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Thames Ironworks
Thames Ironworks - the shipyard

The Thames Ironworks on the north side of the river, opposite Greenwich Marsh, was still building large iron ships in the 1890s and 1900s. This navy ship is made of large sheets of steel, like Sam's lighter. But it is a warship, so the metal plates are very thick, to stand up to gunfire. Although the ship is made of steel, the scaffolding is timber - probably pine or fir trunks from Scotland or North America. The ship, the HMS Sans Pareil (which means ‘without equal’), is at the top of a slope, waiting to be launched. Ships were launched once they could float and then moored while the work was finished. It will slide stern first (backwards) down the greased runners into the water. The white line on the side of the ship shows where the water will come up to. The cast iron gilded leaves and ribbons on the stern look back to the days when ships were made of wood and were decorated with carvings.

Unique ID: G5565
Creator: Unknown
Date: c. 1900
Copyright: Out of Copyright

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