The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Aug. 4, 1841

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p.3 Mr. Baird's New Paddle Wheel - In a late number of this paper we called the attention of our readers to this subject, and it is with pleasure we now lay the following particulars of the invention before the public.

Specification of the SWEEPING PADDLE WHEEL for Steam Vessels,

as Invented by N.H. Baird, Civil Engineer.

The Wheel to consist of eight arms more or less as the case may be, made of good sound white oak or other suitable materials, with one or more range of Arms of such diameter as may be found suitable, varying from 24 to 30 feet diameter, more or less. Said arms to be 12 inches square at the axis, tapering to 9 inches at the point - placed diagonally to the axis in iron flange, or an oak shaft, iron bound, as may be deemed most advisable.

On these arms, and properly secured with a sufficient number of bolts and fastenings, the paddles are to be placed, forming an angle of 45 degrees or any other angle that may be found or considered more advisable, so as they may enter the water obliquely, and come out obliquely at any of the before mentioned angles.

Such paddles to resemble in form and shape the Indian paddle - to be placed vertically on the arms at the aforesaid angle - to be 6, 8, or 10 feet in length, vertically more or less, in proportion to the draft of the vessel. To be for a vessel of 8 feet draft of water, 3 feet in breadth at the point and one foot at the wrist or extremity of paddle nearest the axle. To have the points in form as per plan hereunto annexed - to be of good sound 2 inch oak plank, or of strong boiler plate, to be secured at the periphery by substantial 2 inch iron bolts with regulating tempering screws, and also at the semi-radius by substantial iron bands 3 inch by 1 inch wrought iron, properly bolted together, and through the arms.

To have wrought iron shafts of from 7 to 9 and 10 inches diameter, or cast iron, as from the shortness of the bearings the latter may be found sufficient, of the common dimensions, in either case, attached to the engine in the common mode.

The paddles may go within one foot of the bottom of the keel, or below it if necessary.

The lateral breadth of wheel in ordinary cases need not exceed 2 feet 3 in., having a bearing outside on the gunwale or guard. In application to common sea-going vessels, the outside bearing and paddle-boxes may be dispensed with by having the wheel properly keyed on the square end of the shaft.

The Sweeping Paddle Wheel paddles may either be placed to throw the water out from, or against the vessel, as may be considered advisable.

Given under my hand and Seal at Cobourg, District of Newcastle, in the Province of Canada, this fifteenth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and forty-one years.

(Signed) N.H. Baird, Civil Engineer.

Memorandum of Advantages of the SWEEPING PADDLE WHEELS.

1st - The inconvenience of such extreme width of paddle wheels and boxes obviated; the resistance being acquired from the depth.

2nd - The power lost in back water, saved, and applied direct in propelling.

3rd - Increased speed from increased diameter without the inconvenience of high paddle boxes.

4th - In a heavy sea, the paddles are always in the water sufficient to keep the Engine steady, and materially abating the difficulty of the want of steerage way when our paddle (according to the present system) is out of the water in a heavy sea.

5th - Little or no tremor or shake to the vessel, from the paddles striking the water obliquely at 45 degrees or any other angle.

6th - A saving of 18 or 20 feet in the breadth of large Steamers; consequent saving in the width of locks intended to pass large Steamers through; and consequent saving in wear and tear.

7th - Paddles not so liable to be injured by Flood Wood or other obstructions met with, from presenting an oblique face to the object.

8th - Doing away with paddle boxes entirely if thought advisable.

9th - Material saving in original cost at least 50 per cent; the repairs must be comparatively trifling.

10th - Less power required to produce the same effect, the increased diameter materially aiding the Engine over the centre; and sundry advantages not referred to but of consequence.

11th - For internal navigation peculiarly applicable, where it is presumed there will be 6 to 8 and 9 feet of water, as very large Steamers will be enabled to pass through moderate sized Locks, saving thereby some hundred thousands of pounds, in consequence of such immense locks being required for the present place.

12th - In shallow Canals and Rapids, by a simple modification made to propel Boats, independent of, or in addition to the action of the paddle in the water, no wash to the banks from the paddle wheels.

13th - May be applied equally to Merchantmen without all the expensive and inconvenient outworks attending the present paddle wheels.

14th - The facility of making way through ice, from the particular construction of the paddles is obviously great.

15th - With slight alteration can be fitted to the present steamers in a few days.

(Signed) N.H. Baird, Civil Engineer.

Cobourg, Canada, 15th June, 1841.

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Aug. 4, 1841
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Rick Neilson
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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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Chronicle & Gazette (Kingston, ON), Aug. 4, 1841