City of Washington: Technology

In 1877, the City of Washington represented a hybrid of shipbuilding technology as she retained a double mast sailing design while also powered by two high performance compound surface condensing engines.

Illustration from USER files,source unknown.

The engines and the various pumps for air, circular, feed and bilge were powered by twin cylindrical boilers, each 23 feet long and 9 feet in radius yielding a working pressure of 90 pounds.

Illustration shows relationship of boilers to hull. (Tryckare,1973)

She was refitted between July 20 and October 12 in 1889 with a triple expansion steam engine with a horse power of 2,750. According to Tom Scott, with her newly constructed power source the City of Washington was able to reduce her sailing time dramatically (Scott 1994). In August of 1890, she reportedly docked in New York City after only a 73-hour voyage from Havana, Cuba; a remarkable achievement for that day and age.

Triple expansion engine. (Tryckare,1973)

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Last updated: 22 October 2001
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