Re: Virginia's engines

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Posted by Mabry Tyson on November 04, 2001 at 13:36:33:

In Reply to: Virginia's engines posted by Cadet 2nd Class Adam Pereira on October 20, 2001 at 08:11:42:

I would be interested in what you collect. If possible please let me have a copy of your paper.

The Virginia's engines were those of the USS Merrimack. The Merrimack was designed as a steam-assisted craft. That is, she was designed so the engines helped out in calms or when going into port, etc. She was not designed to use the steam engines full time.

It appears that you should try to find a copy of Bathe's "Ship of Destiny". Barring that, you should look at a copy of Amadon (see the bibliography menu item at this site) for some drawings of the engines from Bathe's book.

From E.V. White:
THE U. S. S. "Merrimac" was a steam frigate. Her hull was built at Boston, Mass., her engines at Cold Springs, N. Y., and she was placed in commission in 1855.

From Flanders ("The Merrimack"):
Isherwood arrived in Norfolk on April 14th, 1861 and began a careful inspection of the Merrimac's machinery. The engines were described as being in wretched state, the braces were out of the boilers, and the entire machinery was in a disabled condition. The vessel was in such a state because the Navy had condemned the machinery of the Merrimac upon her return to Gosport ... in 1859.

Also from Flanders:
Her average coal consumption was 2,880 pounds per hour if she relied purely on her engines even though they produced 800 hourse power.

From Besse:
Engines: Two; double piston rod; horizontal, condensing; diameter of cylinder, 72 inches; stroke 3 feet.
Boilers: Five; tubular, four main, one auxiliary, Martin type.

It seems to me I've seen a newspaper article from 1855 that describes the construction of the Merrimack, but I can't find that info now. I don't remember whether it was associated with the building of the Merrimack, her launching, or her arrival in England (and thus in an English paper).

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