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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 12


Part 12 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Tuesday 28th April 1936.


This issue included a colour plate illustrating the distinctions of rank in the Royal Navy, which accompanied an article In the Royal Navy. The coloured plate was attached to page 380 of this issue.


The Cover


The cover of the present part shows men working aloft in the Swedish four-masted barque Abraham Rydberg. Built at Glasgow in 1892 by C. Connell & Co, her registered tonnage is 2,345 gross. She was originally called Hawaiian Isles, and this was changed to Star of Greenland before she was renamed Abraham Rydberg. The vessel is fitted as a first-class training ship, and is now engaged in the Australian grain trade.

Men working aloft in the Swedish barque "Abraham Rydberg"


Contents of Part 12


The Franklin Mystery

Diving for Pearls

British North Sea of Faroe Islands Trawler

Marine Engines and Their Story - 2

The Wild Boat of the Atlantic

In the Royal Navy

Seven Years Under the Sea




The Franklin Mystery


Concluded from part 9.

(pages 357-359)


Diving for Pearls


Beautiful and rare pearls have long been a magnet to adventurers, beckoning them on to deeds of endurance and courage. One of the most hazardous occupations known, pearl-diving is still carried on in some parts of the world as in early times. Modern methods have been applied extensively; but good pearls are still rare, despite the world-wide activities of the pearling fleets. The article is by Sidney Howard.

(pages 360-367)


NORTH OF AUSTRALIA (left). North of Australia there are extensive pearl fisheries in the area between Broome (Western Australia) and Thursday Island. Thursday Island lies to the north-west of Cape York, which is the most northerly point of Queensland. Besides the Australian aborigines, there are Malayans, Chinese, Japanese and natives from Timor engaged in these pearl fisheries.

(page 360)

diving for pearls

in July 1857 for King William Island. One of her officers finally discovered in a cairn at Victory Point the two messages left by the explorers.  

(page 358)


Early Nineteenth Century Practice


Rapid progress was made in the development of steam propulsion in the first half of the nineteenth century, and many features of great importance to-day were then introduced. This chapter is by F E Dean and is the second article in the series Marine Engines and Their Story.

(pages 369-373)


THE HELEN McGREGOR, a paddle steamer of 573 tons, was built at Birkenhead in 1843 and fitted with engines of the type illustrated right. The cylinders, 3 ft 6 in diameter by 4 ft 6 in stroke, were carried in an inverted position on four wrought-iron columns. The two piston rods wee attached to a common crosshead guided by parallel motion, and from this a connecting rod drove upwards on to the crankshaft. The Helen McGregor was 180 feet long and the inverted cylinder engines saved a length of 25 feet of machinery space, compared with a side-lever unit of similar power.


Seven Years Under the Sea


Constantly risking death and injury, courageous men continued to search for and to retrieve bullion from the shattered hull of the sunken White Star Liner Laurentic. The divers who reached the wreck found it in a difficult position, but by constantly risking their lives they retrieved the bullion under difficulties that seemed at times to be insuperable. You can read more about this salvage in chapter VI of David Masters’ book The Wonders of Salvage. The article is by David Masters and is the fourth in the series Dramas of Salvage. The article concludes in part 13.

(pages 384-388)

HMS "Plover"

HMS Plover


One of the many naval vessels dispatched in search of Sir John Franklin’s expedition. After many attempts to solve the Franklin mystery, the Admiralty declined to send further ships to the North-West Passage, but, aided by sympathetic friends, Lady Franklin herself fitted out a ship, the Fox, which sailed

engine of the "Helen McGregor" of 1843

Racing Home Across the Atlantic

A fine study of the Dreadnought, one of the fastest of all sailing ships. This vessel was built for the American Red Cross Line in 1853 to compete with the steamships of that period. She was 200 feet long on her keel, 212 feet on her deck, had a beam of 41½ feet and a hold depth of 26½ feet. Primarily an emigrant carrier, the Dreadnought could take 200 passengers in her ‘tween decks; she had, in addition, accommodation for a number of saloon passengers.

(page 374)


British North Sea or Faroe Islands Trawler


This vessel is representative of the most up-to-date practice in steam trawler design. The ship, which is named White Pioneer, was built in 1935 in Aberdeen and engined on the Tyne. She operates generally from the port of North Shields.


The White Pioneer is typical of most modern propulsion ideas. She has a White patent steam engine, incorporating a compound steam reciprocating unit, i.e. two successive expansions and a reaction turbine. Both of these engines are geared to a single shaft. The machinery takes steam from a single coal-fired Scotch boiler, the bunkers being at the sides of the boiler room.

The ship has a length between perpendiculars of 125 ft 6 in, a beam of 23 ft 4 in and a depth of 13 ft 6 in. Her gross tonnage is 270, and her net tonnage 118. She develops 500 ihp, when the engine turns the propeller at 110 revolutions. On trial this trawler reached a speed

of 13½ knots. She is the first trawler to be fitted with this type of engine, and is suitable either for the North Sea or Faroe Islands fishing grounds. Other features not generally to be found in craft of this type include the graceful cruiser stern and a special rudder of what is known as Balanced Reaction type behind the screw. This rudder cuts down the amount of power required for steering.


The arrangement otherwise is quite typical of these handsome little craft. A large fish room with coal bunkers is placed forward of the machinery space. The mate and chief engineer are berthed aft - where there is a comfortable saloon - and the crew space is forward. The wheel-house is fitted forward of the tall funnel, with its two mechanical boilers and ventilators. The steam trawl winch is placed forward of the bridge, and a small boat is arranged on chocks at the aft end of the main deck. For heavy weather purposes the vessel has a a short forecastle.


 This is the seventh article in the series on Merchant Ship Types.

(page 368)

The trawler White Pioneer


The Wild Boat of the Atlantic


The career of the clipper Dreadnought is a stirring chronicle of romance and recklessness on the Atlantic. The clipper may be regarded as representing the high-water mark of Atlantic sailing vessels. Commanded by the famous Samuel Samuels, she had the reputation of never having been passed by a sailing ship in more than a four-knots breeze. Her story is one of the finest in the series Speed Under Sail. The article was written by Frank Bowen.

(pages 374-377)

the clipper "Dreadnought"


In the Royal Navy


Before a youth may enter the Royal Navy he must pass through the long period of training and discipline necessary for those who would serve under the White Ensign. This chapter tells of the many opportunities available and is illustrated by a magnificent colour-plate. The article is by Frank Bowen and is the second in the series Going to Sea.

(pages 378-383)






Distinctions of Rank in the Royal Navy


The colour plate (left) shows the distinctions of rank in the Royal Navy ranging from Admiral of the Fleet to Naval Cadet’s “patch”. It also includes illustrations of Caps and Cap Badges.

(attached to page 380)

Distinctions of rank in the Royal Navy







Badges Used in the Royal Navy


The article also includes this full-page drawing showing the various badges used in the Royal Navy ranging from Petty Officer (top left) to Good Shooting Badge (lower right). The drawing is almost certainly by the “house” artist, K M Sibley.


(page 380)



Badges used in the Royal Navy

The Laurentic

BEFORE THE DISASTER. The Laurentic, a White Star liner that operated between Liverpool and Canada before the war of 1914-18. This vessel, carrying gold bars to the value of over £5,000,000 left Liverpool in January 1917 for Halifax, Nova Scotia. She struck a mine off Malin Head Co. Donegal, on the north Irish coast. The treasure ship sank almost immediately and 354 lives were lost.

(page 384)

The "Laurentic"