PortCities London

The 19th-century port

Steamships and the Royal Victoria Dock

The steam age arrives

London Pool
View full size imageA steamer in the Pool of London. © NMM
The steamship first appeared on the Thames in 1815 when the Clyde-built paddle steamer Marjory (1814) started a passenger service between London and Gravesend.

Adoption of the new technology was slow and it was not until 1875 that the tonnage of steam vessels using the port was larger than that of sailing ships. In that year steam represented just over 5 million tons and sail less than 4 million tons.

The 'Great Eastern'

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