The earliest representations of paddle steamers

Home Forums Nautical Research: 1830 – Present Day The earliest representations of paddle steamers

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #2522
    Anonymous
    Guest

    In “Queries” in MM for 2002 (vol 88 page 100), the questioner, Captain Peter Hore, refered to two paintings of early paddle steamers, by William Turner (“Shipping entering Dover Harbour”) and Andrew Wilson (“A View of Burntisland”). He asked what were the names of these “early representations in fine art of the new-fangled paddle steamers”.
    I am surprised that no answer has ever appeared, as far as I know, and wonder if any members of the Forum may know the names of these vessels.
    Charles Dawson

    #2523
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I believe I have the answer to Captain Hore’s original Query (MM vol92, page100, 2002). By matching the places and dates of the paintings with the ships existing there and then from the National Archives transcript Ship registers BT 107 it is possible to give a reasonable guess at the names of the paddle steamers involved.
    The paddle steamer entering Dover harbour c.1824 was probably P.S.MONARCH. She was built of wood in 1822 by James Duke, Dover, 75ft. x 16ft. x 8ft. 11 in, 45 net tons. She had a 32 NHP engine by Maudslay, Son & Field.
    J&W Hayward of Dover ran her between Dover and Calais until she was sold in 1826 to the Amsterdam Steamboat Co and renamed ONDERNEMING (“Enterprise”). She then plied Amsterdam-Hamburg, Ostend-Margate and Amsterdam-Enkhuizen. In 1832, she was leased to Russian interests and renamed CANCRIN (after the Russian Minister of Finance) and plied as a tug in the Gulf of Riga. Renamed PRINS VAN ORANJE (Prince of Orange) in 1835, she plied Rotterdam-Dunkirk and Hull-Ghent. She was scrapped in 1853.
    The paddle steamer shown at Burntisland was probably P.S. QUENTIN DURWARD. She was built in 1823 by Sime & Rankine, Leith, 100ft.8in. x 16ft.5in. x 9ft.3in., 79 net tons. R Ogilvie and G Crichton of Leith were her first owners, who sold her to the Leith & Dundee Steam Packet Co, Dundee early in 1824.
    Sailing from Leith in the Firth of Forth would take her directly opposite Burntisland where she was depicted.
    She was sold to Danish owners in 1827 and was scrapped in Denmark in 1841; her 57 HP replacement engine from c.1835 was re-used in p.s. CHRISTIAN VIII.
    Although some purists would confine the term “fine art” to easel-painting, book illustration can occasionally rise to heights worthy of the description. Without doubt, the 308 aquatint engravings by William Daniell from his A Voyage round Great Britain (1814-1825) come into this category. A fine example is his “Steamboat on the Clyde near Dumbarton”, but he was obviously unsure about the exact appearance of a steamboat.
    Many artists used the setting of that scene, with Dumbarton Rock as background, to feature the 42-ft long P.S. COMET, the first commercially viable steamboat in Europe. For example, there is a tinted lithograph of her in honour of Henry Bell, who was responsible for her in 1812 (not 1811 as stated). Here again, the romantic approach takes precedence over technical accuracy.
    The renowned marine painter Robert Salmon painted P.S. CHARLOTTE of Bristol in 1813, in a busy scene in port – see Grahame Farr, West Coast Passenger Steamers (Prescot, 1967) fig.1. This is probably the earliest “fine art” representation of an actual paddle steamer.
    By the 1830s, paddle steamers were being featured accurately as main subjects by other prominent artists such as William Clark of Greenock, Joseph Heard of Liverpool, William J Huggins of London and John Ward of Hull.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.