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This is the attractive silver decoration to the front board of this book !
The Birth of the Steamboat
£10.00 + P & P
Early Steamboats Technical history authorative study
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The Birth of the Steamboat

H. Philip Spratt,
B.Sc., A.S.M.E., I.S.O.

A blue cloth bound book with bright silver lettering the spine and decoration to front board. Top edge of pristine page block dyed purple - a light bump to the bottom of the spine stops it being FINE condition.
Dust wrapper predominately white is slightly marked un-clipped, and with some light rubbing - VERY GOOD.
1st. 1958
Charles Griffin & Co.Ltd.,
145 mm. x 200 mm. x 16 mm.

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Jacket blurbs

Industrial archaeology, transport history, model making—people with many different interests will appreciate this lower-priced re-issue of a key reference book by the retired Deputy Keeper of the Department of Transport at the Science Museum, London. From an appreciative international press we quote a few tributes.

"Who invented the steamboat ? Mr. Spratt deserves the highest praise for the way he has clarified this vexed question with a lucidity and an economy of words which conceals a prodigous amount of research."
—New Scientist (L. T. C. Rour)

"A good piece of research by the author who is an expert. It undoubtedly breaks new ground on a subject which has always been full of fallacies and obscurities."—Nautical Magazine.

"A most useful and sensibly compiled reference book for anyone interested in this fascinating field of engineering history. By rescuing these pioneers from unmerited obscurity, Mr. Spratt has made a valuable contribution to the history of technology."—Newcomen Bulletin.

"No fault can be found with the selection and coverage of the subject from the earliest times to the first commercially acceptable vessels."— Journal of Transport History

"The author is in a favourable position to write accurately and interestingly on the subject. This he has done most effectively in this nicely produced little book. . . . No fewer than 390 references from all over the world date from 1580 up to notes of quite recent papers."— Marine Engineer




Paddle-wheels before the Christian era ; Blasco de Garay and his fabulous "steamship" at Barcelona ; Salomon de Caus uses the force of steam; British patents on the reaction principle; the Marquis of Worcester and his inventions; Papin constructs a paddle boat, and proposes one for steam ; John Allen patents the reaction principle for steamboats; Jonathan Hulls and his proposed stern-wheeler, driven on the Newcomen "atmospheric" principle; other proposals of Bernoulli, the Canon Gautier, and Genevois; William Henry, an American pioneer ; James Watt introduces improvements, and proposes a "spiral oar" for boats

Comte d'Auxiron and his experimental steamboat ; Perier moves a small boat under steam ; Jouffroy d'Abbans attains the first real success ; Fitch tries vertical paddles ; Patrick Miller and his manual paddle boats ; Rumsey, the American pioneer of steamboat reaction; the Dalswinton Lake experiments ; the Earl of Stanhope, and Ormsbee in America, use "duck-foot" paddles ; Nicholas Roosevelt tries paddle-wheels ; the "Charlotte Dundas" proves her value ; Desblancs and Dallery obtain French patents ; Fulton tries his first steamboat at Paris; Oliver Evans and his amphibian craft; John Stevens and twin-screw propulsion

The "Clermont" on the river Hudson; the "Pheenix" steams out on the open seas; the "Vermont," first of the American lake steamboats; the first Canadian steamer on the St. Lawrence; the "New Orleans," first of the Mississippi steamboats; Henry Bell and his "Comet," the first commercial steamer in Europe; Trevithick proposes a marine steam turbine; the first steamer on the Thames, and the first to cross to France; the pioneer steam warship at New York; the "Savannah," first steamer to cross the Atlantic; the Earl of Dundonald, and the first to steam westward; Aaron Manby builds the first steamer of iron



List of illustations


  1. Denis Papin (1647-1714), doctor of medicine ; from portrait at the Science Museum
  2. Jonathan Hulls's proposal (1736), for stern- wheel paddle steamer ; never had a trial
  3. Jouffroy's steamboat model (1784), preserved now in the Musee de la Marine, Paris
  4. John Fitch's steamboat (1786), with vertical oars or paddles ; tried on the Delaware
  5. James Rumsey's proposal (1788), for a steamboat with water reaction at the stern
  6. Patrick Miller's first steamboat (1788), with double hull and internal paddle-wheels
  7. Robert Fulton's first steamboat (1803), built at Paris, and tried on the river Seine
  8. Machinery of P.S. "Clermont" (1807), the first steamboat to attain commercial success
  9. Machinery of P.S. "Comet" (1812), first steamer put into commercial service in Europe
  10. Machinery of P.S. "Savannah" (1818), the first Atlantic steamer ; built at New York
  11. P.S. "Aaron Manby" (1822), first iron steamer, built near Tipton; served on the Seine


Spine area of wrapper
Front of dust wrapper
Book's spine

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