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diameter, and 4 fret stroke. Having previously made various experiments, in March, 1802, the first trial was made on the Forth and Clyde canal. The steam-boat tnok in tow two loaded boats of 70 tons burthen each, and with much ease went 19} miles in 6 hours, with a strong breeze right-a-head. Of this boat, the following appeared in the Falkirk Herald a few days ago—Grangemouth.—Discovery of the hull of a steam-boat. The excavation for extending the Junction basin proceeds as well as could be expected. In looking at the operations, we were surprised to observe the workmen employed removing the stuff from what appeared to us a vessel, and on enquiry we were told it was the remains of the Experiment, the old ballast boat, and formerly the first steam-boat built by the late Mr. Symington, engineer, of Falkirk, in which an engine was placed as a propelling power for steam navigation, and successfully tried on the Forth and Clyde canal in 1801, but afterwards interdicted by the Canal Company on account of the surge injuring the banks. Previous to the vessel being submerged in the former Gra ngeburn above twenty years ago, several bits of its timbers were sent to London and elsewhere, and no doubt converted into snuff-boxes and other nicknacks. The timbers are as fresh as ever, although darker in colour." From this time some years passed away before steam vessels were brought to a state of much usefulness.
Robert Fulton, of America, made considerable progress in steam navigation; he studied the subject fully, and ultimately wrote to Boulton and Watt, in this country, ordering engines with cylinders of 2 feet diameter, and 4 feet stroke, and afterwards came to England, had an interview with Symington, and gathered all the information possible, returned to America in 1806, and completed his steam-boat, the Clermont, of 160 tons burthen, in 1807, which made her first voyage from New York to Albany, a
distance of 150 miles, without accident, and attained 3 speeů of five miles an hour. After this time, rapid progress was made both in Great Britain and America, which contributed largely to their mutual prosperity. In 1812 the steam-boat, Comet, was tried on the River Clyde, by Mr. Henry Bell, to whom this country is much indebted for his unceasing perseverance in the useful application of steam as a propelling power to vessels. The Comet plied between Glasgow and Greenock with ultimate
Many very important alterations took place, not only in the steam-engine, but in the construction of the vessels for which they were intended, an-l as they had hitherto only been used for river and coasting purposes, these improvements established the practicability of their extended use at sea.
La 1816 steamers began to ply between Holyhead and Dublin, which is one of the earliest applications of steam navigation to sea voyages. At the annual meeting of the British Association, held in Liverpool, in September, 1837, the possibility of crossing the Atlantic by steamers was discussed, and the idea opposed by many scientific men, amongst whom Dr. Lardner was most conspicuous : he in his argument taking his data from the performance of the Medea, the best of the government steamers, and believing no doubt, that no superior vessel could be made, contended that no steamer could carry
the necessary quantity of coal for a voyage of 3,200 miles, the distance from England to the United States; others however were sanguine of success.
On the 4th of April, 1838, the Sirius, Captain Roberts, left Cork at 10 a.m. She was seen on the 14th, having encountered heavy weather, and made only 110 miles per day, and was 1,620 miles from New York. No further intelligence was received respecting her until the 18th of May, when she arrived safely at Falmouth, bringing the news that she had made the voyage from Cork to New York
in eighteen days; and from New York to Falmouth in twenty-two days. The Sirius, therefore, was the first vessel that ever crossed the Atlantic by the power of steam alone.
