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and " Great Western " (see No. 182), which represented rival companies.
The " Sirius " had previously run between London and Cork, and was
chartered by the British and American Steam Navigation Company from
the St. George's Steam Packet Company, which afterwards became the
Cork Steamship Company and the City of Cork Steam Packet Company.
Tinder the command of Lieut. R. Roberts, R.N., she left Cork Harbour on
the morning of April 4th, 1838, with 94 passengers, and was followed across
the Atlantic by the " Great Western," which departed from Bristol three
days later. Both vessels arrived at New York on April 23rd, the " Sirius "
in the morning and the " Great Western " in the afternoon. The
" Sirius " made only one voyage to America, and on her return was
employed for home and continental services until wrecked in 1847.

The "Sirius" was built of wood, in 1837, by Messrs. Menzies & Co.,
Leith. Her engines, of the side lever type, with cylinders 60 in. diameter
and 6 ft. stroke, were made by Messrs. Wingate & Co., Glasgow, and
indicated 320 h.p. The paddle-wheels were 24 ft. diam. and the steam
pressure was 15 Ib.

Tonnage, gross, 703 ; length, 178 ft. ; breadth, 25-6 ft. ; depth, 18 ft.

182. Lithograph of P.S. " Great Western.'' Received 1905.

N. 2399.

This four- masted schooner-rigged paddle-wheel steamer was designed by
I. K. Brunei, and built of wood at Bristol, in 1837, by Mr. Patterson, for
the Great Western Steamship Co. ; she was the first steamer especially
constructed to cross the Atlantic.

Her engines, by Messrs. Maudslay, Sons and Field, were of the side
lever type, with two cylinders 73 5 in. diam. and 84 in. stroke, indicating
750 h.p. Steam at 15 Ib. pressure was supplied by four return flue boilers,
and the paddles, which were 28 5 ft. diam. with floats 10 ft. wide, made
about 15 revs, per min.

On her first passage across the Atlantic she left Bristol on April 7th,
1838, and arrived in New York Harbour on April 23rd (see No. 181), and
he continued to ply between those ports for over eight years. In 1847 she
was sold to the Royal Mail Co. for 25,OOOL, and in 1856 was broken up.

Tonnage, 1,320 tons; length, 236 ft.; breadth, 35*3 ft.; breadth over
paddle-boxes, 59 ft. ; depth, 23 '25 ft.

183. Rigged model of P.S. " Britannia." (Scale 1 : 48.) Lent
by the Cunard Steamship Co., Liverpool, 1894. N. 2046.

This barque-rigged paddle steamer was built of wood at Greenock in 1840
by Mr. B. Duncan for the Cunard Steamship Co., and was the first vessel
of that line. She left England on July 4th, 1840, on her maiden voyage to
Boston, and accomplished the passage in 14 days 8 hours, at an average
speed of 8 ' 5 knots, and a coal consumption of 38 tons per day. She was
the first steamer to carry the mails between England and America.


Her cargo capacity was 225 tons, and she was fitted for the accommoda-
tion of 115 cabin passengers only.

Her engines were of the side lever type by Mr. B. Napier, and indicated
740 h.p. (See No. 797).

Burden, 1,154 tons; length, 207 ft. ; breadth, 34 -3 ft. ; depth 24 -3 ft.

184. Lithograph of S.S. " Princess Royal." Received 1905.

N. 2408.

This early screw steamer was built of wood, in 1841, at Newcastle-oii-
Tyne for a firm at Brighton, and was one of the first vessels to which Sir
F. P. Smith's propeller was fitted after the successful experiments with the
S.S. " Archimedes." The " Princess Royal " performed the voyage from
Newcastle to Brighton, about 400 miles, in 48 "5 hours and afterwards
proved very satisfactory both as an excursion steamer and tug-boat at
South Coast ports. Her screw propeller was two-bladed, 5 ft. diam. and
6 ft. pitch, each blade having half a turn ; it was driven by two sets of
engines which gave an average speed of about 8 knots.

Register, 101 tons ; length on keel, 81 ft. ; breadth, 17 5 ft. ; depth of
hold, 10 ft. ; draught, 6-5 ft.

