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Coming of the Comet

The Rise and Fall of the Paddle Steamer

Nick Robins



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Pen and Sword
01 December 2012
In August 1812 Henry Bell's Comet, a revolutionary paddle steamer, made her first journey on the Clyde. This marked the start of extraordinary developments that completely transformed shipping and transport in Britain, Europe and the Americas. The paddle steamer soon became the key link with Empire, pushing the Honourable East India Company's wooden walls off the seas; it provided the all- important link with the Americas, and it offered emigrants to the New World a means of pushing westwards. In this fascinating new book Nick Robins analyses the remarkable impact of the paddle steamer and goes on to describe its development, both in terms of technology design and in relation to its effects on the transformation of nineteenth-century economies. He includes all Henry Bells disciples - the Burns brothers, Laird, Napier, Fulton, Syminton Cunard and Denny to name a few, and looks at their individual contributions. The impact of the paddle steamer on transport is difficult to overstate. It helped with the export of cotton from the American southern states and with the transport of oil from Burma's oil fields. The great stern wheelers of the Mississippi are legendary, but they also migrated to the Murray and Darling rivers in Australia, and to the Congo and Nile rivers in Africa, and the great rivers of Russia. This wonderful story of nineteenth-century ingenuity will appeal to shipping enthusiasts and those with a wider interest in industrial history. SELLING POINTS: Publication coincides with the 200th anniversary of Henry Bell's Comet. First single-volume work covering the development of paddle steamers on both sides of the Atlantic. Heavily illustrated. ILLUSTRATIONS: 150 b/w line drawings and photographs
By:   Nick Robins
Imprint:   Pen and Sword
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 245mm,  Width: 186mm, 
Weight:   1.066kg
ISBN:   9781848321342
ISBN 10:   1848321341
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   01 December 2012
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Unspecified

NICK ROBINS, a geologist by profession, is acknowledged for setting maritime history within the bigger social and political picture. His books describe the evolution of a variety of ship types ranging from tugs and tenders to excursion steamers and cargo vessels. His last book, The Coming of the Comet, was published by Seaforth in 2012.

Reviews for Coming of the Comet: The Rise and Fall of the Paddle Steamer

Detailed hardback book. Includes outstanding historical photos of many famous paddlers. Ships Monthly This detailed hardback book looks at the development of the paddle steamer, starting with henry bells famous comet, which made her first journey on the clyde in 1812. Ships Monthly

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