Early Marine Engines

K urgess
23rd September 2009, 00:24
Rather than leave this where it was I've decided to start a new thread.

Being somewhat of a bibliophile, if not yet quite a total bibliomaniac, and having an interest in engineering, particularly old machinery, I have just a few books containing such images.
I recently acquired a copy of
"A Text-book on Steam and Steam Engines
Specially arranged for the use of science and art,
City and Guilds of London Institute, and other
engineering students."
by Andrew Jamieson, M.Inst.C.E.,
Tenth Edition
Published by Charles Griffin & Company Limited, Exeter Street, Strand in 1895.

Mainly because of the engravings and explanations from as early as Watt's first single acting engines to quadruple expansion marine steam engines via boilers, both static and marine, with all the little bits that make them work in between.

Apparently the first attempts to power a boat by steam engine took place in 1698 but the earliest diagram of an engine I can find in this book is the attached.

"In 1812, Henry Bell constructed the Comet on the Clyde, a
craft of 30 tons burden, 40 feet long, and 10 feet beam, which
ran for several years between Glasgow and Greenock as a regular
passenger steamer.
There were two paddle-wheels on each side, driven by an engine
rated at three horse power, of which the following diagram taken
from Professor Rankine's "Steam and Steam Engines", gives an idea
of its style and proportion.
This engine, as shown by the drawing, is what might be expected
to have been used at the date of its construction for a small land
engine, since it is fitted, not only with a fly-wheel, but with a
Watt's pendulum governor."

This engine with various modification became known as the "Grasshopper" engine and was still in use in Clyde, Thames and Forth tugs in the 1890s and early 1900s. It, apparently, "will work with less attention and in a greater state of disrepair than many other more finely adjusted forms of engines."

29th October 2009, 17:14
The original engine from the Comet stood on a plinthe in Dumbarton town centre shopping area.Don't know if it's still there? regards rab.m.

Steve Hodges
29th October 2009, 17:26
Don't know about the engine, but there is a replica of the "Comet" high-and-dry near the riverside at Port Glasgow - perhaps one of our Clydeside members can post a photo?

29th October 2009, 18:30

This was mentioned on a programme on the BBC the other night about Scottish inventors. Here's the link to the BBC iplayer.

29th October 2009, 19:38
Was downat the Denny ship tank in Dumbarton on Monday. The Comet engine is on display outside it.

29th October 2009, 21:37
Was downat the Denny ship tank in Dumbarton on Monday. The Comet engine is on display outside it.

I was down there today and was curious about the engine, turns out it's this, I thought it was a bit big for the Comet,(Jester)


5th February 2010, 21:22
I Presented The Log Book Of The Comet To The Glasgow MUSEUM OF TRANSPORT In July 2006 This Was A Family Heirloom On My Mothers Side Who Was Brought Up In Helensburgh And One Of Her Forebears Was Provest In Can Be Seen On Request
I Would Recommend Following Book
The Ingenious Mr Bell By Brian D Osborne
Argyll Publishing
Argyll Pa22 3ae
British Library
Isbn 1 87464o 319
Cordfall Ltd Glasgow
Images Worcester