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British Industrial History

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PS Cricket

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Built and engined by W. Joyce and Co of Greenwich c.1846, for the Halfpenny Steamboat Company, who operated a frequent shuttle service on the Thames. The boilers were made by William Trotman.

A description of the Cricket's engines[1]. stated that 'The principal novelty introduced by Messrs Joyce in this vessel is the application of Woolf's double cylinders as oscillating engines.' The steam pressure was stated to be higher than ordinarily used in condensing engines.

The boat was described as very fast and extremely economical for her time, making 14 knots on 4½ lb coal/IHP/hour. There were two tubular boilers, each with about 70 return smoke tubes [2]

The vessel suffered a boiler explosion in 1847, with the loss of 17 lives, and numerous serious injuries. An inquest concluded that the safety valves had been tied down.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Imperial Journal 1852 Vol I. p130/1
  2. 'A History of Marine Engineering' by John Guthrie, Hutchinson, 1971