Skip to main content

History of steam up to about 1900

Archimedes may have used a steam cannon to destroy Roman ships with burning projectiles, engineer Cesare Rossi of Neapolitan University Federico II suggested at a conference in Syracuse. Rossi thinks the sun, through hollow mirrors, would have heated water in the cannon to steam. The device fired real fire bombs weighing 6 kilograms, filled with sulfur, bitumen, pitch and calcium oxide. He calculated that they could get about 150 meters far. He claims as proof that in 2006 a team from the U.S. Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge built and successfully tested such a gun. The first actually functioning device that can be referred to as a “steam engine” was already developed by a certain Heron, in 10-70 Anno Domini.

The Aeopile of Heron

An Aeopile is a type of pan-shaped boiler in which water is heated to above 100° C, eventually forming steam. This steam is transported through two upright tubes to a sphere that can rotate on those tubes. Steam escapes from this sphere through two exhaust pipes and collides with a right-angled piece of these pipes. The rapidly escaping steam gives the metal pipes an opposite force, a reaction force, that makes the sphere spin. The name was derived from the Greek Aeolis. This is the Greek god of wind and pila means ball (because of the spherical pressure chamber). It is an early example of the application of Newton’s widely known third law: action = reaction. This also makes it the earliest known example of a steam engine and a precursor to the steam turbine, jet engine and rocket. However, no practical application could be linked to this invention because at that time manual labor was mostly performed by slaves, who were present in sufficient numbers.

The Piston Steam Engine

The next in history to engage in steam engines was the Spaniard Blasco de Garay in 1543. And, over 100 years later, another inventor the Frenchman, Denis Papin. In 1690, he invented the first reciprocating steam engine. This machine functioned as follows: Papin used a piston with a cylinder in which he boiled a little water at the bottom. The steam pressure made the piston go up. Then he removed the fire. The space under the piston cooled, the steam condensed and a vacuum was created. Atmospheric pressure then pushed the piston down and lifted the weights. Indeed, steam has 1700 times the volume of water used for it. Unfortunately, his machine worked very inefficiently and was therefore not economically viable. In fact, here he had demonstrated everything that others could later continue: the compressive force of steam and that of the atmosphere.

Thomas Savery and Thomas Newcomen

English inventor Thomas Savery obtained the first patent for a steam engine in 1698. His machine was intended to pump water from mines and was thus given the name of: Engine to raise water by fire. His machine could pump water, in two steps, first to a height of 9 meters by using the pressure difference created when steam condensed and then using a steam pump to raise it to 15 meters.

Newcomen’s steam engine

Another British inventor, Thomas Newcomen, combined the technology of Savery’s machine with Papin’s reciprocating steam engine and transferred the power of expanding-and then condensing-steam via chains and balance arms to vertical pumps. In 1712, Newcomen thus built a better-functioning atmospheric steam engine with the steam cylinder on top of the boiler, which actually drained water from many British mines in the 18th century. A disadvantage was that this steam engine was not very efficient due to the cumbersome manual operation (by at least two men), and the condensation of steam in the steam cylinder by injecting cold water. So the first true steam engine was an “atmospheric” machine or vacuum machine. They are called an atmospheric machine because atmospheric pressure does the work.

The machine works as follows:

– Steam pressure is let into the steam cylinder through a valve.
– The piston goes up.
– Then close the tap and open the adjacent water tap.
– This causes a little water to flow into the cylinder. As a result, steam condenses in the cylinder.
– The piston now has negative pressure at the bottom and above it is atmospheric pressure plus the weight of the unbalanced lever.
– The piston goes down. The machine operates on the vacuum created by condensation of steam.

Steam engine from Watt-Boulton

Scottish inventor James Watt was commissioned, in 1763 by the University of Glasgow, to repair a broken Newcomen steam engine. He came up with a number of improvements, Watt noted that the steam engine lost a lot of energy because the piston and cylinder in the machine were constantly being cooled and then had to be heated again. Watt went looking for a solution and found it a year later. He built a steam engine in which steam was not condensed in the cylinder itself, but in a separate condensing vessel. In 1769, he patented this method. Partly with the help of businessman Matthew Boulton, Watt managed to build his first double-acting steam engine in 1784, which was patented that same year and consumed as much as 75 percent less coal than the old steam engine.

Condensation principle and general operation

The condenser is James Watt’s THE great invention, and is crucial to the operation of his steam engine. Using a condenser, steam can be forcibly reduced to the phase of water. Condensation makes the volume of water 1700 times smaller than the volume of steam. The remaining space cannot be filled in a sealed condenser, leaving only a vacuum. This vacuum causes a force through which a motion can be created. To this day, the condenser is an important part of almost every steam power plant.

Types of condenser

There are two types of condensers in use, the surface condenser and the mixing condenser. The surface condenser consists of a cold spiral cooling water pipe against which the steam condenses. Very little condensate is formed and this condensate has a quality almost equal to distilled water. This condensate is often used as boiler feed water. And especially on marine vessels, this is an important application. Water is usually used as the cooling medium. In the mixing condenser, the spent steam is mixed with water. This creates a large amount of heated water. This water has a quality equal to that of the cooling water. If the cooling water contains a lot of lime and/or sludge, so does the condensate. So the water from a mixing condenser is bad to use as boiler water. With a mixing condenser comes a wet air pump. This pump maintains the vacuum and removes not only the mixture of cooling water (injection water) and condensed spent steam, but also the air that enters the condenser through various causes. This air comes from the little air always present in the cooling water and from leaks in the condenser. Furthermore, the condenser also always contains some water vapor. Where there is water there is always water vapor. This water vapor must also be pumped out. As a result of the water vapor, it is not possible to create a complete vacuum in a mixing condenser, the remaining water vapor always leaves some pressure.

Machines, operating with or without Condensation

In a steam engine, working with condensation, the spent steam is led to a condenser to be condensed into water in it while in a machine, working without condensation, the spent steam escapes into the outside air. The latter kind of machines were sometimes called high-pressure machines, by which they meant that these machines worked with high, that is atmospheric, back pressure. This spent steam, the voltage of which is slightly higher than the vapor circuit pressure, still possesses a large amount of heat energy, much of which, with an efficient arrangement, can still be converted into mechanical work. To this end, an extension would have to be given to the plant, which in some cases encountered such serious practical objections that people were content with less favorable steam consumption. (steam locomotives, pile drivers). The advantages, associated with working with condensation, are:
* the back pressure behind the piston can be about 1 atm. are smaller, making the useful suction pressure about 1 kg per square centimeter greater;
* the boiler can be fed with hot water of about 70°C, the which brings a significant fuel saving
* the feed water can be pure distilled water, and this advantage is important with regard to boiler life and maintenance costs.

Machines, working with condensation, are again split into two types, namely: A. machines, working with surface condensation; B. machines, working with injection condensation.

A. Machines, operating with surface condensation

In these machines, the spent steam is compacted into water in the condenser by bringing it into contact with cooled surfaces formed by a large number of narrow thin-walled, metal pipes through which cooling water flows. The big advantage here is immediately apparent,. The spent steam remains separated from the cooling agent, so pure water is available for boiler feed. On board steam-powered ships, almost without exception, one has surface condensation.

B. Machines operating with injection condensers or mixing condensers

In these machines, the spent steam is brought into direct contact with the cooling water, now called injection water. In this process, the condensate, mixed with the foreign water, is transported to the boiler as feed water, and will cause boiler scale on the boiler flame pipes. This method of condensation is also called mixed condensation and is not used today.

The energy gain in condensation

A steam engine is always open and exposed in the atmosphere. That means there is atmospheric pressure on all parts. The spent steam must be discharged against this pressure. Thus, at a steam pressure of 6 atmospheres, only 5 atmospheres can be utilized without further provisions. When condensation is used, in which a vacuum is created, the steam can be discharged to a condenser in which there is a pressure of about 0 atmosphere. At a steam pressure of 6 atmospheres, almost the entire 6 atmosphere pressure can then suddenly be used. This then produces a power gain. The exact pressure gradient within the cylinder can be determined using a diagram compression gauge.

