Paddle-steamer PS Comet

Paddle-steamer PS Comet

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: The first commercially successful steamboat service in Europe began in 1812 with the paddle steamer Comet providing a passenger service on the River Clyde in Scotland between Glasgow and Greenock, a distance of 24 miles.The ship was built for Henry Bell in 1811 by a Port Glasgow shipbuilder John Wood. The engine and boiler were also built in Glasgow. It was a wooden vessel of about 30 tons, 40 feet in length and 10 feet in beam and powered by a three horsepower engine. Originally the vessel had four paddle-wheels, two on each side, but these were replaced by a single paddle-wheel on each side. The commercial success of this service was followed within four years by competition from other vessels with passenger services in the Firth of Clyde. After the Comet was shipwrecked at Craignish Point near Oban in December 1820, Bell built another vessel the Comet II.

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Keywords: 1812, boiler, comet, commercial success, engine, european, glasgow, greenock, henry bell, horsepower, john wood, nineteenth century, oban, paddle-steamer, paddle-wheels, passengers, port glasgow, ps comet, river clyde, scotland, shipwreck, steamboat

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