Did you know that steamships made transoceanic travel reliable and efficient? This increased immigration and trade between countries around the world. Before steamships, travelers used sailing ships. These voyages were long and often dangerous. Steamships were not as affected by the weather (since they did not need the wind to move), quicker, and safer. In the 1600’s a sailing ship could take 3 months or more to cross the Atlantic Ocean; in the 1700’s, 7 weeks; in the early 1800’s, 35 days. By the 1900’s a steamship could make the trip in 10 days or less!
We hope that you have a buoyant day at school today. Remember to think kind thoughts, use kind words, and do kind things. We Love You.
Early steam-powered ships used paddlewheels, some had sails as well. In 1839, the SS Archimedes became the first steamship to use a screw propeller.
In early sailing ships, passengers were more often treated like cargo. They were not allowed on deck and had to endure the long journeys in the cramped cargo holds. Passengers endured stifling or freezing conditions with little to no ventilation, sickness, vermin, and little food and water (which was often of very poor quality).
During World War II, transatlantic crossings were crucial to the United Kingdom. Most of their supplies and trade came from across the Atlantic, since the United Kingdom could no longer trade with Europe. Germany and her allies worked to disrupt this trade and travel route. This effort and struggle is known as the Battle of the Atlantic.
The Blue Riband is awarded for the fastest crossing by a transatlantic liner. The current record was made in 1952, with a time of 3 days, 10 hours, and 40 minutes.
The development of combustion engines, small nuclear reactors, and turbines brought the age of passenger steamships to an end.