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British Industrial History

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Walter Hood and Co

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1903. The Australian Liner Miltiades.

The Walter Hood shipyard built many of Aberdeen's finest sailing ships, including the famous clipper Thermopylae. Many of the vessels built at Hood's yard were destined for George Thompson Junior's Aberdeen White Star Line.

1839 The Walter Hood yard opened. It was located east of Halls', next to Pocra jetty. Walter Hood had trained as a shipwright and was the yard's manager and designer until his death in 1862.

George Thompson was one of the original partners in the business[1]

Many of the sailing vessels for George Thompson's Aberdeen White Star Line were built by Hood. These vessels sailed mainly to Australia in the emigrant and wool trade. Aberdeen Line clippers built by Hood included such famous names as Neptune, Queen of Nations and Thermopylae. Phoenician, built in 1847, was the first of the Thompson vessels with a reputation for speed.

1862 At the time of its launch in August 1862, the wooden clipper Kosciusko was one of the largest sailing ships ever fitted out in Aberdeen. However, Thermopylae, the great rival of Cutty Sark, was the most famous vessel constructed at the Hood yard.

1862 Walter Hood died after slipping in the dark and falling into the harbour. The guns of Torry Battery were fired in the hope that the concussion would bring the body to the surface but grappling irons were needed to recover the corpse.

1870s The yard continued to build sailing ships such as Miltiades and Sophocles for the Aberdeen Line after Hood's death. However, by the 1870s screw propulsion was becoming increasingly popular. The Hood firm never built engines and could not compete in this market.

1881 The yard merged with Alexander Hall and Co. The last vessel built at Hoods was the sailing ship Orontes.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times 12 April 1895

[1] Aberdeen Ships Web Site