The Final Weeks of Service and Wreck of PS Comet, 1820

By Tony Dalton, published August 2020


PS Comet, Europe’s first commercial steamship, launched in 1812, was rebuilt to new dimensions in 1819 with improved machinery, and wrecked in 1820. These facts are known, but not very much accurate detail exists about its wrecking. Many books and articles on the Comet repeat the same basic information, in some cases with minor variations and ambiguities which only cloud the issue. This article focuses on the last weeks of its service in December 1820, and examines the events leading up to its loss. It includes records not previously mentioned in any accounts; Saleuhan, previously thought to be Sallachan, has been correctly placed; and the maker of the replacement engine and boiler has been identified.

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Filed under: Other (Nineteenth C) | Nineteenth Century | Shipwrecks
Subjects include: Merchant Marines | Ocean Liners & Passenger Craft | Shipbuilding & Design

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