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The American Steam-Ship, "Washington."
The following is from the Illustrated London News of July 3, 1847.
This is the first of a new line of steam-vessels to run between New York and Bremen. Her first passage was a race with the Britannia; respecting which we find the following unfortunate anticipation in the New York Herald:--
"We have to say, that if the Britannia beats the Washington over (and they both, we understand, start the same day), she will have to run by the deep nines, and put in more coal. We shall have, in two years time, a system of Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific steamers in operation, that will tell a brilliant story for the enterprise of Brother Jonathan. We are bound to go ahead, and steam is the agent of the age. We expect yet to see the day when a traveller will be able to leave New York, and, going eastward all the time, will be enabled to make the circuit of the earth, coming in by Huascualco, in the summer interval between two sessions of congress, spending a month or two in the Mediterranean on the way."
The race was won by the Britannia by two full days. The delay on the passage is stated to have been occasioned by the steam-machinery of the Washington giving way; besides which, she proved a slow goer, and is pronounced by our nautical critics anything but a handsome steamer.
A Correspondent of the Mechanic's Magazine has drawn the following comparison between this vessel and the Britannia:--
"The Washington is stated to be of 2000 horses' power, and is 1750 tons, Government measure, or 2000 tons carpenters' measure; so, her steam power is to her tonnage as 1 to 1, while the Britannia has only 1 horse power to 2¾ tons. To go a little, however, more into detail: both vessels have two cylinders, I believe, of the same diameter, viz., 72 inches, and both have side beam-engines; the stroke of the Washington is 10 feet, her boilers are able to carry (they say) 30 lbs. of steam; but, if we allow her only 23lbs. 13lbs., i.e., = 900 horses' power (450 2). I am now speaking of full steam, or at least both cutting off at the same point. The Herald (New York) says the Washington's wheels are 39 feet diameter, and 7½ feet dip; but the latter is of course an error, and probably means 7½ feet face; she has two boilers 36 feet 15 feet on the plan: there are three furnaces, each 7 feet 4 feet 6 inches 6 = 189 feet. Well then, there you have data from which you may calculate how many horses' power can be got off that great surface with anthracite and blowers. Her recipient heating surface may be large; she has flues, perhaps, 12 inches in diameter."
We now give some details of the passage of the Washington, Frederick Hewit, commander. The vessel arrived in Southampton Water on the 15th ult., after a passage of fourteen days from New York; she experienced fine weather, and brought 127 passengers. The Britannia, which left New York on the same day as the Washington, reached Liverpool on the 18th.
The Washington left Southampton on the 16th, and of her passage through Spithead, the Times Correspondent remarks:-"In point of size she looked like an elongated three-decker, with only one streak round her; but about as ugly a specimen of steam-ship building as ever went through this anchorage. She did not appear to make much use of her 2000 horse power either, but seemed rather to roll along than steam through the water. She excited considerable curiosity, although her performance, as compared with the Britannia, had evidently taken the edge off the feeling with which the vessel would have been viewed had a different result been obtained in her favour."
She arrived, at six o'clock on the morning of the 18th, at the port of Bremershafen, near Bremen. The intelligence was remitted by telegraph to Bremen, and, as soon as it was known, all the houses displayed the flags of the United States, Germany, and Bremen. The Burgomaster went on board the Washington to congratulate the Captain on his arrival, and on the commencement of regular steam communication between Bremen and New York. He then conducted the Captain to Bremen, where a banquet was given him by the Senate in the Town Hall. Other rejoicings also took place. The Washington brought 84 passengers, and about 3000 letters, destined for Bremen and the north of Germany.
On Sunday morning last, the Washington arrived in the Southampton Docks, in forty-six hours from Bremen, against a head wind. Her voyage out occupied forty-four hours. She brought four passengers from England, and forty-six en route to New York, for which city the Washington will not leave till the 10th of July, being detained here to be fitted with new and larger hot wells, which are already cast for her, by arrangements made previous to her leaving for Bremen. The passengers from Bremen are to be boarded at the different hotels during their detention. In order to enable the public to view this fine steamer, Mr. Croskey, the American Consul, has very liberally presented the Mayor of Southampton, Mr. Le Feuvre, with an unlimited number of tickets of admission, the proceeds of which are to be presented to the local institution.
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