The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Whittaker's Substitution of Side Screw for the Paddle-wheel
Publication:
The Monthly Nautical Magazine and Quarterly Review (New York, NY), April 1855, pp. 53-54


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Full Text
WHITTAKER'S SUBSTITUTION OF SIDE SCREW FOR THE PADDLE-WHEEL

The entire success of the steamer Baltic since the removal of the side paddle-wheels, and the substitution of screws, having more fully come within our reach since our last issue, we propose to furnish the facts relative to her former engine and those now on board, in connection with the certificates of the engineers ; and we think this collective testimony will serve to prove the truth of our remarks on screw propulsion. The engine taken out of the Baltic had a cylinder of 35 5/8 diameter, with 8 feet of stroke, equal to 55.4 cubic feet. She now has two cylinders of 26 inch diameter, and 3 feet stroke, equal to 11.06 cubic feet each, or 22.12 cubic feet in both — about 40 per cent, (with the same pressure of steam) of her former power. But notwithstanding this great diminution of power, her performance has improved, consequent upon the double advantage of the application of the power and the mode of propulsion. A model of this new application can be seen at the office of the Nautical Magazine.

The following certificates from the engineers of the Baltic will speak for themselves : --

"To ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN :

"I have been on board of the steamer Baltic, in the capacity of second engineer, up to the last of July, and since that time as first ; and from my knowledge of her performance, I am satisfied that it is the best application of power yet made to the propulsion of steam vessels ; and I am satisfied that she can run fourteen miles per hour, carrying one hundred tons weight, and twelve miles per hour carrying five hundred tons. I find the engines and propellers stand firmly ; nothing has ever given way in heavy seas, when light or loaded. And I further believe that a very high rate of speed may be obtained by applying four such engines and propellers upon a boat of same tonnage, built light and sharp for speed — say from twenty-five to thirty miles per hour, which is the proportion of power that Captain Whittaker proposes to apply to passage-boats. The Baltic loads down four feet, while a passage-boat would not load down one foot. And I further say that the propellers steady and lift the boat, causing her to roll less than paddle-wheel boats ; and the wheels being made of iron, will last any length of time, and will not break when they come in contact with drift-wood or logs, such as would break paddle-wheels, as has been proven in the case of the Baltic. I also endorse an article, dated June 22d, 1854, and published in the Democracy of Buffalo signed by H. Whittaker, being a memorandum [p. 54] of the Baltic on her trial trip to Cleveland, as being substantially true to my own knowledge.

" Samuel Van Evert, Engineer,
"Buffalo, January 2d, 1855."

"To ALL WHOM IT MAY CONCERN :

"I was first engineer of steamer Baltic up to the last of July, and assisted in putting up her engines and side propellers ; and I am satisfied, by practical knowledge, that it is the best application of power to the propulsion of boats ever made; and I believe she can run fourteen miles per hour, carrying one hundred tons, and twelve miles per hour carrying five hundred tons; and I believe four such engines and propellers placed upon a boat of same tonnage, built light and sharp, would run from twenty-five to thirty miles per hour. We find no difficulty in securing the engines and propellers : they have stood the test in heavy gales, light and loaded, without the least break or give. They steady and raise the boat, and cause her to roll much less than paddle-wheels. The wheels are well protected, and will not break by striking logs or driftwood, as has been proven in the case of the steamer Baltic.

"I also endorse an article, dated June 22d, 1854, and published in the Democracy of Buffalo, signed by H. Whittaker, being a memorandum of the Baltic's trip to Cleveland, as being substantially true to my own knowledge.

"Sam'l Hathaway, Constructor of Engines.

"Buffalo, Sept. lOth, 1854."


Media Type:
Text
Newspaper
Item Type:
Clippings
Date of Original:
April 1855
Subject(s):
Language of Item:
English
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Whittaker's Substitution of Side Screw for the Paddle-wheel