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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 25

Part 25 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Tuesday 28th July 1936.

This issue included a colour plate illustrating the figurehead of the Cutty Sark, the same illustration appeared as the cover. The colour plate accompanied an article on Ships’ Figureheads. The plate was attached to page 781 of this issue.

The Cover

The chapter on ships’ figureheads is illustrated with a beautiful colour plate (also reproduced on the cover of this week’s Part) showing the figurehead of the Cutty Sark.

Figurehead of the "Cutty Sark"

Contents of Part 25

The Perils of Sealing

Ships’ Figureheads

The Figurehead of the Cutty Sark (colour plate)

Filling the Ship

Fast Cargo Packet for Short Sea Routes

The Steam Turbine Engine

Japanese Shipping

Distant Signalling at Sea

The Fortunes of War

The Perils of Sealing

Concluded from part 24.

(Pages 773-775)

The Figurehead of the Port Jackson

THE GRACEFUL STEM and figurehead of the Port Jackson, a four-masted barque built in 1882 at Aberdeen for the Australian trade. In 1906 the Port Jackson, 2,309 tons gross, was bought by Devitt and Moore for training cadets. She was torpedoed in 1917. She was 286 ft 3 in long, with a beam of 41 ft 2 in.

(page 776)

The Asama Maru

THE IMPOSING APPEARANCE of the modern Japanese liners is shown in this illustration of the Asama Maru. A Nippon Yusen Kaisha liner of 16,975 tons gross, she is 560 feet long, with a beam of 72 feet and a depth of 42 ft 6 in. She was built in 1929 and is propelled by four screws. Her sister ship, the Tatsuta Maru, is of similar appearance; the Chicuba Maru, while practically a sister ship, looks very different.

 (page 796)

Distant Signalling at Sea

The introduction of wireless telegraphy in ships has solved the problem of ship-to-ship signalling over long distances. Many interesting methods were formerly used in sailing ships and steamers. Few things could have been more complicated and clumsy than some of the methods of signalling at long ranges which were provided for ships in the preceding years. This chapter was written by Commander Hilary P Mead.

(pages 797-801)

The Figurehead of the

Cutty Sark

THE FIGUREHEAD OF THE FAMOUS CUTTY SARK represents the figure of Nanny the Witch. A contemporary ship, the Tweed, belonging to the same owner, had a figurehead of Tam o’ Shanter. For some years the Cutty Sark has been preserved in Falmouth Harbour, Cornwall. A clipper ship with a displacement of 1,970 tons and a gross tonnage of 963, the Cutty Sark had an iron frame planked with wood. She was launched at Dumbarton on the Clyde in 1870 for Captain John Willis. In 1875-76 she raced against her rival clipper, the famous Thermopylae, from London to Australia. She lost the race on the outward journey by seven days, but arrived home seventeen days before the Thermoplyae. The chapter beginning on page 47 tells the story of these famous clipper ships. The Cutty Sark was 212 ft 6 in long between perpendiculars with a beam of 36 feet and a depth of hold of 21 feet.


(Attached to page 781)

The Yacht Elettra

HERALD OF A NEW ERA in distant signalling at sea. The yacht Elettra, 633 tons gross, is equipped by Marchese Marconi as a floating laboratory in which experiments in long-distance wireless communication are conducted. By the use of wireless world-wide communications can be made where formerly distant signalling was limited to the range of vision.

(page 797)

The Fortunes of War

Extraordinary ingenuity and daring were shown by Count von Luckner, who converted the steel square-rigged Pass of Balmaha into an armed decoy vessel and sailed her half-way round the world during the war of 1914-18. His remarkable venture came to a surprising end. This chapter is by Lieut.-Com. E Keble Chatterton and is the second article in the series Mystery Ship Adventures. It is concluded in part 26.

(pages 802-804)

The Steam Turbine Engines

In this chapter the development of steam turbine engines is traced from the earliest known type to the modern geared turbines that propel the great ocean liners of to-day. The principle of the steam turbine was discovered 2,000 years ago by Hero of Alexandria. Three hundred years ago another type of turbine, working on the “impulse” principle, was invented by Giovanni Branca. Modern turbines are of either type, but generally they combine both of the principles involved and are known as impulse or impulse reaction turbines. It is to the genius of the Hon. Sir Charles Parsons that we owe the development of the modern steam turbine. This chapter is by F E Dean and is the seventh article in the series Marine Engines and Their Story.

 (pages 787-791)

You can read more on Steam Turbine Construction and on Sir Charles Parsons in Wonders of World Engineering.

Filling the Ship

This chapter explains how passengers and cargoes are booked by shipowners for their vessels, how cargo vessels may be chartered and how shipping conferences fix the charges for freight. The article is by Frank Bowen.

(pages 781-785)

Fast Cargo Packet for Short Sea Routes

The vessel shown below is a Cargo Liner of the Short Sea Routes. She operates normally on behalf of the Cockerill Line between Ostend and Tilbury on a service which has been maintained between the two ports since June 1896. The cargo is such as to require rapid transit. A certain amount of general cargo is carried from Tilbury to Ostend, but a large amount of raw wool and perishable goods, fruit, vegetables, eggs, rabbits, pigeons, goldfish and the like are carried to Tilbury, which must be reached before midnight so that the cargo can reach the market before

4 am. Much cargo is carried in large wooden containers, and is unpacked at its destination.

