Fulton - Clermont

Fulton's Clermont (1806)

During the enlightment age, some time before the French Revolution, some elites felt the need to conceive mechanisms capable of freeing man from material servitude by the contribution of an autonomous driving force. The industrial revolution comes directly from this philosophy. Thomas Fulton is one of those who can legitimately claim the title of "steam pope". This brilliant pioneer will indeed be the first to perfectly adapt pressure of the steam to its movement function without much loss. Thanks to him, the new century becomes familiar with those curious boats from which protrudes a long vertical smoking pstack in place of a proper mast. Steel and Coal follow wood and wind. Through Jouffroy d'Aban or the Montgolfier brothers, or Cugnot, Faraday, Joule, the fine flower of French engineeris envisages all sorts of mechanisms derived from alternative sources of energy to that of Man or animals. So by the 1840s mixed ships appears, the first packet-boats (ancestors of liners), and until 1860, this is the golden age of clippers, fast, tall ships of rename. The "Tea race" is emblematic, but immigrant transportation to America as well later. Cargo tallships would be still around in great numbers in 1914, and many still sailed in the interwar.

Cutty Sark

Cutty Sark, a most famous clipper that was preserved and is now world national heritage protected by UNESCO.

The steam soon get the favors of all, but there is quite clearly a transitional era that saw sailing-only ships still ruling the seas, and mixed rigged-and-steam ships emerge. Conservative Navy would only get concerned by steam after 1850. There were, at least since 1830 steamships used for liaison and dispatch vessels, but ships of the line only swapped onto steam as an auxiliary power when French Engineer Dupuy de Lome designed the two-deckers Napoleon. From there, both Marine Nationale and Royal Navy quickly convert their ships and start building new ones. Less than ten years later, guns will be fewer in numbers, but larger, more precise (rear-loading, with rifled barrel and explosive shells), having more traverse, and range. Ten years later, and sail disppears completely as barbettes and turrets appears. In 1890, ironclads are replaced by battleships, and have nothing in common to the wooden fortress of the past.

First Steamships: Symington, Fulton, Bell, D'Abbans...

First Liners :

Clippers :

Last Tallships :