Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 12.djvu/562

This page has been validated.


than the eighth of a mile (680 feet) long, of 84 feet beam, and drawing thirty feet of water at load-draught, when the weight of ship and contents amounts to over 25,000 tons. This great vessel

PSM V12 D562 The great eastern.jpg
Fig. 66.—The Great Eastern.

is driven by steam-engines of 10,000 horse-power, turning huge paddle-wheels 56 feet in diameter, and a screw-propeller having a diameter of 24 feet.

109. We are evidently fulfilling at least a part of that well-known poetical prophecy which Darwin wrote in the early days of the steam-engine, and possibly before Watt had told him of the great advance which had been produced by his inventive genius:

"Soon shall thy arm, unconquered steam, afar

Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car;
Or, on wide-waving wings expanded, bear
The flying chariot through the fields of air."

Note.—We are compelled to omit the sketch of the development of the stationary engine, and for it must refer our readers to the publication of which this is an abstract. We shall conclude this series by an abstract of that portion which outlines the Philosophy of the Steam-Engine, and exhibits the direction of improvement, and the changes which must precede the production of a possible new type, "the steam-engine of the future."
  1. The following reference is not related to this page. (Wikisource contributor note)
    "Botanic Garden," London, 1781.