Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,103 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Ship Propeller Co

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After securing the financial backing of several parties, Francis Pettit Smith helped organize the Ship Propeller Co

1838 Company formed. '... application is intended to be made to Parliament in the next session, for leave to bring in a Bill to incorporate a certain company by the name of the Ship Propeller Company...'[1] [2]

1839 built the world's first successful screw-propelled steamship, SS Archimedes. This development was instrumental in persuading Isambard Kingdom Brunel to change the design of the SS Great Britain from paddle to screw propulsion, after Brunel borrowed the Archimedes for several months. The Admiralty failed to purchase the Archimedes, contrary to Smith's understanding, which led to the failure of his company

1849 Patent matters. 'In the Matter of Letters Patent, granted to Francis Petit Smith, formerly of Hendon, in the county of Middlesex, Farmer, for an Invention of an Improved Propeller for Steam and other Vessels......dated at Dublin, on or about the third day of September one thousand eight hundred and thirty-seven to Francis Petit Smith, then or then late of Hendon, in the county of Middlesex, for the sole using and vending of an improved propeller for steam and other vessels, and which said letters patent respectively have been assigned to arid are now vested in Sir John Dean Paul, Baronet, and John Maltby Sunley, Esquire...... Solicitors to the said Francis Petit Smith, to the Assignees of the said Patent, and to the Ship Propeller Company'[3]

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