In the years that followed, Watt made several more improvements, using only steam pressure as motive power. Thus, the piston was propelled by both lower and upper pressure. (Double Effect). The steam engine became a great success in Britain in the late 18th century, thanks in part to the application of a subsequent invention viz. “James Watt’s parallel motion,” in which a back and forth motion is transformed into a rotational motion. The steam engine found application in mining, in industry, as well as in pumping stations and later in ship propulsion. Watt is the one who introduced horsepower (hp) as the unit of power for classifying steam engines. Later indications of power unit became so many “Watts” or so many “kWatts.” Even later on Oct. 11. 1960 the unit of power in the SI system was named after him: 1 watt = 1 joule/second. (joule: a unit of mechanical, electrical or thermodynamic energy) The steam engine Jan Blanken had built into the pump house of the Droogdok in Hellevoetsluis in 1801 was of the Watt-Boulton ” à Double effect” type.

The conversion of a back and forth motion into a turning motion

(Edited to Source: Association of Friends of the Four North Koggen Steam Engine Museum by Hans Walrecht)
James Watt’s original single machine was closed from the top. The fresh steam first entered the top of the cylinder, creating a slight overpressure there, and then fed into the bottom of the cylinder through a balance tube. Here, by cooling the steam under the piston, a vacuum was created and the piston was pushed down. On each stroke, the piston rod pulled down a chain connected to the balance arm. At the other end of the balance arm was the pull chain of the pump piston. In 1784, James Watt made his machine double-acting, with the goal of obtaining a rotary motion that could be used in industry. This prevented him from using a chain because now the piston not only pulls the balance arm but also has to push the arm up. Therefore, the piston rod must be coupled directly to the balance arm. But the head of the balance arm, in an arc, also makes slight lateral movements relative to the steam engine. The solution to this problem at the time was the parallel movement. This is a system based on a parallelogram, formed by 4 pivot points and two support points which are attached to two horizontal beams, anchored in the wall, and also rotatable.

After 1800, this movement is formed by a construction of Cross Head-Leislof connecting rod and Crankshaft.

The construction of a steam engine

This drawing is a schematic illustration of a simple double-acting vertical piston steam engine in which the main parts are indicated by a letter A. Cylinder cover B. The cylinder C. The piston D. Steam slide box E. Piston rod. The piston is firmly connected to the piston rod , which exits through the cylinder bottom by means of a gland H steam tight. At the bottom of the piston rod is the crosshead L, which forms the hinged connection between the piston rod and the connecting rod O. In fact, at the bottom of the piston rod is attached a die, which, as the figure on the right shows, bears a cross pin on both sides.

Around these pins grip the cross pin metals, which lie in the fork at the top end of the connecting rod. The lower end of this rod is coupled to the crank pin R of the crankshaft using crank pin metal Q. This crankshaft consists of the crank pin, both crank cheeks S and both shaft necks U. The shaft necks each rotate in two main shaft metals, which rest in pillow blocks V, which are called the main shaft blocks. In the underside of the main shaft block, lies the lower metal. This is made of Babbith or White Metal which is an alloy of metals: 45.6% zinc; 40% lead; 13%antimony and 1.5% copper. This metal is used with slower-running axles, and is one with the foundation W of the machine. The upper metal, also from Babbith, is pressed on by a cap with bolts. The cylinder made of cast iron rests, with two feet forming one with it, on two columns K, which are attached to the foundation W. In this figure, the left column is made of cast iron, the other of wrought steel. The cast column is provided with a wide sliding surface N, called slate. Along this guideway runs a leislof M, attached to the die of the crosshead and thus moving up and down simultaneously with the piston. The guideway serves to absorb the lateral pressures that occur as a result of the oblique positions of the connecting rod in the crosshead. In large machines such as the Triple expansion machine, both columns are usually made of cast iron. They then have the same shape and are also both slated, so the crosshead now has two slate slats. The steam sliding box D, fitted with a removable lid at the top, is one unit with the steam cylinder. In this cabinet there is a purely flat section F, called the steam sliding mirror in which horizontally arranged rectangular openings are provided, which serve as steam channels. The lower and upper channels are the steam ports, which discharge into the cylinder below and above the piston. The middle channel, the drain port, leads to a round opening, to which a pipe A.S.(Drain Steam) is connected. Over the plane of the mirror moves the steam slide G. It is in the form of a container closed on five sides. Hence the name bucket slide. The open inside has flat edges that fit cleanly on the mirror. The slide is moved up and down by means of an eccentric disk T attached to the crankshaft, around which an eccentric ring grips; this ring is pivotally connected to the steam slide rod J by means of an eccentric rod P, which in turn passes through a stuffing box in the bottom of the steam slide case and is attached to the steam slide here inside. Both the cylinder and the steam sliding case have a well-insulated lining on the outside to prevent heat radiation. This type of engine, but as a three-cylinder engine, the so-called Triple-expansion engine, was installed during WWII in the so-called Liberty ships that sailed in convoy across the North Atlantic to Murmansk.

Types of steam engines

Watt and Boulton had patented their designs until the year 1800, so other steam engine developers were bound by these patents. So after 1800, the industrial revolution erupted, with one design after another seeing the light of day based on James Watt’s ideas.
(Edited from the Source : History of technology in the Netherlands. The genesis of a modern society 1800-1890 part V and also study books Steam Engines for Marine Engineering by Moree)

Single and double acting machines

A single-acting steam engine is still rare. Only in small auxiliary tools such as feedwater pumps, etc., where efficiency is not such a big issue. Karl Schmid’s DC steam engine, equipped with trunk piston or crosshead, is single-acting. See image to the right. A double-acting steam engine is one in which steam is admitted both above and below the steam piston. With equal cylinder capacity and equal number of revolutions, the power of a double-acting steam engine is about twice that of a single-acting one; moreover, the gait of a double-acting machine is quieter. The difficulties associated with the double-acting internal combustion engine due to the very high voltages and temperatures are not encountered with the double-acting steam engine. However, extra care must be taken, especially when using superheated steam, with the packing bushings, steam slide, valve rods and piston rings.

High pressure and expansion machines

In a full pressure machine, steam is allowed into the cylinder throughout the piston stroke. So these machines operate with full admissions and, in keeping with this, we might better call these machines “full admissions machines.” Very economical these machines do not work, but they are already practical considerations, which is why some machines (steam winches, steam steer and steam turnover machines) are still run at full capacity. Direct-acting steam feedwater pumps also operate at full capacity. Expansion machines work with partial admittance, the fresh steam is admitted into the cylinder for only part of the piston stroke, after which expansion of the steam follows. The steam piston reaches the end of the stroke due to the expanding force of the steam.

Direct current and alternating current machines

In a direct-current steam engine, admission of steam takes place over a small portion of the stroke; this is followed by expansion of the steam while about 10% before the end of the stroke, this steam is discharged through channels located in the center of the cylinder in a double-acting engine. The exhaust is not controlled by a slide or valve, but by movement of the piston along openings in the tread. The spent steam does not flow away in the same direction, as in which fresh steam was allowed into the cylinder. This avoids strong cooling along pre-heated surfaces during the exhaust, so initial condensation will be lower.

The exhaust organs at the cylinder ends may be absent and due to the fact that the exhaust openings are located over the entire circumference of the cylinder, the spent steam flows away easily and the back pressure need not be practically much different from the condenser pressure. While boosting the vacuum above 80% in an alternating current steam engine, due to the greater initial condensation, is practically useless, in a direct current steam engine a vacuum of 90% can be successfully applied. In an alternating current steam engine, the spent steam flows back through the same channel at the end of the cylinder, through which the fresh steam has been admitted into the cylinder, and then escapes through the cavity in the steam valve, to the finished steam port. But even if at that end of the cylinder, where fresh steam is admitted into the cylinder, there is a separate channel for discharge of the spent steam the machine is still called an alternating current steam engine.

