shaft which had overhung cranks and a pair
of paddle-wheels between them. Steam at a pressure of 5 Ib. was supplied
by three copper boilers, arranged abreast, each with a single furnace.

The paddle-wheels were each 12 5 ft. diam. and 6 5 ft. wide, with eight
radial arms carrying floats, and made 28 revs, per min. The two wheels
were arranged in a casing built amidship, airtight, but open at the bottom,
and the floats projected below the floor level to that of the three keels. As
the paddle shaft was only slightly above the water-line, two air compressing
pumps were provided, which forced air into the casing and thus lowered the
water level therein. It was found, however, that the motion of the paddles
rapidly carried away the air, so that the water rose and seriously interfered
with the propelling action of the wheels.

B.o.m., 315 tons ; length, 120 ft. ; breadth, 24 ft. ; draught, 5 ft.

793. Photographs of side-lever engine. Received 1900.

N. 2254.

These photographs show the first marine engine constructed by Robert
Napier, which is of the type that he subsequently so greatly developed. It
was made in 1824 at his works at Camlachie, Glasgow, for the P.S. " Leven"
a river steamer built at Dumbarton (Napier's birthplace), and one of the
first to ply between there and Glasgow. In 1877 the relic was presented by
his sons, Mr. J. R. and Mr. J. Napier, to the town of Dumbarton, where it is
preserved at the pier head. The engine has a single cylinder 31 5 in. diam.
by 36 in. stroke ; in its details it resembles the larger engine shown in the
sectional model No. 797.

794. Model of engines of H.M.S. "Dee," (Scale 1 : 32.)
Maudslay Collection, 1900. N. 2216.

The P.S. "Dee " was a mail packet, built of wood for post office work in
1827 to the designs of Oliver Lang. The first despatch steamer introduced
into the Navy was built in 1823, but between 1827-40 nearly 80 steam
vessels of this type were constructed.

The model, which is stated to have been the workmanship of Henry
Maudslay, represents a pair of side-lever engines as introduced by Boulton,
Watt & Co., but with the Gothic framing ascribed to the elder Brunei.

The cylinders were 54 in. diam., by 5 ft. stroke, and were supplied by
steam at a pressure of 8 Ib. by tubular boilers ; the paddle-wheels were
20 ft. diarn. and the speed of the " Dee " was 8 knots. The engines closely
resemble those built on the Clyde somewhat later and shown in section to a
larger scale in No. 797.

795. Model of Galloway's vibrating engine (working). (Scale
1 : 8.) Presented by Messrs. Bnllivant & Co., 1902.

N. 1896.

This form of semi-rotary engine for marine propulsion was patented by
Elijah Galloway in 1829, and is described in the same specification as his
feathering paddle-wheel (see No. 951).

The piston is a radial blade secured to a shaft concentric with the
cylinder within which it vibrates through an arc of 270 deg. A crank on
this shaft has its pin in one end of a slotted link, which is capable of
sliding and turning on a block on a fixed pin. A connecting-rod joins


the other end of this link to a crank on a fly-wheel shaft, the arrangement
of links being such that each double vibration causes one revolution of the
fly-wheel. The valve gear is not shown, but was to have been arranged on
the top of the cylinder and worked by an eccentric on the main shaft.

796. Model of engines of P.S. "Ruby" (working). (Scale
1 : 16.) Presented by the Institution of Civil Engineers,
1868. Plate VIII., No. 6. N. 1193.

The Ruby" was built in 1836 by Messrs. Wallis, of Blackwall, for the
Diamond Co.'s service between London and Gravesend. Her dimensions
were : Length (b.p.), 155 ft.; breadth, 19 ft.; depth, 10'16 ft,; draught,

Online LibraryScience Museum (Great Britain)Catalogue of the naval and marine engineering collection in the ... museum .. → online text (page 34 of 58)