Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 136,332 pages of information and 219,110 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Vulcan (Barge)

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The Vulcan, launched in 1819, was the first all iron-hulled vessel (boat) to be built in Scotland. It was designed as a horse-drawn passenger barge for use on the Scottish canals.

In 1816, the Forth and Clyde Canal Co, which had earlier successfully adapted new technology to shipbuilding with the Charlotte Dundas, authorised the development of an all-iron ship, and they quickly settled upon building a canal barge.

In 1818, Thomas Wilson (1781–1873), was hired as the shipwright. The barge was to be 20 metres (66.5 ft.) long and narrow enough for the canal. The design called for iron sectionals to be riveted together with covering plates. Two blacksmiths were hired to construct the parts.


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