Steamship Communication between Europe and America


    In the Metropolitan Vickers Gazette of October, Mr. Leivesley continues his papers on notable ships and their equipment. He points out that it is now ninety-six years since a regular steamship communication was inaugurated between Europe and America. This was first established by the Cunard S.S. Britannia in July 1840, which crossed from Liverpool to Boston via Halifax in 14J days. She was equipped with steam engines driving paddle wheels, and her average speed was 8 J knots. Since then, the speed of the steamers has increased uniformly up to the present when it is 30 knots. The tonnage of the Britannia was 1,154 and her length was 207 ft. The tonnage of the Queen Mary is 80,773 and her length 1,020 ft. When it is realized that the former ship was equipped with engines barely equal to the power equipment of a modern trawler, our respect for the pioneers in sea transport is greatly increased. The horse-power of the Queen Mary is nearly 200,000 whilst that of the Britannia was 740. The author deals with the auxiliary plant which the Metropolitan-Vickers Co. supplied to the Queen Mary. These have chiefly to do with the winches and the ventilating system. There are six cargo winches, the same number of gangway winches and three baggage winches. These three types are all self-contained water-tight units. The ventilating system is naturally very extensive. There are no less than 40 miles of duct through which 118 million cubic feet of air are driven per hour.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Steamship Communication between Europe and America. Nature 138, 925–926 (1936).

    Download citation


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.