Remarkable experiments in steam navigation

The duck’s paddle

A series of experiments has recently been tried in France by the Marquis de Jouffroy, with the view of getting rid of the inconveniences of the ordinary steam paddle. The apparatus of M de Jouffroy consists of two palms, or articulated duck’s feet, placed either at the sides or stern of a vessel, having an alternate motion, so as to open in order to give the impulsion, and close again precisely the same way as the foot of a duck.

M de Jouffroy’s first experiment was made in the canoe of the jardin de la Folia St James, near the Bois de Boulogne, with the model of a frigate made on a scale of 1 foot to 37 feet, and so constructed that the common paddle or his improvement might be used at will. With the common paddle the vessel performed a distance of 130 feet in seven minutes. The paddles having performed 130 revolutions, at this time the propelling power was completely exhausted.

The common paddles were then taken off, and the duck’s-foot paddles substituted. With one hundred and thirty oscillations of these paddles, the vessel performed in the same space of time a distance of 153 feet; but what was most remarkable, was the fact, that instead of stopping short when the clockwork, which in both cases put the machinery in motion, had run down, the impulsion communicated to the vessel by the steady and undisturbed motion of the duck’s-foot paddles was sufficient to keep the vessel moving 150 feet more.

The report on these experiments by the committee of the Institute is highly favourable.

The Vindicator, Belfast 16 December 1840. From the British Newspaper Archive run by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited, in partnership with the British Library.

Perhaps this marquis was the son of that marquis.

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