Valve machines

The machine is called a valve machine if the admittance of fresh steam and the discharge of spent steam are controlled by valves. (e.g., a Lentz valve machine). At the Buffalo in Hellevoetsluis, is a 510 Ihp Lentz valve machine taken from the harbor tug Dockyard VIII. This is a so-called Double Compound Machine which means two equal sets of a High and Low pressure, where the cylinders work 180º to each other and the sets work 90º to each other. So that one can start the machine from any position. In most reciprocating steam engines aboard ships, steam permitting is performed by sliders.

a machine with rotary valves

Stationary and non-stationary machines

Stationary machines are those which, solidly fixed to their foundations, are always tied to the same place. The other kind of machines are commonly called land machines. The non-stationary machines can again be divided into two groups, namely: A. machines specially equipped to be transported, in order to be put into operation at any place (locomotive, pile drivers). B. machinery, working in the establishment of which they are part and moving with it (marine machinery locomotives, automobile engines). (The auxiliary machinery on board a ship should be classified as stationary machinery.)

Direct and indirect working machines

By indirect working machines we still mean only the balance machine. A direct working machine means a machine, the piston rod of which is directly connected to the crank pin, to the working tool, or in which the circular motion of the shaft is obtained by a connecting rod and crank mechanism. Of the directly operating machines, only the reciprocating steam engines will be considered. One distinguishes according to the position of the center lines of cylinders:

Horizontal machines

The centerlines of the cylinders lie in a horizontal plane. These machines find almost no further use as propulsion tools. However aboard naval vessels such as the Buffalo and Scorpio, they were common. This was in connection with obtaining a lower center of gravity due to the weight of the gun turret and reducing machine damage in the event of an enemy hit. On board merchant ships, these machines occur as auxiliary tools ( cooling and steering machine, feed water pumps, bilge pumps and winches ).

Openwork model of a horizontal one cylinder steam engine

Vertical machines

The centerlines of the cylinders lie in a vertical plane going through the axis. In most cases, the main tool on board ships is a vertical machine. The shaft is longitudinal to the vessel and under the cylinders, while on the extension of the shaft, which protrudes from the vessel, the propeller shaft is attached.

Diagonal machines

The centerlines of the cylinders lie in planes perpendicular to the axis. The shaft lies longitudinally and below the cylinders (screw ship) The large heads of the connecting rods include a common crank pin and the steam slides derive their motion from a common eccentric. Because of their brevity, these machines sometimes find application aboard river vessels and tugs.

Oscillating machines

These were used as propulsion tools for paddle boats, whose cylinders swing around hollow shafts. The hollow shaft trunnions rest in pillow blocks. One of the taps is used as a supply channel for the fresh steam to the steam sliding cabinet, while the other tap serves as a drain channel for the finished steam. It is short, as the piston rod is connected directly to the crank pin.

Inclined machines

The centerlines of the cylinders lie in one plane that, going through the axis, makes a certain acute angle with the horizontal plane. The shaft is transverse, above the cylinders and has two cranks, which form a 90-degree angle with each other. On either side of the ship, paddle wheels are attached to the shaft where it protrudes outside the ship (paddle boat)

Buffalo’s Maudsley steam engines

The Buffalo’s two steam engines were compound engines. This means they had two cylinders working together in a tandem system. This can be a high-pressure cylinder and a low-pressure cylinder or, as with the Buffalo, two cylinders of the same pressure. They had a recoupled connecting rod to be as compact as possible. They were horizontal machines to lower the ship’s center of gravity and, in the event of a possible hit by enemy artillery, to minimize damage below the waterline. The machines were capable of medium steam pressure of about 25 to 30 psi. (PSI means “Pounds per Square Inch.” 14.2 psi is equal to 1 atmosphere, nowadays bar).

For safety reasons for the engine room personnel, the Navy did not yet want to work with high steam pressure which, at that time 1868, was already 12 bar or 170 psi. The machines each developed a power output of 1100 Ihp. The term Ipk stands for Indicateur horsepower. The machine itself consumes power. What remains for propulsion is axle power the Apk. The square cabinet, above the machinery, is a surface condenser where the spent steam, supplied through the thick pipes, was cooled and compacted into condensate. This condensate was fed back to the steam boilers as feed water. The Buffalo carried a coal supply of 200 tons, which allowed her to stay at sea for 10 days at an average speed of 10 knots.

Model of the Maudsley machine made by model maker P.G. ‘t Hart

The Triple Expansion Machine

The triple expansion engine is one of the most widely used steam engines. In particular, they were widely built into the Liberty ships in WWII, sailing in convoy to Murmansk. The triple expansion machine possesses a high, medium, and a low pressure cylinder so that each cylinder must do 1/3 of the work. Steam flows first into the high-pressure cylinder, then into the medium-pressure cylinder and then into the low-pressure cylinder. One allows steam of 12 atm. into the high-pressure cylinder, which then expands there to a pressure of 8 atm. and releases the energy to the piston.

The steam then flows to the medium-pressure cylinder, which has a larger capacity than the previous one (Boyle/Gay-lussac’s law P1 x V1/T1 = P2 x V2/T2) and there, to a pressure of four atm. expands, releasing energy. Finally, the steam continues its way to an even larger cylinder, and then has enough pressure left to perform labor, with the residual pressure being 0.2 atm. The finished steam now flows to a surface (pipe) condenser cooled with cold water to become completely water, by further expansion and condensation, creating a large negative pressure. The eccentric makes the steam slide move, to admit steam to the cylinder through a certain position of the scissor movement, the so-called Stephenson’s scissor. This is meant to obtain a different advance angle of the steam sliders, and make the machine turn the other way. Therefore, each cylinder has two, one for forward and the other for reverse. All these shears are operated simultaneously, through a shaft, by one lever at the maneuvering position. When this lever is moved to the center position, the machine stops. These machines can be either standing or lying down, which depends entirely on the purpose for which they will be used. The exhibit on the Buffalo in Hellevoetsluis features a 180 Ihp Triple Expansion Machine taken from a harbor tug.

Triple-Expansion Machine

The steam slide

The steam supply to the respective cylinders is controlled by a so-called bucket slide driven by an eccentric moved by the crankshaft. One distinguishes exterior and interior loading steam slides. An outside-loading slide refers to a slide in which the fresh steam in the slide box is around the slide body and thus gives a pressure load on the body of the slide. In an inward-loading slide, the steam is fed into the cavity of the slide and the finished steam stands around the slide, with a set of springs keeping the slide pressed to the transom. An ordinary bucket slide is off-loading and not relieving. The fresh steam outside around the steam slide keeps her pressed to the mirror. Sometimes one has additionally attached to the back of the steam slide one or two flat steel springs for the purpose of keeping the steam slide pressed to its transom when there is no steam in the steam slide.

The finished steam can escape through the cavity in the steam slide to the finished steam channel in the transom. This (below) steam slide has a single port opening for inlet and outlet.

This is a so-called non-relieving Outside Loading Bucket Slide

With its treads, the slide slides up and down (or back and forth in the case of a lying steam engine) over the transom, from which the steam ports emerge as rectangular openings. A slide with a multiple port opening allows fresh steam to enter the cylinder through two or more channels simultaneously. This is called channel sliding. Steam sliders were always made of hard, fine-grained cast iron. High pressure and superheated steam place high demands on certain parts of the steam engine. A bucket slide, for example, has a large friction surface. That’s not all because the steam pressure also presses against it, making it even more likely that the parts will eat into each other. Therefore, superheated steam is never used in baking slides.

The steam piston is moved by an eccentric, which is a circular disc, attached eccentrically or off-center to the crankshaft. The photo below shows an eccentric of a triple expansion machine. The circular motion of the shaft is changed by the eccentric, the eccentric rod and the steam slide rod into a rectilinear, reciprocating motion of the steam slide. The operation of an eccentric is similar to that of a crank, (crankshaft).

