Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 130,448 pages of information and 207,510 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

HMS Erebus

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HMS Erebus, in company with HMS Terror, was lost on the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition to the Arctic. They were previously in company on the successful Antarctic expedition of 1839–43 under Sir James Clark Ross and Francis Crozier.

For the 1845 expedition, each ship was equipped with an auxiliary engine driving a propeller. In each case the power was provided by a secondhand railway locomotive, installed transversely. The modification to the ships, and the changes made to equip them for the arduous service, are well-described in a 2011 Newcomen Society Paper[1]. See also Peter Carney's blog 'Erebus & Terror Files' here for discussion on origin of engines.

The engines were presumably intended for manouvering and emergency use in the ice fields. The coal supply was limited to 12 tons, and the boilers were not suited to saline feed water.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. William Battersby & Peter Carney 'Equipping HM Ships Erebus and Terror, 1845', The International Journal for the History of Engineering & Technology, 81:2, 192-211, July 2011, DOI: 10.1179/175812111X13033852943147