THIS WEEK THAT WAS – 27 February 1863

High speed navigation

It is to be remembered that, in the reputed perfect state in which Watt left the steam engine, it consumed 10lb of coal per hourly horse-power, a rate nearly double that permitted even in the common or unimproved practice of the present time, while it was at least four times that of improved engines now in use.

When the problem of high-speed navigation is worked out to its ultimate results we shall look for the regular attainment of speeds of 20 knots at sea, with ships of 20,000 tons displacement, with but half the coal burnt daily on the Great Eastern.