The boiler feed water

Purity of boiler feed water in relation to steam pressure

The distillate from a surface condenser has a fairly high purity. Unfortunately, the condensate did get contaminated with lubricating oil from the cylinder. The condensate then drains first to a so-called hot water tank where the water mass comes to rest. The oil then surfaces as a film and can be skimmed with paper. From there it is pumped to the boiler. The purity of the boiler feed water affects the steam pressure to be achieved. The boiler water temperature determines when salts are deposited on the heated parts of the boiler such as the flame pipes. With contaminated condensate as boiler water feed, which contains e.g. Sodium and Calcium salts, you can only fire up to about 130ºC boiler water temperature. This requires, according to the saturated steam table, a steam pressure of 1.2 kg/cm². With purer boiler feed water, i.e. where there are no salts, you can already heat up further to 180ºC which requires a steam pressure of 12 kg/cm².

Demineralized boiler feed water

In later years, after about 1950, steam pressure could be further increased by first demineralizing the boiler feed water. So stripped of all mineral salts. This is done in a plant containing three types of filters that contain material that can bind hydrochloric acid or caustic soda. These materials are first provided with a positive charge (HCl hydrochloric acid) H+ ions or negative charge (NaOH caustic soda) OH- ions. In the first filter, the cation filter, the positive cations Na+ from the sodium salt (NaCl) are captured by an acidic environment (hydrochloric acid HCl) and replaced by H+ ions. Then in the second filter, the Anion filter, the negative anions the Cl- are captured from it using an alkaline environment (caustic soda NaOH) and replaced by OH- ions. The chemical result is then H2O water. Next, the water stream still passes through a so-called Mixed Bed Filter where post-treatment takes place and the silicon di-oxide (SiO2) is also removed. Namely, this has the property that when superheated high-pressure steam of e.g. 105 kg/cm² is used, when it expands to a lower pressure in a turbine, it precipitates as a hard layer on the blades of a turbine and can throw it into imbalance. When the material in the filters is saturated, they must be regenerated.

Buffalo armament

In the first half of the 14th century, gunpowder was first used in Europe in a vase/bottle-shaped cannon which fired a kind of stone arrows.Buffalo armament

At the rear was a vertically drilled hole which will be called the zundhole.
A load from the Hook Bus consisted of +/- 5gr. BK nudged and sealed with a felt gag.
Well-fitting round pebbles were initially used as projectiles.
Later replaced by the cast round lead ball.

The problem with these firearms was the ignition of the main charge, in the case of the aforementioned Hook canister it was done by sprinkling very finely ground gunpowder (powder) in and on the sinkhole and then igniting it by means of a tinderbox. For a Cannon, they used a glowing splinter of wood.
At some point the tinderbox was replaced by a wick (think of the wick used to light fireworks). A piece of wood was attached to the underside of the hook canister, which grew into a rifle butt, thus the first rifle. And that was called a “wick-lock rifle” (bottom right). A modern firing rifle, for the time, can be seen, among other things, in Rembrand’s painting the “Night Watch.”

The ignition of the powder charge remained a source of misery until the invention of the central firing system, the cartridge. Due to the pressure released by the ignition of gunpowder, +/- 1000 bar and a temperature of 1000 degrees C, it was not possible to use the rear of a Cannon/Gun, pistol to load the weapon. One simply could not manufacture a good seal for a good gas seal.
From 1350 to 1600, ignition is by wick/flint. The period from1600 to 1820 only flint.

The last quarter of the 17th century saw the invention of popping powder, also called popping mercury or percussion mercury(German alchemist Johan Kunckel 1630-1703), which was many times more potent than BK.
A Scottish minister, Alexander Forsythe managed in 1805 to place this powder in a solid form, the “percussion ash,” in a tube/canister and ignite it by tapping it with a hammer. The percussion cap, percussion cap was born. Forsyth hit the ground running with his invention, but strangely, commanders saw nothing in the percussion cap, including Napoleon. Consequently, the battle of Waterloo was fought with flintlock rifles by the armies of Napoleon and the Allies.
After 1815, opinions on ignition had changed dramatically and pistols, rifles and cannons were converted en masse in favor of percussion ignition.

Which led to the invention in 1847, by William Colt, of the percussion revolver that placed six loaded bullets in a rotating cylinder. This invention and the experiments with shooting cotton, +/- 1882 provided rapid innovations of guns, shells and ammunition.
But still loaded with gunpowder, which had the disadvantage for a revolver that due to the enormous pollution from the ignition of gunpowder, the cylinder stopped turning after six shots.
It was now only a matter of a few years before the central fire pattern saw the light of day. A cartridge is a composite assembly of a shell with the percussion cap in the bottom. In the casing powder charge and bullet.

Buffalo armament:

Buffalo’s weapons, starting with the small stuff: single-shot Snider rear-loading rifle, with a caliber of 17.5 mm. Entered 1867 (of which 40 st.).
Beaumont M71 similarly single-shot rear-loading rifle with a kal.11.5 mm. Introduced 1870.
“——–” Vitali M71/88 rear-loading rifle with a 5-shot magazine same caliber.
Introduced 1888. These few lines need some explanation.
Beginning in the mid-1960s, a committee was appointed to hurry to replace the preloading rifles/pistols. I will try to write it down as briefly and simply as possible. Purchasing new weapons is too costly. Then we are soon talking about numbers of +/- 40,000. So that leaves, converting the percussion weapons to back-loading weapons, which could fire the all-metal cartridges.

Percussion lock with cocked hammer and visible on the back of the barrel the chimney where the percussion cap is placed. The green in the cap is the percussion ash which ignites from the impact of the hammer and ignites the flame in the powder charge.
Percussion Rifle No.1

The modification to a rear-loading rifle was fairly easy to accomplish.
At the rear of the barrel, near the location of the chimney piece, a piece of +/-8 cm was cut off. A system was placed in the resulting space where the cartridge fitted, and fired by means of a firing pin and through the hammer. Nothing needed to be changed about the so-called percussion lock with the hammer lying outside.

Now it was not only our country that was modernizing its arsenal. Numerous inventions were patented. The difficulty was to achieve a good gas seal at the rear of the weapon and could absorb the rearward force realized during the delivered shot, 1000 bar.
The body, the Normal Shooting School (NSS), was in charge of trials and modifications of the weapons, the execution of which took place at the “Geweerwinkel,” both in Delft.

Now one wonders, why does anything need to be changed if they are good working patents?

Well, the changes made must be suitable for all army units and weather conditions. Also the action of sand, mud, high outside temperature (Dutch East Indies) rain and sea water, the weapon must always function properly. High long-range accuracy also belongs in this row and a simple way to remove the empty shell for fitting a new cartridge.

And the Generals, as is usually the case, disagreed. But then a few modifications emerge, the preferred one being the Snider System.

Single-shot Rear Loader Snider with a caliber of 17.5 mm. Introduced 1867.

As can be seen with some imagination, the fired shell has to be removed manually which is why people considered the “Snider Rifle” a stopgap solution. Numerous manufacturers provided guns for review. A few as examples. Remmington with the Rolling Block, Winschester Lever Action(empty sleeve is ejected). Cooper an English bolt action rifle. (which also ejects the empty shell). This was very well received at the NSS but, on reflection, they did not think it was solid enough.
Now, as one of the last, the Maastricht gunmaker Eduard De Beaumont comes to offer a bolt-action rifle. And this needs no further explanation.

Beaumont Rifle M71 caliber 11.5 mm R. Introduced 1870.

This rifle will be replaced again in the next few years. There has been a strong need for more shotguns. The Beaumont rifle is adapted by Italian rifleman Vitali. The modification involves a 5-shot magazine for cartridges of the same caliber.
The rifle was introduced in 1888 under the brand name: Beaumont-Vitali M71/88.

