Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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SS King Edward

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Low pressure turbine at the Riverside Museum, Glasgow
Reaction blading, in remarkably good condition
Astern blading

The King Edward was the first merchant ship to be driven by steam turbines.

1901 Built by William Denny and Brothers as an excursion ship for use in pleasure sailings on the Clyde.

The turbines were designed and constructed by Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Co.

In service until 1951.

One of the three turbines is on display at the Riverside Museum, Glasgow. See photos.

Drawings of the machinery[1] show a central high pressure (HP) turbine flanked by a pair of low pressure (LP) turbines. The exhaust end of the LP turbines is shown with 16 stages of astern blading. The exhaust end pedestal of each LP turbine incorporated a worm and wheel gearbox to drive the air pumps. However, there is no such gearbox on the turbine in the museum, and the astern blading is different, having a three stage velocity-compounded wheel followed by 10 reaction stages. The combination of velocity-compounded impulse and reaction blading had not yet been tried when the turbines were constructed in 1901, indicating that the King Edward's turbines were modified at some point.

See Wikipedia entry.

Followed by the SS Queen Alexandra

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'The Evolution of the Parsons Steam Turbine' by Alex Richardson, 'Engineering', 1911