Steam at Sea

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


The adoption of steam power in shipping during the 19th century marks one of the greatest changes in global transportation that the World has ever see.  Prior to the adoption of steam power, shipping was always at the mercy of the wind and tides. Human powered vessels, like galleys and the Norse long boat, while swift were unsuitable for carrying bulk cargoes. Steam power made possible regular trans-oceanic shipping of bulk cargoes and enabled the rapid industrialization of many countries around the World.

This book "Steam at Sea", by Dennis Griffiths,  is a history of the 200 years of steam propulsion in sea going vessels. It is not a history of steamships but a history of the steam plants themselves. Filled with illustrations and diagrams this book is a masterful technical treatise and an entertaining historical analysis of the development and use of steam power for shipping. 

There are sections on the early use of steam power, the development of river vessels and then seagoing ones. Improvements in engines and propulsion systems including the triple expansion engine and the development of  turbines and even nuclear power plants. 

A highly recommended addition to any technical bookshelf!

Steam at Sea
Two Centuries of Steam-powered Ships

Denis Griffiths
B Eng.M Sc.PhD.CEng FIMarE

Conway Maritime Press



Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.



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