185. Oil painting of ftoyal Mail steamers. Lent by J. Scott
Russell, F.R.S., 1868. N. 1224.

This represents some of the West India Mail Co.'s fleet at anchor in
Southampton Water at the time when such vessels were paddle steamers
built of wood.

The two most prominent ships in the picture are the " Teviot " and
" Clyde," built in 1841, and of the following dimensions : " Teviot " :
Length, 214-25 ft. ; breadth, 33 -6 ft. ; depth, 30-5 ft. ; tonnage, 1,793 tons.
" Clyde" : Length, 208-5 ft.; breadth, 32-2 ft.; depth, 24 '7 ft.; tonnage,
1,371 tons.

186. Rigged model of P.S. " Hibernia." (Scale 1 : 48.)
Lent by the Cunard Steamship Co., 1894. Plate IV.,
No. 6. ' N. 2047.

This barque-rigged paddle steamer was built of wood at Greenock in 1843
by Mr. R. Steele for the Cunard Steamship Co. Her engines indicated
1,040 h.p., giving her a speed of 9-25 knots.

Burden, 1,422 tons ; length, 219 ft. ; breadth, 35 75 ft. ; depth of
hold, 24 -2 ft.

187. Rigged model of S.S. " Great Britain." (Scale 1 : 48.)
Presented by T. R. Guppy, Esq., 1878. Plate IV., No. 7.

N. 1487.

This represents the S.S. " Great Britain," built by the Great Western
Steamship Co., at Bristol, in 1839^43. She was the first large iron ship,
and the first screw steamer to cross the Atlantic.

The Great Western Steamship Co. had previously built, as an extension
of the G.W.R. system across the Atlantic, the P.S. " Great Western " (see
No. 182). The quickest passage made by this steamer had been 12 days
18 hours westward and 12 days 7 5 hours eastward ; the average number of
passengers carried was 85, and the largest number in one voyage 152, at a
charge of 35 guineas each.

The Great Western Steamship Co. considered that a larger ship would
be much more profitable, and Mr. Brunei was consulted as to its con-
struction. He reported that it was impracticable to build a wooden ship as
large as was required, and advised that the ship should be of iron. Hitherto
only very small iron ships had been built, so that there was nothing in the
way of a precedent upon which the calculations could be based. As no
contractor could be found willing to undertake either the building of the
hull or the making of the engines, the Great Western Co. had themselves to
lay down plant for iron shipbuilding on a large scale, and Mr. Brunei's


designs being accepted, the vessel was commenced in 1839 at Bristol.
It was originally intended to propel her by paddle-wheels, but before the
building had proceeded far the superiority of the screw propeller was
demonstrated by the arrival at Bristol of the " Archimedes " (see Nos. 971-2.)
Brunei accordingly altered his designs for the " Great Britain " so as to
adapt her for screw propulsion.

At first it was intended to call this" vessel the "Mammoth," as she was
100 ft. longer than the largest line -of -battle ship then existing. She had
six masts, two forward of the funnel and four abaft, and could cany
1,700 sq. yds. of canvas.

The ship was floated on July 19th, 1843, but owing to the delay in
completing some alterations to the dock she did not enter the river till
December, 1844, the machinery having been meanwhile put in. Next day a
trial of the screw propeller was made and a speed of 11 knots was obtained
with 16 revolutions per minute of the engines, while six of the boiler fires
were not lighted.

