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The Fleets

Wilson Steamers Rollo and Orlando

This information is extracted from the Illustrated London News of April 2, 1870.

Steamers For Sweden and Norway

The Orlando and Rollo are two fine new screw-steamers built to the order of Messrs. Thomas Wilson, Sons, and Co., steamship owners, of Hull, expressly for the passenger trade between Hull and Gothenburg. They will make the sea passage in forty hours, which will furnish the shortest and most direct communication with Sweden and Norway. Both these steamers are of the following dimensions: length, 260 ft.; breadth, 32 ft.; and depth, 19 ft; tonnage, by register, 1500 tons. Each vessel has five water-tight bulkheads and a long deck-house, covering the engines and boilers. The saloon and sleeping-berths are well arranged for the comfort of the passengers in the centre of the vessel, so as to avoid the motion of the seas as much as possible. The sleeping-berths are large and comfortable, and mostly for only two passengers in one state-room; but there are also family cabins and ladies' cabins, with every comfort and convenience . These cabins, being all on the upper deck, will have excellent ventilation. The accommodation is forty-two first-class passengers and thirty second-class passengers. The engines are compound, with all the modern improvements, surface condensing, and will work up to 1200-horse power. The vessels and engines were built by Messrs. C. and W. Earle, of Hull, who are building also two other vessels for Messrs. Wilson, suitable for the Suez Canal. These new vessels will increase Messrs. Wilson's fine fleet of steamers to twenty-nine, most of which are nearly new, with engines and boilers of an improved class. Two others are building much larger than the Orlando and the Rollo. In the trial trip of the Orlando, with a company of ladies and gentlemen invited by the owners, down the Humber and outside Spurn Head, the vessel attained a speed of twelve knots and a half an hour. The ease and grace of her movements, the comfort and elegance of her passenger accommodation, and the performance of her steam-engines, were much admired. Messrs. Wier and Co.'s atmospheric telegraph is fitted for steering and for steaming. By this apparatus the captain, while standing on the bridge, without uttering a word, or any action but the movement of a handle, is able to give orders to the man at the wheel or the engineer. By his message repeating itself before him he has instant assurance that his orders have reached their proper destination. This system works admirably, and is capable of useful extension to the lighting and signaling of ships. During the trip the party on board sat down to a bountiful and well-served luncheon. Mr. T.W. Palmer, who proposed success to the Orlando and the owners, said he had visited the Clyde, the Tyne, and the Tees, and had seen many of the finest vessels built on those rivers, but he had never seen a finer or better-fitted ship than the Orlando. He complimented the Messrs. Earle on having produced so fine a ship, and the Messrs. Wilson on this important addition to their fine fleet of ships, which he believed was the largest privately owed[sic] fleet of steam-ships in the world.

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