First iron steamship launched

(131 words)
  • Editors

Historical Context Note

Since James Watt had patented his improved version of the steam engine in 1769, steam had come to seem the technology of the future, with potential to be adapted to scenarios from mining pumps to shipping. The first steamship to be built with an iron hull was commissioned by French ironmonger Charles Napier and his son, and built at the Horseley ironworks in Staffordshire, England. The resulting ship, the Aaron Manby, was named after the owner of these ironworks. It crossed the English Channel in June 1822, and was based in France for the rest of its life. It was to be another two decades before Isambard Kingdom Brunel's SS Great Britain became the first ship to combine the iron hull with a screw propeller, in an ocean-…

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Editors. "First iron steamship launched". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]