On January 23rd, 1845, the ship left Bristol and arrived at London
in 59 5 hours, the average speed being 9 6 knots. She afterwards steamed
to Liverpool, and on the 26th July, 1845, commenced her first voyage
to New York, with about sixty passengers on board and 600 tons of cargo.
She arrived safely at New York after a passage occupying just over fifteen
days. The average speed was 9 25 knots, but the engines only worked to
600 h.p. The return voyage to Liverpool occupied fourteen days, and the
greatest run on any one day was 287 miles. On being docked her iron
plates were, contrary to anticipation, found to be free from fouling. In a
subsequent voyage the six-bladed propeller broke, and the vessel proceeded
to Liverpool under canvas, sailing and steering exceedingly well, and
making from 10 to 11 knots an hour. The ship was then fitted with a new
propeller having only four blades, and Atlantic voyages were continued
until 1846, when the ship was stranded in Dundram Bay, Co. Down. When
she was floated off, and taken to Liverpool, the bottom of the ship was
found to be a good deal damaged, the boilers having been forced up
15 inches. The repairs were too costly an undertaking for the Great
Western Steamship Co., so the vessel, which had cost nearly 100,OOOZ., was
sold for about 24,OOOZ. The purchasers had the engines replaced by a pair
of geared oscillating cylinder engines of 500 h.p., driving a three-bladed
cast-iron screw propeller, 15 5 ft. diam. and 19 ft. pitch, with which a speed
of 10 knots an hour was attained without sails. The number of masts was
reduced to four, while the spread of canvas was about the same as before.
In 1853 the steamer was placed upon the Australian trade, where she
continued until 1874 ; subsequently the propelling machinery was taken out
and the " Great Britain " became a sailing vessel entirely.

The following is a description of the hull of the " Great Britain " given
in considerable detail on account of its historical interest :

The keel was made of flat plates '875 in. thick and 20 in. wide, welded
into lengths of from 50 ft. to 60 ft. scarf -jointed and riveted. The stem was
forged 12 in. deep and 5 in. thick at the fore foot, tapering to 1 '5 in. at
the upper deck. The stern or screw frame was a single forging 15 ft. deep,.
8 ft. wide at the lower end and 12 ft. at the upper end. The frames or ribs
were angle irons 6 in. by 3 5 in! by 625 in. thick, spaced 18 in. apart amid-
ships, increasing to 24 in. at the ends, the angle bars at the ends being 6 in.
by 2 5 in. and 4 in. by 3 in.

The outside plates were from 6 to 6'5 ft. long, 3 ft. wide, 6875 in.
thick for the garboard and three adjacent strakes, and above these to
the load-line they were * 625 in. thick amidships, tapering to 375 in. at
the ends.

There was no outside keel, but to prevent undue rolling two bilge keels
110 ft. long were fitted, one on each side, so that their lower edges were
level with the flat keel plate. The seams of the outside plates, which were
clinker built, were double riveted, taper liners being placed between every
frame and the outside plate.


The ship was divided into six watertight compartments, each being
connected with the pumping engines. The forward three bulkheads were
carried up to the underside of the upper deck, the two after ones going only
to the under side of the saloon deck.

The deck beams were made up of angle iron 6 in. by 3 5 in. by 5 in.
thick, the end of each beam being bent down and riveted to the ship's frame.
Stringer plates 3 ft. wide riveted to these beams f omied horizontal ties at
each deck. The upper and lower cargo decks were of plate iron, the latter
being supported by longitudinal plate-iron sleepers placed on edge on the
ship's frames ; and the upper deck was supported by wooden pillars secured
at their feet to the lower cargo deck, and the deck plates were secured to
the ship's sides by struts and tie-plates running fore and aft the whole length
of the ship. The upper deck was flush from end to end ; there were no
deck structures except the ordinary companion hatches, over the saloon,
cabin, and engine-room stairways. The bulwarks consisted of a handrail
supported by stanchions, running completely round the ship and carrrying
netting. The deck was of red pine laid lengthwise, and the stringers were
iron plates 3 ft. by 5 in. thick, a tie of Baltic pine running the whole length.
The main deck was of pine, 5 in. thick, level with the deep load line of the

Displacement at load-line of 18 ft., 3,618 tons; cargo capacity, by
measurement, 1,200 tons ; length over all, 322 ft. ; length between perpen-
diculars, 289 ft. ; breadth, extreme, 50 5 ft. ; depth, 32 5 ft. ; coal capacity,
1,000 tons ; number of passengers that could be carried, 260.

A model of the engines is exhibited in the collection of Marine Engines
{see No. 820).

An aquatint (Woodcroft Bequest, N. 2310) of the vessel is also shown, in
addition to a nautilus shell, bearing a representation of the " Great Britain"
with particulars, and a photograph of her as a coal hulk at Port Stanley,
Falkland Islands, in January 1905, presented by C. D. Mackellar, Esq.
<N. 2543, 1910.)

