Monday, May 22, 2006

S.S. Savannah Leaves Port - May 22, 1819

While we're doing firsts...

The S.S. Savannah, based out of Savannah, Georgia (how surprising), was the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean. She was captained by Moses Rogers, of New London, Connecticut. He was a major proponent for the use of nautical steam power.

The Savannah was built in New York at the Crockett and Fickett shipyard. She was equipped with an auxiliary steam engine, since she had already been under construction when Captain Rogers purchased her for the Savannah Steam Company. She was the size of a modern tugboat at about 100 by 25 feet and 320 tons. She was a three-masted ship with a steam engine that operated a paddle wheel.

As an unknown engineering feat, the Savannah picked up the nickname "Steam Coffin". Captain Rogers had to recruit his crew from New York, rather than Savannah. After a hard battle to convince crew and passengers to trust the smoke-belching ship with sails, Rogers and the Savannah Steam Company were finally ready for their historic voyage.

The Savannah set out on May 22, 1819 on her transatlantic voyage. She reached Liverpool in a little over 29 days, on June 20, with the steam engine having been in use for eighty hours of her overall voyage.

She visited Stockholm, Sweden and St. Petersburg, Russia before returning to Savannah, then voyaging on to Washington, D.C.

The anniversary of the Savannah's voyage is celebrated as National Maritime Day.

Speedwell.org - History of the SS Savannah - amusing anecdote and worth reading
Speedwell.org - Captain Moses Rogers
Wikipedia - SS Savannah
SS Savannah - picture
SS Savannah - Oceanliners.us

1 comment:

Jutta Sai, Nicole, Jessica *^^* said...

Were there any passengers on this ship?
Thank-you so much for this post about the Savannah!