Go Back   Shipping History > Shipping Discussion > Ships, Shipping & Maritime Interests > Historic Shipping Lines & Ships

Sidewheelers that could operate paddles independently?

Post Reply
Thread Tools
Old 2nd February 2019, 16:37
Sawpatin Sawpatin is offline
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: transitory
Posts: 1
Sidewheelers that could operate paddles independently?

Hello folks,
Newby here with an amateur passion for paddle steamers. I'm looking for info on the types of engine configurations in sidewheelers (any time between the mid-19th century to the mid-20th century) that could allow them to operate their paddle-wheels independently, including contra-rotating them or disengaging one while keeping the other moving.

I've heard this feature was found in paddle tugs of the period, but I don't know how the machinery was set up to allow this. I've also read mentions of certain American paddlewheel coasters using double-beam engines that could allow this system...

Any info on this topic would be appreciated

Last edited by Sawpatin; 2nd February 2019 at 16:50. Reason: clarified
Reply With Quote
Old 3rd February 2019, 06:35
Tom Alexander's Avatar
Tom Alexander Canada Tom Alexander is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Nanaimo, B.C., Canada
Posts: 983
Images: 1
Maybe someone else could post on this too, but when I was in my mid teens (circa 1955) I used to travel across the Thames on the Woolwich ferries quite frequently. There were glass observation windows so passengers could see into the engine room. I vaguely recollect there were two steam engines - one for each paddle so quite easy to operate the paddles in different directions.

Picture of one attached.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg John Benn (1).jpg (35.7 KB, 24 views)
Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2019, 09:36
R58484957's Avatar
R58484957 England R58484957 is offline
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Southampton
Posts: 249
Greetings Sawpatin and welcome to SH. Bon voyage.
Reply With Quote
Old 4th February 2019, 11:39
pompeyfan's Avatar
pompeyfan United Kingdom pompeyfan is offline
Super Moderator
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Isle of Wight
Posts: 1,096
Images: 108

Welcome to SH. Good to have you aboard

You may be interested in the paddle tug below, Dexterous, which I took in Gibralta from Canberra during the summer of 1972. I have also uploaded her to the gallery.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1902scan0032.jpg (212.3 KB, 17 views)
Reply With Quote
Old 6th February 2019, 23:57
Farmer John's Avatar
Farmer John Farmer John is online now
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: UK
Posts: 1,090
I really must read things more carefully. I read it that you took the tug from Canberra to Gibraltar, you became a nautical hero for a moment.
Buvez toujours, mourrez jamais.
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 22:46.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.