Here is a piece about the Aaron Manby, the first iron steamer to make a sea voyage, and its links to Irish inland waterways transport.
The piece was first published in the rally magazine of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland Lough Derg Branch in July 2017.
Posted in Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Passenger traffic, People, Sea, Shannon, shannon estuary, Sources, Steamers, The cattle trade, Tourism, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged Aaron Manby, Charles Napier, Charles Wye Williams, Irish Sea, iron, John Grantham, John Oldham, Liverpool, Shannon, steam
Here is the second page of the saga. This one gives background information about the passage boat service, the boats and the crew of the Longford. The shock-horror stuff will be in later pages.
Posted in Canals, Economic activities, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Passenger traffic, People, Safety, Sources, Tourism, waterways, Waterways management
Tagged 1845, boats, bridge, canal, Clonsilla, deep sinking, Dublin, Ireland, iron, Longford, Operations, passage boat, Porterstown, Royal Canal
Drainage and Navigation Works: Construction of dredging machinery
The Commissioners having authorized the purchase of one of the iron dredgers used in the execution of the Shannon works, and then on that river at Athlone, the operation of removing her to Galway was commenced on 1st of March.
This was effected by first clearing her of all machinery, and then cutting up the hull or shell into pieces suited for carriage by land, in which manner every portion of her was removed to Galway.
In reconstructing this boat, considerable improvement and thorough repairs have been effected. A flat iron plate, three-fourths of an inch thick, has been substituted for the hollow iron keel, which lightens her draft of water five inches without any diminution of her steadiness, and an alteration of the position of the steam-pipes has been judiciously arranged. The keelsons were pieced, and whenever any materials were unsound they have been replaced.
The time occupied in the breaking up, transfer, and reconstruction of this dreder, weighing 200 tons, was five months and eleven days, and the whole work was executed at a cost of £803/8/11.
Four scows or decked barges have been constructed for the conveyance of the material raised by the dredger to spoil. Two of these boats are capable of carrying 30 tons, and the other two 45 tons.
Extract from the Annual Report of Mr S U Roberts CE, District Engineer for the year 1851 in Twentieth Report of the Commissioners of Public Works 1852
Posted in Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Shannon, Sources, Steamers, Waterways management
Tagged Athlone, barge, Board of Works, boats, Commissioners of Public Works, Corrib, Galway, Ireland, iron, Operations, S U Roberts, scow, Shannon, steam dredger, waterways, workboat
Four news items, all in the Varieties section of the Hampshire Chronicle on 19 October 1829.
The trial of the locomotive carriages near Liverpool was continued on Saturday, when Mr Stephenson’s engine, the Rocket, disencumbered of every weight, shot along the road at the almost incredible rate of 32 miles in the hour! So astonishing was the celerity with which the engine, without its apparatus, darted past the spectators, that it could be compared to nothing but the rapidity with which the swallow darts through the air.
Mr Gurney’s steam carriage can be stopped dead within the space of two yards, though going at the rate of from 18 to 20 miles an hour, and this without any inconvenient shock to the machinery or passengers. It is capable of dragging a carriage, weighing three tons and containing 100 passengers, over a level road, at the rate of eight, nine, or ten miles an hour: will drag the same carriage, containing 25 passengers, up the steepest road in England, at the same rate. On ascending hills, for every cwt that is shifted from the front to the hind wheels, the carriage requires an additional drawing power of 4 cwt and on level ground an additional power of half a ton. The contrivance by which the carriage may be retarded at pleasure on descending hills, acts independently of the wheels, so that the sliding and cutting effect of the ordinary drags is entirely avoided.
Sir James Anderson has entered into a contract with the Irish Post Office, by which he undertakes to convey the mails throughout Ireland at the rate of 12 miles an hour, in coaches impelled by steam, calculated to carry two or three passengers, in addition to the coachman and guard. This invention of Sir James Anderson, for which he has obtained a patent, has seldom been exhibited out of the yard in which it was constructed; but it is said to bear very little resemblance to the drag-coach of Mr Gurney. The contract is understood to be for 14 years, and the only pecuniary stipulation made by Sir James is, that he shall receive half the money which the Government shall save by adopting his system. He will shortly commence carrying the mails between Howth and Dublin. The road is level and good, and the distance not more than nine or ten miles.
[Note: an 1841 proposal by Sir James Anderson is covered here. And here is a longer piece about Sir James and the Steam Carriage and Waggon Company of Ireland.]
An iron steam boat of a peculiar construction, and having the paddles in the centre, has been built at Liverpool, by Messrs Fawcell and Co for the Irish Inland Steam Navigation Company. This vessel was tried in the Mersey on Monday, and the result was highly satisfactory. Another iron vessel, of 60 tons burden, was launched on Tuesday from Messrs Wm Laird and Son’s yard, on the banks of Wallasey Pool.
[Note: the Fawcett steamer and the 60-ton barge were destined for the Shannon. The barge was the first iron vessel built by Lairds.]
Posted in Ashore, Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Non-waterway, Operations, People, Rail, Roads, Shannon, Sources, Steamers, The cattle trade, waterways
Tagged Anderson, barge, boats, drag, Dublin, Fawcett, Fermoy, Gurney, howth, Ireland, iron, Killaloe, Laird, Limerick, Liverpool, Lough Derg, mails, Operations, Rainhill trials, Rocket, Shannon, steam carriage, steamer, Stephenson, vessels, Wallasey, waterways
I wrote here about Watson’s Double Canal Boat, saying inter alia that, in 1839, William Watson, manager of the inland department of the City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, patented:
an improvement in the construction of ships, and which improvement is also applicable to all kinds of sea-going vessels; and also certain improvements in the construction of boats and other vessels intended to be used on canals and inland navigations. 
I quoted the Mechanics’ Magazine of December 1839, which said that:
Three canal barges have already been built upon Mr Watson’s plan of construction, of 60 tons burthen each, and with eminent success.
I said that the size suggested that these canal barges were for the CoDSPCo’s Irish inland operations, but that I had no information about where they were built. I have now found information about one builder.
On Thursday, the 22nd instant, a fine new trade boat, built with iron ribs, according to the patent of William Watson, Esq., and belonging to the City of Dublin Steam company, also a new smack, 50 tons measurement, were launched from the Brunswick dock-yard, Ringsend Docks.
I would be grateful for more information.
 “List of patents granted for Scotland from 18th March to 18th June 1839” in The Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal , exhibiting a view of the progressive discoveries and improvements in the sciences and the arts Vol XXVII No LIII — July 1839; “List of English patents granted between the 25th of May and the 25th of June, 1839” in The Mechanics’ Magazine No 829, Saturday, June 29, 1839
 The Mechanics’ Magazine Vol XXXII No 855 28 December 1839
 The Freeman’s Journal Saturday 24 July 1841. An almost identical note appeared in the Dublin Evening Mail of Monday 26 July 1841.
Posted in Built heritage, Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, People, Shannon, Steamers, The cattle trade, waterways
Tagged barge, boats, Brunswick Dockyard, canal, Charles Wye Williams, City of Dublin Steam Packet Company, composite construction, Dublin, Grand Canal, Ireland, iron, Operations, Ringsend, vessels, waterways, William Watson, workboat