188. Oil paintings of S.S. "Great Britain." Lent by Capt.

C. Claxton, R.N., 1865. N. 1074.

The upper of these two pictures, painted by J. Walter in 1847, represents
this vessel on shore at Dundrum Bay, Ireland, at high water and in a gale
of wind, whilst the lower shows her at low water. She ran ashore in Sep-
tember, 1846, and remained exposed for 11 months, nearly submerged at
every high tide, the sea in south-westerly and westerly gales making a clean
breach over her. The breakwater represented was designed by Brunei, and
consisted of 8,000 faggots, 3 ft. in diam. and 12 ft. long, placed about the
stern and exposed quarter, loaded with stones, and backed by two rows of
birch logs, about 60 ft. long. This, combined with the vessel's great
strength, saved her, and she was got off in August, 1847.

189. Rigged model of P.S. " Empire." (Scale 1 : 48.) Made
in the Museum in 1904, from a larger model presented by

D. Lapraike, Esq., 1868. Plate IV, No. 8. N. 2355.

This represents one of the early passenger boats plying between New
York and Troy on the Hudson River (U.S.A.) ; she was built of wood at New
York in 1843 by William H. Brown, was damaged in collision in 1849 and
again in 1853, and dismantled shortly after the latter date. The model
exhibits most of the leading features of the American river-boat, i.e., fine
lines, long flat floors, shallow draught, and overhanging " guards " or
sponsons at the level of the main deck.

To give to the shallow hull sufficient longitudinal stiffness, trusses,
usually "hog-backed" in shape, are built up from, either side amidships for
about two-thirds of the vessel's length. In this example the trusses were
about 22 ft. deep, the booms and most of the posts were of timber 12 in. by


10 in., while the cross bracing was 9 in. sq. ; the joints were secured with
iron straps and the posts had through tie rods ; transversely the top booms
of the trusses were united by struts and tie rods. The guards or overhanging
sponson decks were supported by the projecting main deck beams, assisted
by inclined ties from the trusses and by wooden knees and diagonal iron

Passenger accommodation was provided by two tiers of cabins and
saloons upon the upper and guard decks respectively, while forward, above
the cabins, was placed the steering-wheel house from which the large rudder
was worked.

The engine was of the half beam type with two cylinders 4 ft. diam.
by 12 ft. stroke ; boilers and fuel were carried on the guards. The paddle-
wheels were 32 ft. diam. and constructed of wood (see No. 939).

Tonnage measurement, 936 6 ; length on keel, 307 '5 ft. ; breadth,,
30 5 ft. ; breadth, over guards, 62 5 ft. ; depth, 9 75 ft. ; draught, 4 5 ft,

190. Lithograph of S.S. " Sarah Sands." Woodcroft Bequest,
1903. N. 2317.

This iron-built screw steamer was constructed by Messrs. Hodgson &
Co. at Liverpool in 1845, from the design of Mr. J. Grantham. She was
one of the first vessels to demonstrate the practicability of the use of
auxiliary screw-power for general trading purposes between. England and
America ; in 1847 she steamed from Liverpool to New York in 20 days, and
in 1849 made regular passages in from 16*5 to 18 '5 days. In 1857, while
engaged as a transport and when about 400 miles from Mauritius, she was
burning for 16 hours, and then experienced a severe gale which filled the
engine-room with water ; the bulkheads, however, remained intact, and the
vessel reached Mauritius under sail without any loss of life.

The " Sarah Sands " was one of the first vessels fitted with direct-
acting screw engines ; they were of 200 h.p., and were made by Messrs.
Bury, Curtis, and Kennedy under the patent granted to Mr. J. Grantham
in 1842.

Tonnage, 1,300 tons ; length (extreme), 220 ft. ; breadth, 32 ft. ; depth
of hold, 20 ft.

191. Whole models of small steamers. (Scale 1 : 48.) Con-
tributed by John Scott Russell, F.R.S., 1868.

N. 1250 & 1253.

These represent two classes of small vessels built between 1840-50 by
Mr. Russell's firm upon his system of wave lines.