Fistfire weapons.
The acquisition of the fistfire weapons has been a headache file.
They wanted a multi-shot firearm which could load the centerfire cartridges with a caliber of 12 mm made by the factory J.F.J.Bar in Delft.

Briefly, the replacement in the armed forces of preloading pistols which began about 1856.
The Navy begins with the trial of(left) the Adams(percussion) revolver and (right) the Lefaucheux(pinfire) revolver. To the commander of the ss Merapi were issued 2st.Lefacheux and 2st.Adams revolvers, who reported on the tests taken with both revolvers after a trial period. The percussion revolver performed well but was laborious, requiring the same actions to load the cylinder of the revolver as the percussion pistol.
The Lefaucheux did not have that problem, this weapon used Pinfire cartridges. But these again were too fragile.

Eventually, the basis for the weapon was the Adams Revolver, manufactured by Francotte at Liege. In 1868, the unit cartridge appeared on the market(the all-metal made central fire cartridge) and that was the ultimate goal. To make the Adams-Francotte Revolver suitable for this purpose, the revolver was reconstructed by Van Welij. The most significant change was the addition of a loading port on the side of the cylinder.

It eventually became this coat of arms and was introduced in 1873. The cylinder holds 5 cartridges with a caliber of 11.2 mm.

The Artillery

In the Tower 2pcs. Armstrong Cannon front loaders, drawn barrel, with a caliber of 23cm. On the pit deck were further arranged on both sides of the ship 2 30-pound front loaders, the pound indicating the weight of the bullet .(English measurements).
The artillery placed at the time of construction was essentially already obsolete. However, small caliber firearms were modern at the time.

After the introduction on the history of the 1st firearm to the construction of the Buffalo, it is understandable that the firing of front loaders was stressful.
The Armstrong cannons were loaded with +/-25 kg BK packed in a so-called cardstock. The cardstock was inserted at the front and placed in the back of the barrel followed by a prop (primed) and the grenade.

The four 30 pounders were loaded in a similar manner, but with a lesser powder charge +/- 15 kg and the projectile was a round iron bullet. Round iron bullets were effective in the days of wooden ships but on an armor of iron it only caused a dent.
These cannons were replaced as early as 1880.

The ignition of the powder charge was done, by the invention of the aforementioned minister by means of a percussion nozzle. This installation can be seen on the SB cannon of the tower.
But what doesn’t change is the huge smoke while firing, and the work it entails in reloading the whole stuff.

The contamination of ignited gunpowder is enormous so that, for safety, after each shot, the barrel had to be cleared with water to ensure that no glowing residue was left in the back of the barrel. The ignition of gunpowder needs only a spark.
It should be noted that the cannons in the tower were equipped with a rifled barrel which became clogged with dirt, making it increasingly difficult to place the next shell.
Consequently, 45 men were permanently on duty to operate the artillery.

The ship’s arms were modernized in 1887. The 23 cm guns in the tower were replaced for 28 cm guns (rear loader) from Krüpp. Four 3.7 cm plus two 7.5 cm guns were additionally placed on deck. Two more pieces of so-called Revolver guns were installed in 1889.
And all these weapons use the Scottish minister’s invention, ignition by percussion cap/primer. What actually follows this whole story is the invention of the Shooting Cotton/Cordite smokeless gunpowder.(1886) But that is no longer relevant to the Buffalo.

Cross section of the Tower with Armstrong cannon

Ram tower ship “Huáscar”(1866)

Built in 1864-1866 at the Laird Brothers shipyard in Birkenhead, England, and launched on Oct. 7, 1865, the Huáscar was an advanced ramship specially designed for export to Perú. She was one of many built armored ships of her generation to actually participate in warfare at sea. Time and again, the ship proved itself as a sturdy and well-protected warship against enemy fire .

Technical details:

The Huáscar’s armament included a revolving gun turret with two Armstrong cannons. The turret was placed in the center of the ship between the bridge and foremast in an armored (4.5 cm) position in an enclosed “quarterdeck” extending from the bridge to the bow. The heavily armored turret was a “Coles model” and much in use on similar English warships, In the turret were two Armstrong 10″ 300-pdr , specially designed cannons for the Angel Navy. This arrangement was a successful design by “Captain Cowper Coles,” an officer in the Royal Navy.

The ship was built with a hinged sideboard structure that could be folded down to fire the cannons, a standard construction in the 1960s. The field of fire was quite obstructed by the foremast and its stays when firing over the bow. Consequently, in a later modification of the ship, the foremast and its stays were removed.

The “Huáscar” was equipped with an impressive ram stern which had already proven itself in a number of confrontations with enemy ships. Directly behind the tower was an armored hexagonal bridge that was in use as a command center during the battle. This small bridge was the forerunner of the increasingly well-equipped command bridges on later warships.

Below deck, in the boiler room, the ship was equipped with four coal-fired boilers, which provided steam for a “Penn Trunk” engine that drove a single propeller. At her top speed of 12 knots, the Huáscar’s could compete with the “world class” armored ships of her time.

Penn Trunk Engine

Salpeter War:

The Saltpetre War or Pacific War or War of the Pacific was a war between Chile on the one hand and Peru and Bolivia on the other that raged from 1879 to 1884.
Important to Bolivia was the stretch of land, then called the “Litoral” province, that bordered the Pacific Ocean. After the war, both countries (Bolivia and Peru) lost the mineral-rich area to the Chileans. This war is called the Saltpetre War because it included fighting for the rights to extract salt and copper in the coastal area. The Chilean navy eventually decided the battle. The export of saltpetre remained Chile ‘s main source of income until World War I. not unimportant Saltpetre from Chile was known to be the very best (purity). Moreover, the main component of Gunpowder.

Peru first tried to negotiate to stop the conflict , Chile, familiar with the defense pact between Peru and Bolivia declared war on both countries on April 5, 1879. Chile’s goal was to control the saltpetre mining areas of Peru and Bolivia. From the beginning of the conflict, all parties involved knew , that control at sea was the key to success in the ensuing war. Only those countries with complete control over; especially coastal waters were assured of a necessary supply -,removal of troops and supplies to strategic coastal locations. During the first year of the war, Chile’s strategy was primarily to destroy the Peruvian naval fleet.

In turn, the Peruvian, ramship “Huáscar” carried out several attacks on Chilean naval ships, ports and intercepted several ships bringing supplies from out of Chilean ports. These attacks were so successful that for five months the “Huáscar” managed to prevent Chile from setting foot in Bolivia and Peru. Every attempt to land troops failed because the “Huáscar” managed to control the entire Chilean navy offshore. Several actions were carried out by the Chilean Navy to sink the “Huáscar,” but all without success.

The naval battle at Iquique was an encounter between a Chilean wooden corvette (Esmeralda) under the command of “Arturo Prat” and the Peruvian ramship (Huáscar) under the command of “Miguel Grau Seminario. On May 21, 1879, the “Huáscar,” after a four-hour battle, sank the “Esmeralda,” after repeatedly ramming this ship with which the naval battle was settled in favor of Peru and Bolivia. After the sinking of the “Esmeralda,” survivors were rescued from the sea including Arturo Prat, commander of the corvette “Esmeralda,” however, he died shortly thereafter on deck of the “Huáscar.” Following this, the pursuit of the fleeing Chilean naval vessel “Covadonga” was initiated.

For the next 137 days, the “Huáscar” remained under the command of Admiral Miguel Grau Seminario, not only to avoid a confrontation with the powerful enemy fleet but also to make the coast unsafe for Chilean transport ships. In this role, her greatest achievement was the raising of the Chilean freighter “Rimac “with 260 men of cavalry regiment “Carabineers of Yungay” on board.

The “Huascar” was the “sailing wall” of Peru. Determined to disrupt the logistical supply lines necessary for the invasion of Perú. The Chileans took every opportunity to eliminate the Huáscar. Nearly six months after the naval battle of Iquique, the Chilean Navy set a trap to eliminate the “Huascar” for good.

