I-8590.0 | "Comet" engine, copied 1863
"Comet" engine, copied 1863
Anonyme - Anonymous
1863, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Wet collodion process
12 x 10 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords: Industry (942) , Photograph (77678)
Keys to History
This steam engine, dubbed the "Comet," was designed by John Robertson around 1812 in Great Britain. The man standing on the left seems to be the one who built it. The photograph was undoubtedly taken after the machine was restored in 1855. It had been severely damaged in 1820 when the boat on which it was installed was shipwrecked.
The "Comet" was originally intended to power a boat belonging to the hotelier Henry Bell, who thereby provided his clients with transportation from Glasgow to his hotel in Helensburgh. The first truly functional steamship had appeared only a few years earlier than this machine, in 1807.