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British Industrial History

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Otto Schlick

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Ernst Otto Schlick (June 16, 1840, Grimma - April 10, 1913, Hamburg) was a German naval engineer.

Schlick attempted to solve the problem of rolling of ships at sea by installing large gyroscopes The gyroscopic "stabilizers" gave disappointing or dangerous results in practice. An Englishman before him in 1868, Henry Bessemer had tried to use hydraulics and a spirit level watched by the steersman to stabilize ship rolls, also with dangerous results.

The gyroscopic stabilizer idea was later developed further by the US American inventor Elmer Ambrose Sperry but this system could hold the ship at an extreme angle for prolonged periods. By the time these stabilizers were abandoned, gyroscopes had already found their place in ship navigation as gyro-compasses and in control systems.

Schlick studied at the Dresden Technical University from 1858.

In 1863 in Dresden he founded a dockyard and engineering workshop which was later bought by Austrians.

From 1869 to 1875 he worked as a naval engineer, firstly in Pest and then in Fiume, both in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

In 1875 he became managing director of the Norddeutschen Werft in Kiel, where he oversaw the building of many freight steamers and also some warships, including the German Royal Yacht Hohenzollern.

1879 Together with A. van Hüllen, he translated Sir William H. White's "A manual of naval architecture" into German (English original published in 1877, German version published in Leipzig in 1879).

From 1882 to 1895 he was director of the German office of the international ship registration institute, Bureau Veritas, in Hamburg.

1890 He wrote a handbook for iron ship construction ("Handbuch für den Eisenschisfbau") which was published in Leipzig in 1890.

1893 Paper presented to the Institute of Naval Architects re his apparatus for measuring and registering the vibrations of steamers.[1]

1895 Paper presented to the Institute of Architects re vibration.[2]

1896 Paper presented to the Institute of Naval Architects re 'Signs of Weakness in tank steamers'.[3]

From 1896 until his retirement in 1908 he was director of Germanischer Lloyd, another ship registration institute in Hamburg, where he encouraged better design for fast steam ships.

1904 Paper presented to the Institute of Architects re a gyroscopic rolling brake for vessels.

1904 Details of an enormous flywheel to be installed on ships to end sea-sickness.[4]

1905 Otto Schlick, the chief engineer of the Hamburg Lloyd Co and his flywheel gyroscope.[5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Portsmouth Evening News - Saturday 25 March 1893
  2. Glasgow Herald - Thursday 21 March 1895
  3. Glasgow Herald - Friday 12 June 1896
  4. Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Friday 17 June 1904
  5. Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 16 December 1905