The Info List - SS Great Western

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SS GREAT WESTERN of 1838, was an oak-hulled paddle-wheel steamship , the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic
, and the initial unit of the Great Western Steamship Company
Great Western Steamship Company
. She was the largest passenger ship in the world from 1837 to 1839. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Isambard Kingdom Brunel
, Great Western proved satisfactory in service and was the model for all successful wooden Atlantic
paddle-steamers. She was capable of making record Blue Riband
Blue Riband
voyages as late as 1843. Great Western worked to New York for 8 years until her owners went out of business. She was sold to the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
and was scrapped in 1856 after serving as a troop ship during the Crimean War .


* 1 Development and design * 2 Service history * 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links


In 1836, Isambard Brunel, his friend Thomas Guppy and a group of Bristol
investors formed the Great Western Steamship Company
Great Western Steamship Company
to build a line of steamships for the Bristol-New York route. The idea of regular scheduled transatlantic service was under discussion by several groups and the rival British and American Steam Navigation Company was established at the same time. Great Western's design sparked controversy from critics that contended that she was too big. The principle that Brunel understood was that the carrying capacity of a ship increases as the cube of its dimensions, whilst the water resistance only increases as the square of its dimensions. This meant that large ships were more fuel efficient, something very important for long voyages across the Atlantic.

Great Western was an iron-strapped, wooden, side-wheel paddle steamer , with four masts to hoist the auxiliary sails. The sails were not just to provide auxiliary propulsion, but also were used in rough seas to keep the ship on an even keel and ensure that both paddle wheels remained in the water, driving the ship in a straight line. The hull was built of oak by traditional methods. She was the largest steamship for one year, until the British and American's British Queen went into service. Built at the shipyard of Patterson & Mercer in Bristol, Great Western was launched on 19 July 1837 and then sailed to London, where she was fitted with two side-lever steam engines from the firm of Maudslay, Sons ">

* ^ About Great Western from Merseyside Maritime Museum, Liverpool * ^ A B MaritimeQuest.com about SS Great Western * ^ A B C D E F G H I Corlett, Ewan (1975). The Iron Ship: the Story of Brunel's SS Great Britain. Conway. * ^ A B C D E F G Gibbs, Charles Robert Vernon (1957). Passenger Liners of the Western Ocean: A Record of Atlantic
Steam and Motor Passenger Vessels from 1838 to the Present Day. John De Graff. pp. 41–45. * ^ A B Kludas, Arnold (1999). Das blaue Band des Nordatlantiks (in German). Hamburg: Koehler. p. 36. ISBN 3-7822-0742-4 . * ^ A B American Heritage (1991). The Annihilation of Time and Space. * ^ A B C Rolt, L.T.C., "Victorian Engineering", 1970, Allen Lane The Penguin Press, ISBN 0-7139-0104-7 * ^ MaritimeQuest.com about SS