“Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.”
I was an overhead crane operator (up in the crane) in the 70's. Very enjoyable job. Just don't stand under the load.
In 1980 I worked at Martin Marietta in Torrance Calif and marveled at the huge overhead cranes they had. The building was cavernous and it took me 20 mins to walk from my ride in the parking lot to my work station on the massive 750 ton stretcher.
I'm thinking these photos were not taken in China.
The top photograph is the British Steamship Great Eastern under construction. The ship's designer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is the gent in the top hat to the left of the picture.As the Great Western Railroad that connected London to the Atlantic port of Bristol neared completion, its chief engineer, Isambard Kingdom Brunel, convinced the directors that founding a steamship line with a homeport at the Atlantic terminus of their railroad was a logical way to enhance their profits. Thus the man famous for designing bridges to cross rivers turned to designing ships to bridge an ocean. His first effort, the Great Western, was launched in 1838. At 212 feet, it was the largest steamship in the world when it was launched, equipped to carry 128 passengers in what for the age amounted to luxury. The ship was propelled by two steam engines powering side paddlewheels and was provided with masts as emergency propulsion (and if the wind was right, to assist the engines and reduce fuel consumption). It broke the Atlantic speed record on its maiden voyage: Bristol to New York in 15 days, a trip that would take a sailing ship at least a month. What was more, Great Western arrived in New York with over 200 tons of coal still in its bunkers. Brunel’s first attempt was a success, but his second and third efforts set the trend in maritime architecture. His next ship, Great Britain, was the first steamship built with an iron hull. Iron construction allowed him to build big. When it was launched in 1843, its 322-foot length made it the new largest steamship in the world. Its engines developed 1,000 horsepower, which was transferred to a screw propeller through a complicated system of chain-drives. With its clean lines and more efficient propeller, Great Britain cut through the water at 11 knots, almost a third again as fast as Great Western. It was originally fitted out for 252 passengers, but was later modified to carry over 600. It was in passenger service for 39 years, and is now a maritime museum piece in its original home port, Bristol. One of the limiting factors of early steam navigation was the availability of fuel. Coal was readily available in Europe and North America, but fueling stations for travel to Africa, Asia, or Australia simply did not exist at mid-century. Brunel’s next ship, the Great Eastern, was designed to solve this problem through sheer size. It dwarfed any other ship afloat and at 692 feet in length, displacing 32,160 tons, it was the largest moving thing thus far built by man. It had to be big to carry enough coal for a non-stop voyage to Australia, and since it had to be such a leviathan, Brunel fitted it out to carry 4,000 passengers. Massive engines developed 2,600 horsepower which was fed into a pair of 58-foot diameter paddlewheels and a 24-foot cast iron screw propeller. Like Great Britain, it carried masts for auxiliary sails. For all its bulk, it crossed the Atlantic in just eleven days in 1860, and bettered that record by three days in 1861. While it was a technological marvel and held the size record for the remainder of the century, its size proved to be its undoing. There were a lot of passengers for the Americas and Australia, but there were rarely 4,000 of them that wanted to travel at the same time on a regular basis. It was never a commercial success as a passenger liner. But even though Great Eastern never made a voyage with full holds or a full passenger manifest, Great Britain and Great Eastern proved Brunel’s contention that big steamships were more economical to operate than small. Other shipping lines followed his example, although not to his extreme. Steamships gradually edged sailing vessels into a secondary role, servicing low volume routes in out-of-the-way places. Great Eastern did find success in the laying of the transatlantic telegraph cable. Its massive holds were capacious enough to hold the thousands of miles of cable and the ship big enough to mount the machinery needed to feed it out.
I agree, excellent history lesson, Uchuck. We're doomed to reinvent all of this when the EMP War knocks us back to pre-industrial. Pray we ain't stupid enough to touch that one off. Pray THEY aren't desperate enough to touch that one of
Excellent post Uchuck. thankyou
I've got a new appreciation for the size of logging chains.
I could be wrong and according to the wife unit, I usually am...the locomotive is at the American Locomotive Company plant in Schenectady, NY.
Looks like AT&SF 3733, a 4-8-2
We used to design and build such things! Now we build little phones that have a multitude of games and porn channels.Jesus wept. I weep with Him.
We don't even make them anymore Mike
Thanks Uchuck, great background summary, cheers
Every major war since the American Civil War has been won by the largest industrial power.
I can name all those objects:#1: Steampunk paddlewheeler.#2: Moments after the tragedy of the US Navy's failed attempt to design a log-hulled dreadnaught in 1843, shown here just before the top-heavy superstructure caused it to capsize.#3: Dr. Emmett Brown's fusion-powered proof of concept of the Flying Locomotive Time Machine.What do I win?