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 138,035 pages of information and 222,628 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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1894 Original Turbine of the SS Turbinia.
Original turbine on dispaly at the London Science Museum

Turbinia, designed by Charles Algernon Parsons and made by the Marine Steam Turbine Co.

1894 Parsons applied for a patent for 'propelling a vessel by means of a steam turbine, which turbine actuates the propeller or paddle shaft directly or through gearing'.

1894 Parsons formed the Marine Steam Turbine Co to exploit the marine applications of his turbine and to construct the Turbinia.

1897 Turbinia was sailed at speed through the Diamond Jubilee fleet review of the Royal Navy in June 1897 off Portsmouth, demonstrating the great potential of the new technology. Today, Turbinia is housed in a purpose-built gallery at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle.

1897 After the success of the Turbinia, Parsons established the Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Co with £500,000 of capital to acquire the assets and licences of the Marine Steam Turbine Co.

1928 The aft-part and the turbine engine of the Turbinia were presented to the London Science Museum, there being insufficient space for the whole vessel. The original turbine (which had been replaced) was also part of the gift[1].

The fore and aft parts of the hull have been reunited, and are impressively displayed in the Discovery Museum, Newcastle, along with important artefacts used in the development of the vessel. The original (radial flow) turbine remains on display in the London Science Museum.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 18 June 1927