The Great Western, the first steam ship to perform the voyage from England to New York, sailed from King's Road, Bristol, on Sunday, the 8th of April, and arrived at New York on the 22nd of the same month,—twelve hours after the Sirius; having gained upon her more than four days in crossing the Atlantic, and made the run from Bristol to New York in fourteen days ;-—not much more than a third part of the time usually taken by sailing vessels. This was a great and admirable achievement; not only in reference to the mechanical and engineering skill displayed, but because of its importance in a commercial point of view. The vast continent of America, with all its native produce,-its immense and fertile cotton districts, its produce of grain, timber, coffee, sugar, and a variety of other articles, upon which this country so much depends,-was by this successful undertaking brought, as it were, at least one thousand miles nearer our shores. Satisfactory as these results were, much still had yet to be done. Économy of fuel, higher speed, and more punctuality, was aimed at, and ultimately successfully attain. ed. The increase of speed of our steamers has of late been very remarkable. In the early mail contracts, the speed exacted was eight miles per hour, afterwards nine and ten miles per hour; būt steamers, as the Persia, La Plata, and others, average on a long voyage fourteen miles per hour. The quickest passages ever performed in the Channel
, ars those of the royal mail packet, Prince Frederick William, which recently run from Dover to Calais, against tide, in 1 hour and 27 minutes, and returned in 1 hour and 21 minutes. Since then, she ran to Ostend from Dover Pier-a distance of 73 statute miles-in 3 hours and 50 minutes, averaging in the
passage a speed over 19 miles an hour. Although this speed be attainable, and valuable as it is in reference to our mail service, by which a rapid and punctual interchange of correspondence between ourselves, our dependencies, and other distant countries is insured, and through which our letters and advice precede so favourably the transmission of merchandise, to the mutual convenience and advantage of all concerned, and on account of which our Government offer immense subsidies, to the amount, probably, of double the income of the sea-borne mail service; and although this may be done at an apparent loss, the country gains largely by the very extended trade created by rapid and punctual correspondence ;-still there is a point of speed which cannot be exceeded, having at the same time due regard to economy: for it has now become known, notwithstanding the improved construction of vessels, that since 1850, the passage between Liverpool and New York has been shortened two days; but so great is the resisting force of water and, to some extent, air-at high rates of speed, that to gain the two days in time, has precisely doubled the consumption of coal.
It is clear, then, that now we have attained an amount of speed in our stcamers we could hardly desire to exceed: and so far as regards economy of fuel, the following quotation may shew that our engineers have not been less successful in their efforts. * On the first great experiment with the Great Britain, between Australia and England, she was underrigged as a sailing vessel; her screw, which could not be unshippel, was always in requisition. Her consumption of coal was from 35 to 50 tons per day: she consumed about 1200 tons from Melbourne to the Cape; and is supposed to have consumed 2500 tons on her homeward voyage. She took in coal at Algoa Bay, Simond's Bay, St. Michael's (Azores), and at Vigo Bay in Spain. During the voyage of tho Royal Charter—which is a full-rigged clipper ship,
capable of great speed, built of iron, and 3000 tons burden-her greatest day's run under canvass was 352 miles, averaging 147 knots an hour. Steam was resorted to 14 days. Her best day's run with steam was 252 miles, with a consumption of 10. tons coal; and her worst day's run was 166 miles, with a consumption of 147 tons of coal:--the average being about 14 tons per day; and that of the Great Britain about 40 tons per day.”
America has this year (1858) 57 ocean steamers, measuring 94,795 tons; while we have 1,670, with 666,330 aggregate tons. America has 22 steainers, of 45,000 tons, engaged in foreign and domestic mail; while we have 121 steamers, of 235,418 aggregate tons, engaged in the foreign mail service almost exclusively. America has 37 steamers engaged in the coasting trade; while we have 1,548 similarly : employed. We have also at Portsmouth 32 vessels, of 1,499 guns; Davenport, 62 vessels, of 3,055 guns ; Chatham, 37 vessels, of 1331 guns; Sheerness, 20 vessels, of 919 guns making a total at the four ports of 151 vessels, carrying 6,804 guns. In addition to these (besides a number of small craft), we have building in the various ports, and principally screw propellers, vessels calculated to carry 2,936 guns, and of a power equal to that of 10,580 horses. The total number of steamers belonging to the United Kingdom, as taken on the 1st of January, 1857, is 1,669; the combined tonnage, exclusive of engine-room, being 383,598.
We have reason to be proud of our country; Let us go on, resolved to maintain our position, despite of our competitors in the manufacturing and mercattile world. Encouraged as we are by our gracious and beloved Queen, and living as we do in a country the most liberal and free under Heaven, I have do fear of the results.