The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Detroit Advertiser and Tribune (Detroit, MI), 6 Jul, 1877

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A NEW PROPELLING POWER. - A little steamboat has just made the run between Baltimore and New York, being propelled the entire distance between the two cities without wheel or screw. She is called the Alpha, and in outward appearances resembles the tugboats which ply in the harbor. Her length is 43 feet, beam 10½, and depth about 8 feet. She is supplied with a 16 horsepower tubular boiler, which drives a pump. From the pump to the stern and bow of the vessel are two lines of pipe which strike the water about three feet below the surface. The pumps drives through each pipe a 2½ inch stream, which enters the water through a 7/8 inch nozzle. With sixty pounds of steam the pump makes 110 strokes per minute, each stroke driving a stream into the outer body of water. The invention is the result of many years of study, and it is asserted that it can be applied to ocean steamships with success. In moving through the water there is no ripple astern and but slight displacement perceptible except at the bow. By shutting of the discharge from the stern pipes and forcing the water through the bow pipes the boat is backed, and by using one bow and one stern pipe she can be turned in her own length. The propelling power can also be used to steer the boat, the nozzles being used alternately as levers on the principle of the oar. The boat consumes but a quarter of ton of coal per day, and is considered well adapted for use on the canals.

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6 Jul, 1877
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Dave Swayze
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
Maritime History of the Great Lakes
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Detroit Advertiser and Tribune (Detroit, MI), 6 Jul, 1877