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The Story of the Steamship - 1901 Article by Maximilian Foster

The evolution from Fulton’s little Clermont and seven miles an hour to the sixteen thousand ton ocean liner that averages twenty-seven miles an hour from continent to continent.

The Story of the Steamship - Contents

  1. Introduction and Evolution
    The evolution from Fulton’s little Clermont and seven miles an hour to the sixteen thousand ton ocean liner that averages twenty-seven miles an hour from continent to continent.
  2. The First Ocean Steamship
    It was a long step between steam traffic on inland waters to the navigation of the deep sea. And here again, the destroyers of the classic are stepping in. It has been bred, so far, into the mind of every schoolchild that the Savannah was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. She sailed from Savannah, Georgia on May 22, 1819 for Liverpool, and arrived there in due course.
  3. The Great Western, 1837
    The first steam vessel designed and built for the Atlantic trade was the Great Western, launched at Bristol, England, on July 19, 1837. In every particular, her building was a great departure from conventional ideas, and a decided contradiction to the prevailing authorities on marine architecture. These authorities had set forth that the best type for the coming ocean steamship should be a craft of about eight hundred tons, with engines of about two hundred horsepower.
  4. The Advent of the Screw Propeller
    But by this time the success of the Atlantic steamship was assured, and in December, 1839, the President, a craft of 2,3G6 tons and 540 horse power, was launched. Curling & Young built her on the Thames, but in March 1841, on the return trip from New York, she was lost with all aboard. In 1840, the Great Western Company undertook a step of vast importance. The chief marine architect and engineer of that time was Isambard K. Brunel.
  5. The Compound Engine and The Twin-Screw Steamers
    In common with metal hulls, the screw and the compound engine mark vast advances in the development of the ocean steamship. As early as 1850, the inefficiency of the simple engine, in which steam at low pressure was admitted. to the cylinder and thence to the condenser, was discussed by all marine engineers.
  6. The Atlantic Liners of Today and Recent High Speed Records
    With the introduction of the New York and Paris, and the White Star boats, Majestic and Teutonic, additional length with increased speed became the leading factor in the competition. The success of the new twin-screw ships compelled the Cunard Company to build again, which had for several years, relied upon the Umbria and Etruria. To compete with its rival, it launched the Lucania and Campania, twin ships of 12,950 tons and 30,000 I. H. P., 620 feet long, 65.3 feet beam, and 43 feet depth of hull.
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1901 Story of the Steamship (1901)


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The Folks Behind the GG Archives

The GG Archives is the work and passion of two people, Paul Gjenvick, a professional archivist, and Evelyne Gjenvick, a curator. Paul earned a Masters of Archival Studies - a terminal degree from Clayton State University in Georgia, where he studied under renowned archivist Richard Pearce-Moses. Our research into the RMS Laconia and SS Bergensfjord, the ships that brought two members of the Gjønvik family from Norway to the United States in the early 20th century, has helped us design our site for other genealogists. The extent of original materials at the GG Archives can be very beneficial when researching your family's migration from Europe.