The Amethyste is one of two twin-screw motor vessels built for this service. They are raised quarter-deckers of 278 tons deadweight, and 950 tons displacement on a 9 ft 6 in mean draught. The depth to the raised quarterdeck is 19 ft 8 in. The total grain capacity of the

holds is 45,400 cubic feet and the gross tonnage is 810. There are three holds, two forward and one abaft the machinery space, and also a small cargo space in the forecastle. The hatch to No. 1 hold is a short square one; those of Nos. 2 and 3 holds are long, occupying about two-thirds of the length of the hold, and making for quick and efficient loading. The Amethyste and her sister, the Turquoise, have each a cruiser stern, a continuous deck raised abaft the long bridge, a forecastle, long bridge, deckhouse and flying bridge.

For cargo-handling there are a 10-tons derrick at the foremast base, operated by an electrically driven winch of 5 tons capacity, and a derrick at the mainmast, operated by an electrical winch of 3 tons capacity. The engines, giving a speed of 13 knots, are of Burmeister and Wain four-cycle single-acting airless injection type, rated at about 600 horse-power at 225 revolutions a minute.

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

(page 786)

The Original Turbine Engine of the Turbinia

THE ORIGINAL TURBINE ENGINE of the steamship Turbinia, built in 1894 at Wallsend-on-Tyne. She was a vessel with a displacement of 44½ tons, and was 100 feet long, with a beam of 9 feet and a draught of 3 feet. The turbine, built by C A Parsons & Co, is of the radial-flow type and comprises a series of fixed and rotary disks fitted with rings of blades. It is now in the Science Museum, South Kensington.

(page 788)

Japanese Shipping

The remarkable growth of the Japanese Mercantile Marine in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries was caused by a number of economic circumstances  that did not affect other maritime nations. Japanese cargo and passenger vessels, although not of the largest, are highly efficient. Dating in its modern form only from the ‘sixties of the last century, the Japanese Mercantile Marine may reasonably claim to be the newest in the world. The tonnage of its powered ships has increased at an amazing rate. This chapter is by Frank Bowen and is the third article in the series Sea Transport of the Nations.

(pages 792-796)

Vessels of the Newfoundland sealing fleet

Vessels of the Newfoundland Sealing Fleet

FIGHTING THEIR WAY THROUGH the dense ice pack, vessels of the Newfoundland sealing fleet must be strongly built to withstand enormous pressures. In one season as many as fifty-three vessels were destroyed by the ice-pressure. Fortunately the ice pack continued right up to the nearest

shore and the crews, numbering more than 1,000, were able to struggle across the ice to the shore.

(Page 774)

Ships’ Figureheads

From the earliest times the stems of vessels have been decorated with some form of figurehead. Such adornments have fallen out of general use, but until comparatively recently the seaman attached great importance to the figurehead of his ship. In olden times the figurehead was considered to be of great importance by the forecastle hand, who looked upon it as a ship’s mascot. This feeling doubtless originated in the idea that a ship was almost a living thing, with a personality of her own, and that she should be given at least one symbol of this personality. The figurehead originated on the prow of the oared galley over the battering-ram. The bow of the galley was driven so hard against the enemy vessel to cause her to heel over. It became customary to adorn the prow with the head of a serpent or other fearsome beast, with the object of striking terror into the hearts of the slaves who rowed the enemy galleys. From these primitive figureheads gradually evolved the exquisite carvings which appeared on the bows of later vessels. This chapter is by Frank Bowen, and is illustrated with a beautiful colour plate (also reproduced on the cover of this week’s Part) showing the figurehead of the Cutty Sark.

(Pages 776-780)

The figurehead of the "Port Jackson"The figurehead of the "Cutty Sark"cargo handling machinery

Cargo-Handling Machinery

CARGO-HANDLING MACHINERY must be well placed and efficient. The object is to enable a ship to load or discharge her cargo as rapidly as possible, since port charges and other expenses partly depend on this factor. This photograph shows a system of winches and derricks on the foremast of a cargo vessel.


(page 782)

The origianl turbine engine of the "Turbinia"Japanese shipping

Japanese Shipping

A JAPANESE-BUILT VESSEL, the Chicago Maru runs on the Osaka Shoshen Kaisha’s services. The Chicago Maru, 5,863 tons gross, is 419 ft

8 in long. She has a beam of 49 ft 6 in and a depth of 29 ft 11 in. She was built in 1910.

MODERN MOTOR LINER launched in May 1930 for the Nippon Yusen Kaisha’s London-Japan services. The Terukuni Maru is a vessel of 11,930 tons gross, with a length of 507 feet, a beam of 64 feet and a depth of 37 feet. She was built in Japan and has a sped of about 17 knots.

AN EARLY JAPANESE LINER built in 1908 for the Toyo Kisen Kaisha. The Tenyo Maru had a gross tonnage of 13,469. She was 558 feet long, with a beam of 61 ft 10 in and a depth of 35 ft 6 in.


(page 792)

The "Asama Maru"The yacht "Elettra"HMS "Glasgow"

HMS Glasgow

A LIGHT CRUISER with a displacement of 4,800 tons, HMS Glasgow patrolled the South Atlantic waters during the war of 1914-18. She was coaling at Rio de Janeiro in February 1917, when Count von Luckner landed there from the captured British barque Pinmore. He was undetected and later warned the German raider Moewe that the Glasgow was leaving Rio to seek her. Built in 1910, the Glasgow had a speed of about 25 knots. She took part in the Battle of the Falkland Islands (December 8, 1914).


(page 802)

The "Pass of Balmaha"

The Pass of Balmaha

THE MYSTERY SAILING SHIP that terrorized shipping in the southern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans was originally the full-rigged ship Pass of Balmaha. She was built on the Clyde in 1888 and was a vessel of 1,571 tons. She was captured in 1915 by the Germans and fitted out as a decoy sailing ship under the command of Count von Luckner. After a daring career as the Seeadler, she was unexpectedly driven ashore in 1917 on the island of Mopelia, one of the Society Islands.