Charles Algernon Parsons

By J. E. de Courcy Ireland, published February 1955


One hundred years after his birth, Charles Parsons’ contributions to engineering are recalled by the author. Something of a science and engineering polymath, with a talent for doing the unusual, Parsons is best remembered for the design and development of the steam turbine, which made possible the efficient large scale generation of electricity, and improved the speed of both warships and passenger vessels early in the twentieth century. His experimental Turbina (2,000 s.h.p) caused a sensation by steaming at 34 knots on the occasion of the Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee naval review, outpacing all other naval vessels of the day. Before long the Royal Navy ordered turbine driven destroyers, soon followed by the first passenger steamer, T.S. King Edward. Before Parsons’ death in 1931, H.M.S. Hood (150,000 s.h.p) of 41,000 tons was steaming at 32 knots.

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Filed under: Other (Twentieth C) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Other (location)
Subjects include: Biography | Shipbuilding & Design

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