Six Chilean ships including the “Blanco Encalada” and the “Cochrane” (so-called “casemate battleships”) had been ordered to sink or rather capture the Peruvian ramship. An ambush was laid, carefully planned by splitting the fleet into two squadrons. One close to the Bolivian coast and the other at a distance waiting for instructions. On Oct. 8, 1879, the first part of the fleet stopped near “Punta Angamos” (Bolivia). The “Huáscar” and the corvette “Unión” caught sight of the enemy fleet led by the “Cochrane”. After giving the “Unión” orders to divert to a safe harbor nearby, Admiral Grau prepared his ship for the impending battle.

The “Huascar” opened fire on the “Cochrane” first. The latter did not answer the fire but tried to get closer until she was within firing distance of 2,200 meters, at which point her guns could fire. 15 minutes later, the “Cochrane” was able to fire her artillery at the armored “Huascar.” One of the Chilean shells pierced the gun turret of the “Huascar” and wounded 12 crew members operating the 300-pound guns. Another shot damaged the plating just above the waterline and, in addition, the port side chain used to operate the rudder. This made the ship poorly steerable with a strong “drift” to starboard. In addition, she was hampered by a large damage in the skin caused by ramming the “Esmeralda” during the battle of Iquique five months earlier. Barely ten minutes later, an emergency rudder had been installed by the crew of the “Huascar.”

The “Huascar” was the “sailing wall” of Peru. Determined to disrupt the logistical supply lines necessary for the invasion of Perú. The Chileans took every opportunity to eliminate the Huáscar. Nearly six months after the naval battle of Iquique, the Chilean Navy set a trap to eliminate the “Huascar” for good.

Six Chilean ships including the “Blanco Encalada” and the “Cochrane” (so-called “casemate battleships”) had been ordered to sink or rather capture the Peruvian ramship. An ambush was laid, carefully planned by splitting the fleet into two squadrons. One close to the Bolivian coast and the other at a distance waiting for instructions. On Oct. 8, 1879, the first part of the fleet stopped near “Punta Angamos” (Bolivia). The “Huáscar” and the corvette “Unión” caught sight of the enemy fleet led by the “Cochrane”. After giving the “Unión” orders to divert to a safe harbor nearby, Admiral Grau prepared his ship for the impending battle.

The “Huascar” opened fire on the “Cochrane” first. The latter did not answer the fire but tried to get closer until she was within firing distance of 2,200 meters, at which point her guns could fire. 15 minutes later, the “Cochrane” was able to fire her artillery at the armored “Huascar.” One of the Chilean shells pierced the gun turret of the “Huascar” and wounded 12 crew members operating the 300-pound guns. Another shot damaged the plating just above the waterline and, in addition, the port side chain used to operate the rudder. This made the ship poorly steerable with a strong “drift” to starboard. In addition, she was hampered by a large damage in the skin caused by ramming the “Esmeralda” during the battle of Iquique five months earlier. Barely ten minutes later, an emergency rudder had been installed by the crew of the “Huascar.”

Huascar anchored offshore

With the “Blanco Encalada “and the “Covadonga” close by, the attack could be further intensified, a shot from the “Blanco Encalada” pierced the gun tower of the “Huascar” and killed almost all the gun crew and also damaged the starboard gun. Another shot from the “Cochrane,” flew through the officers’ quarters and also damaged the emergency rudder arrangement that had already been repaired twice. The “Huascar” could now only sail in a large circle over starboard. After the rudder was somewhat repaired, Commander Aguirre of the “Huascar” still attempted to ram the “Cochrane.” The “Cochrane” tried to get into position in such a way that she could in turn ram the “Huascar” as well, but the Peruvian ramship again plagued by rudder failure, was able to swerve slightly to port putting it in a better ram position. The “Cochrane” was able to swerve just in time using the extra thrust of her twin propellers, and both ships passed each other rakishly. Another shell pierced the gun tower of the “Huascar” again 12 minutes later, killing the remaining gun crew including Commander Aguirre. Command of the ship was assumed by Lt. Pedro Gárezon, who, in consultation with the remaining officers, decided to sink the ship rather than have it boarded by the enemy. Orders were given to evacuate all wounded from the engine room and to open the main condenser valve to prevent the ship from being brought up as spoils of war.

The Chilean warships saw that the “Huascar” was losing speed and the crew was planning to abandon ship. Almost two hours after the fight broke out, 14 to 20 Chilean sailors were able to climb aboard the “Huascar” without encountering any resistance because the guns were out of action and the armory completely destroyed by a Chilean shell strike.
The remaining Peruvian crew ran out of strength and resources to withstand the Chilean attack. They surrendered and closed the main condenser valve (there was already 1.2 meters of water in the engine room) The various fires on board were extinguished and the “Huascar” was brought up as war booty by the Chilean Navy.

Naval Battle of Angamos (Painting by Thomas Somerscales, an English artist in Chile’s service).

“Battle of Angamos Day”. National holiday in Peru. Commemoration of the naval battle of Angamos Oct. 8, 1879.
At this battle, the Peruvian navy was overpowered by the Chilean navy, which meant that the coast of Peru was no longer protected and allowed the invasion of Peru and Bolivia by sea. The invasion was the impending end of the Salpeter War. Chile invaded Peru through the coastal strip and occupied the desert, where much precious salt could be found. Peru lost this war and had to cede two provinces to Chile.
The Battle of Angamos was a typical naval affair during the “War of the Pacific” fought between the navies of Chile and Perú at Punta Angamos, on Oct. 8, 1879. The naval battle was the culmination of naval activities for five months during which the Chilean navy had the mission and command to totally destroy the Peruvian navy. In the battle, the two heavily armed frigates led by Commodore Galvarino Riveros and Navy Captain Juan José Latorre, were quite battered but eventually managed to overpower the ramship “Huáscar,” under ‘Rear Admiral’ Miguel Grau Seminario

The Huáscar na Angamos:

The seizure of the Huáscar was immediately the end of the Salpeter War. The “Huáscar” was added to the Chilean Navy after repairs. Near Arica, she fought another duel at sea with the Peruvian monitor “Manco Cápac” (former USS Oneota) during the bombardment of the city in which her commander Manuel Thomson was killed. The ship was also still involved in the blockade of Callao without damage but also without any significant impact.

Today, the armored ramship “Huascar” is again painted in the colors that were common during the times of “Queen Victoria of England. The ship has been restored to the situation on board when the ship was withdrawn from service with the Chilean Navy in 1897. Her existing appearance is quite different from the warships built in English shipyards in 1865 and the “Huascar” that went into action during the Battle of Angamos. Moreover, this Chilean “Huascar” is certainly not the authentic “Huascar” she once was. She is now a floating museum in the port city of Talcahuano, Chile.

The transition from wooden, to iron warships within theNetherlands Navy in the 19th century.

The advantage of iron ship construction for merchant shipping was that it had little space and
weight requirement. This gave the opportunity to carry more cargo. Also, thanks to the
light ship construction carry more armament and carry more fuel, making the
ships obtained a greater radius of action.
The Navy introduced steam propulsion for ocean shipping during the period from 1830 to 1865
and performed pioneering work in this introduction of steam navigation.
When steam propulsion was introduced, the Navy led the way, but it certainly wasn’t
at the other innovation, the use of iron to build ships. For a long time, the Navy from
operational considerations an aversion to the use of warships with an iron in
Instead of a wooden hull. Until the second half of the nineteenth century, the
State Shipyards, where most ships for the Navy were built, primarily wood
apply. Private shipbuilding did include initiatives to build
iron ships. As early as the period from 1830 to 1850, private shipbuilders in
Netherlands that they could build iron steamships for seafaring. Yet these
initiatives did not lead to a breakthrough. Traditional shipbuilders continued well into the
second half of the last century essentially build wooden sailing ships, despite the aforementioned
advantages of iron construction.

