Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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PS Britannia

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1816 The Britannia was built by James Munn of Greenock with engines by James Cook of Glasgow. She was a wooden paddle steamer[1].

c.1817 The Neath Abbey Co carried out some work on the ship, and made detailed drawings of the engines. It is considered that this work inspired the company to embark on marine engineering, and they built their first marine engine in 1822 for the Glamorgan[2].

1817 'The Britannia Steam Packet, of Dublin, which has been undergoing some alterations at Neath Abbey Iron Works, arrived at Bristol last week from Swansea, making that passage, against all the ebbtide, in twelve hours. This packet is a complete sea-going vessel, the first of her kind to which the powers of steam have been applied. Her sails and propelling machinery admit of being used separately or in conjunction, not interfering in the least with each other’s action, and the latter admits of being disengaged at a moment’s notice. The vessel, we understand, is intended to make several trips in the Bristol Channel, ere she departs for her station between Dublin and Holyhead.'[3].

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Sources of Information

  1. [1]
  2. ‘The Neath Abbey Iron Company’ by Laurence Ince, 1984: De Archaeologische Pers (Nederland)
  3. Oxford University and City Herald, 10 May 1817