The paddle vessels were for passenger service, and had the following
dimensions : Length on load water-line, 157 ft. ; breadth, 18 ft. ; breadth
over paddle-boxes, 34 ft. ; depth at side, 9 ft.

The screw vessels were for the coasting cargo trade, and their dimen-
sions were : Length on load water-line, 135 ft. ; breadth, extreme, 24 ft. ;
depth at side, 12 ft.

192. Whole model of S.S. " Victor." (Scale 1 : 48.) Contri-
buted by John Scott Russell, F.R.S, 1868. N. 1225.

This represents a small screw trader, with a cargo capacity of 100 tons,
built of iron about 1845 by Messrs. Robinson and Russell, Millwall, for
employment on the coast of Norway.

The engine had two cylinders 10*25 in. diam. by 18 in. stroke, and was
supplied with steam at 40 Ib. pressure. The screw was 5 '5 ft. diam., and
made 116 revs, per min., giving a speed of 8 knots.

Load displacement, 146 tons ; tonnage (b.m.), 142 tons ; gross register,
130 2 tons ; length on load water-line, 96 5 ft. ; breadth (extreme) , 17 5 ft.;
depth at side, 9 5 ft. ; draught of water (laden), 6 75 ft. ; immersed midship
section (laden), 89 -8 sq. ft.

n 0773 E


193. Whole models of steamers. (Scale 1 : 48.) Contributed
by John Scott Russell, F.R.S., 1868. N. 1278-9.

These represent Admiral E. G. Fishbourne's designs described in No. 65.
but as modified for a steamer. The proportionate length is increased,
because a steamship could be more easily turned than a sailing vessel.

Length on load water-line, 252 or 236 ft. ; breadth (extreme), 39 or
32 ft. ; depth at side, 28 or 21 ft.

194. Whole model of river steamer. (Scale 1 : 48.) Received
1894. N. 2033.

This represent the first paddle-wheel passenger steamer to navigate the
Danube ; she was built at Buda-Pesth in 1846, under the directions of
Mr. Samuel Pretious. On the base is a design that shows the method of

The dimensions were approximately: Tonnage, 450 tons; length,
225 ft. ; breadth, 19 5 ft. ; draught, 3 ft.

195. Lithograph of P.S. " New World." Presented by T. Silver,
Esq., 1861. N. 702.

The " New World " is a similar vessel to the " Empire " (see No. 189),
and was built in 1849 to run between New York and Albany. She was
rebuilt in 1855, and increased accommodation for passengers was obtained
by introducing a three- decked superstructure, a practice that has since been
generally followed in these river-boats. In addition to the " hog frames "
the hull is strengthened by large king-posts, about 40 ft. high, stepped into
the keel and having caps at the tops, to which are fastened iron tie-rods
connected with the guards and with the sides.

The paddle-wheels were 45' 5 ft. diam., iron-framed with wooden floats,
and were driven by a typical " walking-beam " engine, with cylinders 76 in.
diam. by 15 ft. stroke, developing 1,800 indicated h.p. at 20 revs, per min.
During an experimental trial in 1852, from New York to Albany (145 miles).
a speed of 20 knots was realised.

The dimensions of the " New World," as rebuilt, were : Register
tonnage, 1,675 tons ; extreme length, 380 ft. ; breadth, 50 ft. ; breadth, over
guards, 85 ft. ; draught, 5*5 ft.

196. Lithograph of P.S. "Atlantic," Woodcroft Bequest, 1903.

N. 2314.

This schooner-rigged paddle steamer was built of wood at New York in
1849-50 from the designs of Mr. E. K. Collins. She was the pioneer vessel
of the " Collins " Line, established for the conveyance of the United States
mails, and with her sister ships " Pacific," " Baltic," and " Arctic " began
the first serious competition with the English steamships for fast trans-
atlantic service. These four vessels were almost identical, and were so
constructed as to admit of their being converted into war-vessels if

The " Atlantic " commenced running in 1850, and in 1852 made a record
passage from New York to Queenstown 2,712 miles in 9*7 days, while in
the same year the " Baltic " made a record from Queenstown to New York
3,054 miles in 9 54 days. The " Arctic " was, however, lost at sea in
1854, and the " Pacific " in 1856 ; which misfortunes, together with financial
difficulties, caused the abandonment of the service in 1858, although a larger
vessel, the " Adriatic," had then been added.