The technique (iron and rivets)

After 1780, when the “puddle process” was invented, the cheap production of wrought iron
possible. This made it possible to use iron for shipbuilding instead of wood. A
important advantage of wrought iron was that the bandages could be forged and bent into any shape
were and that one was no longer dependent on what nature provided. Certain species
Indeed, wood was becoming increasingly scarce, so that shipbuilders, who relied entirely on wooden
constructions were in place, have reluctantly had to accept that wooden parts were made by
iron were replaced.

Iron further had the following advantages. The iron bandages and plating took less
space and weight than wooden structures and offered more cargo space. By the
ability to make stronger structures with iron, the construction of larger ships was possible.
Furthermore, iron was cheaper, incombustible and, under favorable conditions, more durable. But there
in return, iron could not be “copperized,” like wood, to prevent fouling.
Other disadvantages were that the iron adversely affected the operation of the compass and that
an iron ship sustained more damage in collisions, groundings and enemy shelling.
The first use of iron structures involved inland navigation. One of the first builders of
iron steamers was John Laird at Birkenhead. In 1833, he built the iron paddle steamer
Lady Landsdown. However suitable iron craft on the rivers and canals proved to be, for the sea
considered an iron ship too dangerous to “risk the life of the sailor and the merchant’s goods. It was believed that the sea water would cause the skin to rust completely
cause it to decay and would destroy the hull. The compass would be disturbed by the iron and the
ship would drift, lack stability and listen badly to the rudder. The first iron ships
had to navigate along the coast as a result of that compass deviation (deviation) and it took until
1855 before reliable compass correction for merchant ships was available.

Thanks in part to this compass correction, the benefits of iron began to weigh more heavily over time
outweigh the disadvantages and switched to building entirely of iron constructed
seagoing vessels. Construction initially consisted of “translating” wooden structures into those
of iron. Iron trusses, for example, were built in sections just like wooden trusses. This
translation can also be clearly seen in the evolution of the construction of the keel, which is based on the
attached illustration is explained. Slowly but surely, people began to use
of the specific properties of iron and went on to construct entirely on this material
apply. As early as 1845, the case in favor of iron ships seemed decided after the construction of the Great
Britain, designed by I.K. Brunel and built by John Scott Russell. What possibilities a
iron structure Brunel then showed with his design of the giant ship Great
Eastern. The launching in 1858 of the Great Eastern, which had both propeller and
paddle propulsion was provided, however, became a debâcle. The construction of the large ship worked more
deterrent than encouraging the construction of iron steamships. To deal with iron
be able to construct, required craftsmanship that was new to shipbuilding and that only
was present among iron smiths and boiler makers. One difference from timber construction was that the iron
had to undergo other pretreatments and that different tools were needed, There had to be
are heated, hammered, rolled, punched, cut and violence. As long as it involves the construction of a
single iron ship went these operations took place by hand power. But for building
of several iron ships in succession, the work was more routine and were
both machine tools and new techniques for the pre-processing of profile and
sheet material required.

‘Translation’ from wooden to iron keel. Initially, they forged iron plates in the shape of a wooden keel. The shape depended on the method of attachment to the skin plates as shown in the first two figures. To increase strength, they then made the keel solid by adding shims. In wooden ships, a beam called zaathout ran across the bottom trusses parallel to the keel. In the evolution of the iron keel, this zaathout played a role. This was because, for strength reasons, they made the iron keel narrower and raised it so high that it took the place of the wooden zaathout. In iron shipbuilding, this part of the ship’s structure is no longer called the keel but mid-sawn wood.

The various iron parts were connected with rivets. Initially, it was
riveting work in shipbuilding performed by boiler makers. The handiwork of the boiler makers was
too expensive for this work, however, and bricks appeared in the yards, which in time replaced the wooden
shipmakers were going to be displaced. Clinkers were the ones who joined the loose iron plates together
had to attach in such a way that no more water could get between the seams of the aan
riveted together plates could come through. With the riveting work, the work to create a
watertight connection to be established yet. After riveting, the seams had to be
of the chiseled plates joined together are sealed by the edges of the upper
plate with a special chisel against the lower plate. This operation had an equal
function as the waterproof caulking or caulking of the skin of a wooden ship. The English
designation for caulking is “to caulk,” a term the British also use for waterproofing
making the seams of iron and steel plates. The Dutch name for this operation is
derived from the English and is “cooking. The special chisel was called cooking chisel. This naming
points to the English influence on iron shipbuilding in the Netherlands.

There were attempts in the nineteenth century to rivet and cook and other handicrafts.
mechanize. This did involve working with steam hammers and hydraulic hammers. But these machines
were difficult to move and were only used in the shipbuilding shed, the workshop where the
pretreatments took place, applied. For riveting work on ships in the pipeline,
which often required working in hard-to-reach places, handiwork continued into the
twentieth century maintained. Iron construction also required a different method of transportation. The
tools for moving wooden structural components were not adequate for
transporting the iron material.

Developments within the Dutch navy.

The fact that the Dutch shipbuilding industry before 1870 did not involve the construction of iron
naval vessels was involved had two causes. In. first, the Navy built the most
ships in Empire’s own yards. Second, until 1865, the Navy had no need for
iron sea ships. This was not conservatism, but a deliberate choice. The policy on the use of iron was similar to that of the British Navy. The Dutch
Navy was therefore not far behind England in terms of building iron ships, for even
the British Admiralty continued to build wooden ships until the 1960s. The British had earlier
had a number of iron warships and supply ships built by private shipyards,
including the HMS Ruby. By 1846, however, shooting tests on HMS Ruby had shown that the
iron skin shattered by the impact of bullets and shells. The projectiles had large
caused devastation in the interior of the ship. After this, the British Navy stopped for the time being
with the construction of iron warships. It was not until 1860 that the Admiralty took the armored ship
Warrior the construction of iron ships again. In 1863, Dutch naval engineers visited
British Empire yards to investigate the state of armoring of warships, and then they saw that even in the yards of the British Admiralty, except at Chatham, no iron ships were yet being built. The debate between proponents of iron and wooden ships was undecided. The Netherlands did have iron ships in the pipeline before 1860, and a dry dock was built for the government in 1864, but it was commissioned by the Minister of Colonies, not the Navy. The Navy did not begin to play a significant role in the introduction of ironclad ship building in the Netherlands until the armored age. This era
began about 1860, following foreign events in the maritime field.
Gradually, the Navy then moved to using iron as a structural material in the

In connection with developments in iron armored ships, the minister of
Navy a number of engineers and officers visited England to learn about
the armor technology. He then proposed to the House of Representatives the new construction of wooden ships

At the Rijkswerf in Amsterdam, the first iron armored ships were built in the Netherlands.
Shortly after 1860, British private shipyards, notably Napier at Glasgow and Laird at
Liverpool, began designing and building small iron armored ships for
foreign account. The Secretary of the Navy himself went to see some built iron
armored ships view, after which negotiations began with Laird for the delivery of
a new armored ship.

In February 1865, a contract was signed with Laird for the delivery of the first armored ship
for the Dutch Navy, the ramship Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands. It was an iron
armored propeller steamship with an armament of 4 guns mounted in two rotating
armored towers were set up. Furthermore, the ship was equipped with a ram stern and two

The naval engineer Bruno Joannes Tideman had drawn attention as early as 1862 to the need for
acquire armored frigates for ocean duties. Armored ships, according to him, were
needed to protect merchant shipping on connections to the West and East Indies. The
armored ships had to be built in the Netherlands, according to Tideman, as well as the necessary
armaments and infrastructural facilities such as docks, cranes and railroad equipment. In short,
The Netherlands should seize its opportunity to create a heavy industry, which would provide the
could compete with foreign countries.

