The Choice of Steam Engine Manufacturers by the British Admiralty 1822-1852
This studies the Admiralty’s performance in the experimental phase of steam engines in ships from 1822 to the mid/late 1830s and then of Admiralty purchasing policy from 1837 onwards. Two companies predominantly chosen initially were Boulton and Watt and Maudslay Sons and Field but from 1837 onwards there was expansion to other firms particularly that of Seawards after John Seaward introduced the direct-acting engine in the Gorgon of 1837. The influence of Alexander Gordon, Scottish marine engineer and agent of the Clydebank firm of Robert Napier is discussed. Following a government paper in 1843 Seawards and Napier were to become the dominant companies.