Employment of the steamship in the Scottish east coast trades to 1850
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The importance of the east of Scotland in the early use and development of the steamship appears to have been undervalued by most writers. A general description of the development of steam navigation before about 1850 is given in order to set the scene for the specific study of Scotland's east coast. This is followed by a brief account of the state of transport in that area before the invention of the steamship. A narrative is given of the introduction of steamers there, at first in the sheltered estuaries, but gradually out into the very exposed North Sea and waters surrounding the northern isles. This is followed by analysis of the patterns of building and ownership of the vessels engaged in that trade. That part of the work relies heavily on contemporary Parliamentary papers. The influence of the early railways, as both competitors and customers is examined. The effect of legislation, and other action by government, is considered. The fate of wrecked ships, and the potential for the assistance of underwater archaeologists in assisting the historian to understand the early steamship is assessed. This includes specific recommendations for possible future archaeological research. It is concluded that the east of Scotland did have an important role in the world of the early steamship. Many of the largest steam ships in the world, for their time, served these routes. A number of important technical developments were tried out in the area. East of Scotland shipbuilders had a more prominent role in constructing early steamships than has been suggested elsewhere. Topological maps of steamship routes for three selected years are included in the text. Appendices give an outline chronology and a list of steam related publications by the candidate. The final appendix gives details of the 201 steamships identified as having traded on the east of Scotland during the period. Seventeen other ships, built in the area, but used elsewhere are listed in a supplement at the end of that appendix.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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