These ships were excellently fitted and the accommodation embodied
improvements in ventilation and cabin heating ; the ship's boats were made
of galvanized iron.

Each vessel was provided with two sets of side-lever engines, with
cylinders, 95 in. diam. and 9 ft. stroke, driving paddle-wheels 35 ft. diam. ;
with steam at 17 Ib. the combined i.h.p. was about 2,000 and the speed


12 5 knots. The boilers were of rectangular shape, but the furnaces
contained a large number of vertical water-tubes 2 in. diam. ; the coal was
carried from the bunkers to the stokeholds by mechanically driven buckets.
Displacement, 6,200 tons ; length (o.a.), 300 ft., (b.p.), 232 ft. ; breadth,
46 ft. ; depth of hold, 32 ft.

197. Whole block model of P.S. "Her Majesty." (Scale
1 : 48.) Contributed by John Scott Russell, F.R.S., 1868.

N. 1226.

This represents an iron paddle steamer designed for mail service in any
weather for a run not exceeding 60 miles, and on which sleeping accom-
modation is not required ; several of these boats were built about 1850, and
the one represented was built and engined by Messrs. Robinson and
Russell in that year for service between Portsmouth and Ryde.

The engines had two oscillating cylinders 27 in. diam. by 30 in. stroke,
and made 58 revs, per min.

Steam at 20 Ib. pressure was supplied by a tubular boiler 9 75 ft. long,
11 25 ft. wide, and 6 ft. high, possessing 1,234 sq. ft. of heating surface,
and 50 sq. ft. of grate area. The total weight of the engines, boilers, and
water was 30 5 tons, and the space occupied 24 ft. in length.

The paddle-wheels were 11 '16 ft. diam. and each had nine fixed floats,
5 ft. by 2- 3 ft. ; there were three masts, and the sail area was 64 sq. yds.
The average speed was 12 '8 knots.

Load displacement, 93 5 tons ; tonnage (b.m.), 119 5 tons ; gross register
tonnage, 90 tons ; length, on load water-line, 126 75 ft. ; breadth, 14 ft. ;
breadth, across paddle-boxes, 26 ft. ; depth at the side, 7 ft. ; draught of
water (laden), 3 '5 ft. ; immersed midship section (laden), 46 sq. ft.

198. Whole models of S.S. "Victoria." (Scale 1 : 48.) Con-
tributed by John Scott Russell, F.R.S., 1862 and 1868.

N. 894 and 1237.

This vessel was built of iron in 1852 for the Australian Royal Mail
Steam Navigation Co., and gained the prize of 500Z. offered by the colonies
for the fastest voyage to Australia. Her time from Gravesend to Adelaide
was 60 days, including two days delay at St. Yincent.

She was designed by Messrs. I. K. Brunei and J. S. Russell, for a speed
of 10 knots under full steam, and to provide as much passenger accom-
modation and space for high-priced cargo as the coal requirements would

The entrance and run of the ship were of the wave-line form, while the
central 45 ft. were parallel ; the bilges were round, the topsides tumbled
home, and there was no external keel, so that the vessel was very easy in
the sea-way. The hull was in 12 watertight compartments, and there were
longitudinal bulkheads carried through the engine and boiler rooms so as to
separate the coal from the machinery.

The engines were of the angular, oscillating type, with four cylinders,
48 in. diam. by 33 in. stroke, arranged in two pairs, and working on two
cranks on the propeller shaft, while an intermediate crank worked the

Steam at 15 Ib. pressure was supplied by four tubular boilers, 18 ft. wide
and 12 5 ft. high, each with five furnaces. The total heating surface was
9,421 sq. ft., given largely by 3-in. tubes, and the grate area was 412 sq. ft.
The boilers were arranged in one stokehold, the ventilation of which was
assisted by a large hatchway enclosing the funnels to a considerable height.
The weight of the boilers was 86 5 tons, the water contained in them
weighed 67 '8 tons, while the engines weighed 134 tons.

The screw was two-bladed, 15 ft. diam., 22 ft. pitch, and was connected

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