Coal, Steam and Ships

Engineering, Enterprise and Empire on the Nineteenth-Century Seas
by Crosbie Smith
rrp $130.90

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Series: Science in History

Publication Date: June 30, 2018

ISBN: 9781108186919

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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Crosbie Smith explores the trials and tribulations of first-generation Victorian mail steamship lines, their passengers, proprietors and the public. Eyewitness accounts show in rich detail how these enterprises engineered their ships, constructed empire-wide systems of steam navigation and won or lost public confidence in the process. Controlling recalcitrant elements within and around steamship systems, however, presented constant challenges to company managers as they attempted to build trust and confidence. Managers thus wrestled to control shipbuilding and marine engine-making, coal consumption, quality and supply, shipboard discipline, religious readings, relations with the Admiralty and government, anxious proprietors, and the media - especially following a disaster or accident. Emphasizing interconnections between maritime history, the history of engineering and Victorian culture, Smith's innovative history of early ocean steamships reveals the fraught uncertainties of Victorian life on the seas.