The PS Comet
This is the first flywheel of the Comet and is now in Hermitage Park in Helensburgh.
In the early part of the 19th century a Helensburgh engineer called Henry Bell began to pursue the idea that the steam engine, perfected by James Watt from across the Clyde at Greenock, could he used to propel ships. Curiously, Watt himself saw no future for the steamship and rather played down his enthusiasm.
Returning to Glasgow from Inverness one December day in 1820, Comet was lifted on to the rocks at Craignish Point, near Oban, and wrecked. Her engine was salvaged and used to drive machinery at a brewery. But in 1862 it was rescued and bought by that great engineer, Robert Napier, who presented it to the Science Museum in London, where it remains.
His remains were laid in the beautiful and secluded churchyard ot the parish. Many attempts have been made to deprive Bell of the fame he had so nobly earned, but ultimately his claims were universally admitted, and full honour was rendered to his services. He received a pension from the Clyde Trust of Glasgow—which was continued to his wife after his decease—while a monument was erected to his memory at Dunglas, and his portrait fills the place of honour in the Hall of the Trust, Robertson Street, Glasgow.
Made the engine of the Comet
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This page last modified on Tuesday, April 06, 2010
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