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The steamship yards
Shipbuilding was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution. A ship's hull, furnaces, engines, boilers and funnels would be made at the shipyard.
This meant that a shipbuilding yard had to be a large, organized, industrial area with workshops, foundries and offices where vessels were designed. The image shown here is of the plate-cutting workshop at the Thames Ironworks.
From plan to construction
This plating plan of HMS Sans Pareil (1890) demonstrates just how many metal plates would be needed to construct a large ship.
This picture shows a worker using a rivet gun during the construction of the hull of a merchant ship. A rivet was a short, round, heated metal connection used to fasten two or more sheets of metal together by clinching.
Propellers and shafts
As well as the hull, items such as a ship's propellers would be manufactured within the shipyard. Shown here is the propeller shaft for the armoured cruiser HMS Black Prince.
The propeller shaft was the rotating rod by means of which the engine turned the propeller of a steamship.
HMS Sans Pareil
The hull of the Sans Pareil (10,470 tons) was launched on 9 May 1887. She was then taken into the fitting-out basin where heavy items like turbines, condensers, boilers, armour plate and guns were fitted.
Specifications of the Sans Pareil
The 16.25-inch gun of Sans Pareil was the largest calibre gun mounted in a British warship with the exception of the 18-inch guns mounted in HMS Furious during World War I (1914-18).
HMS Sans Pareil was sold to ship-breakers in 1907. Her sister ship, HMS Victoria, was lost in collision off the Syrian coast in 1893.
The Duncan and Cornwallis
The 13,745 ton HMS Duncan and HMS Cornwallis were launched in March and July 1901.