Bruno Joannes Tideman: Shipbuilding engineer; founder of modern shipbuilding in the Netherlands and
of the Kon. Mij ‘De Schelde’ te Vlissingen. Became an engineer cadet for the East Indies at the Breda Military Academy in 1851. Studied shipbuilding from 1853-1857. Became adspirant engineer at the Vlissingen State Shipyard in 1857 and there successively appointed engineer 2nd class, first attending engineer and chief engineer. Published Treatises on Shipbuilding in 1859; Dictionary of Shipbuilding in 1861. From 1865-1867 he was in charge of supervising the construction of the armored ship “Prince Henry of the Netherlands” at Birkenhead.

Tideman must have exerted great influence on the minister’s opinion formation. The
concept of the ramship Prince Hendrik of the Netherlands, which had already been created, before the
commission to revise coastal defense took office, did not deviate much in terms of intent
Of Tideman’s ideas.

Tideman had great faith in the capacity of shipbuilding in the Netherlands, which not only had the
iron armored ships for the Navy, but also modern iron merchant ships should be
deliver. In 1865 he applied for a concession to establish a modern
shipbuilding company on the grounds of the former State Shipyard at Flushing. The location was convenient
through the deep waters. He wanted to establish a large industry there for building steamships
for Navy and merchant marine, railroad equipment and all other heavy equipment that the Netherlands has in
would need in the coming decades. The Secretary of the Navy supported the application, but Paul
of Flushing protested and the Interior Minister therefore opposed approval.
He saw an advantage over pre-existing industries. This argument prevented the
establishment of a state-subsidized modern shipbuilding company. Tideman went to
England to supervise construction of the Prince Henry of the Netherlands at Laird. He
left in April 1865 and stayed there until February 1867. He also spent his time studying
of the state of the art in England and Scotland in the field of marine and
mechanical engineering. He wrote treatises and books on the subject. Also, his brother Bruno Willem
Tideman, who had previously supervised the manufacture of armor plates, wrote a book
On the construction of iron ships. In this way, knowledge was transferred regarding the
design and construction of ships, which was important not only for naval shipbuilding,
but also for merchant shipping. In April 1867, the House of Representatives gave approval for the implementation
of fleet renewal with iron armored ships as by the committee to revise the
coastal defenses had been recommended. The Navy placed orders with private shipyards in England
and France. It was planned that those first ships would be at the Rijkswerf in Amsterdam
be recreated, and the minister accordingly sent engineers to England and France to
overseeing construction while looking off the trade. The first ships to arrive in
Netherlands were built were the ram monitors Cerberus and Bloodhound. Before that, the
drawings of the Heiligerlee and Crocodile supplied by Laird used. The NSBM provided the
complete machinery installations for these two ships. The third ship to visit the State Yard at
Amsterdam built was the ramship Guinea, made to the modified design of the
Buffalo that was under construction at Napier. This ship received an engine from the Royal Factory of
Steam and Other Tools. The Cerberus was completed in January 1869, making it the first in
Netherlands-built iron armored ship.

An impression of the quality of Dutch-built armored ships compared to the
products supplied by England can be obtained by ordering ships in England to
compare with the ships that were subsequently (re)built in the Netherlands. The speed of the in
Amsterdam-built Guinea on the sea trial was 9.5 knots at a power of 2460 ipk
(Indicator ground forces). The nearly identical Napier-built Buffalo was used during the
trial run achieved a speed of 12.7 knots at an indicative power of 2168 iphp. The large
speed difference cannot be explained from the difference in draft or water depth. Also, the in
Amsterdam-built monitors during the trial voyages underperformed the ones from England
originating ships. It is not known what caused those differences. Only from the
Bloodhound was known to be “dirty,” that is, the ship’s skin had grown on.
Because the first ships built in Holland were virtually replicas of those built in England
built ships, the difference in speed could not be due to a difference in size or shape
of the hull. Rather, the difference indicates a lower efficiency of Dutch machinery installations compared to those of British-built ships. Probably the mechanical and thermal losses were relatively large in the NSBM and Royal Factory’s
delivered machines, because the power in the steam cylinder was large enough on its own.

“Maiden voyage” of Sr Ms. Buffalo

from Glasgow to ‘Den Nieuwen Diep’ (Den Helder)

What preceded the construction of the Buffalo

The armored ships were used for action offshore and for guarding river mouths and harbor entrances, the ships were equipped, with an underwater, forward-projecting reinforced ram stern designed to ram an enemy ship below the waterline and thus inflict damage. Ships for operations on the high seas were called ramtower ships. These were armored ships with rotating gun turrets and a ram stern.

On June 10, 1867, “the Buffalo” was launched at Napiers & Sons and launched on March 10, 1868. On July 4, 1868, the technical sea trial took place in which the ship managed a maximum speed of 12.82 knots.

On July 23, 1868, the ship was officially transferred to the “Royal Dutch Navy” as a ramtor ship of the second class and placed under the command of Lieutenant at Sea (Kltz.) J.A.H.Hugenholtz (1825 – 1874), who brought the ship under bad weather conditions from Glasgow to Den Helder, where it entered the naval port of Den Helder the (Nieuwen Diep) on August 8, 1868. The ship attracted many interested parties who came from far and wide to witness this “marvel of engineering” with their own eyes. This made the “Buffalo” the first fully steam-powered unit within the Dutch navy.

Commander of Zr Ms. Buffalo is, Captain Lieutenant at Sea 2nd Class, … J.A.H. Hugenholz. He is assisted by his 1st officer Rosenwald, 2nd officers Weijmans and van der Heijde and the 3rd officer Jhr van de Wijck. A capable group of naval officers with a fine record of service. The other crew members (100 in all) as there are among others are the skipper, boatswain, machinists, stokers, oilmen, gun crew, carpenters, cooks, court masters and sailors are of impeccable conduct and are considered competent to sail this magnificent ramship.
God willing, said the commander, I will bring this ship, in the name of king and fatherland safely to “Den Nieuwen Diep” where it will be incorporated into our navy. This ship will be important to protect the coast of our beloved homeland from possible attacks from the sea.

With its two powerful 2,200 IPK steam engines capable of giving the ship a maximum speed of nearly 13 nautical miles (24 Km/hr), the brand new ship will choose sea, but on this maiden voyage the ship will maintain a cruising speed of no more than 6 miles (11 Km/hr) so that ship and crew can get used to each other.
On July 23, 1868 the Buffalo leaves berth at the Napier & Sons shipyard at Govan near Glasgow, it is a bright day with a light breeze from the south-west.

The ship steamed 13.5 miles west to Greenock roadstead to anchor. After being anchored, the “crew is called to the bow” and the commander addresses the crew.

On the occasion of the commissioning of “this soil,” he also lets out a three-word “long live the king. He also orders the court masters to provide the equipage, with an additional “earlam to the bell.” Officer corps and the lower crew members exude a feeling, of pride to be part of this home sailing with such a magnificent ship as Zr Ms. Buffalo commanded by such a respected officer.

The Buffalo will remain at Greenock Roadstead until August 3 to bunker coal and have final work done on the ship, scrubbing decks and getting the entire ship ready for sea. The officers and crew seem to discharge their duties diligently but for a few, the discipline on board is not yet entirely clear. Discipline should be enforced with a stern hand! On July 31, provost and quartermaster receive a month’s arrest, one for not properly performing his duty, the other for leaving his sloop ashore.
On the early morning of Aug. 3, the morning mist lay like a wet blanket over the water, a pale sun slowly trying to rise from the water. Loud orders sound which drift away across the water and the ship seems to slowly awaken from a solid sleep.
After a “general cleanliness inspection,” the ship is put under steam and at 06:15 the order is given to raise anchor. The chimney vomits black smoke, the ship trembles slightly, and slowly sets itself in motion, the crew can clearly hear the clacking sounds of the propeller blades beating away the water, ……the triumphant homeward journey has begun.

The commander gives final navigational instructions to the 1st officer, who walks across the bridge from starboard to port and back, closely monitoring the navigation of the ship. The ship is turned on the strong ebb current which in turn will certainly help the ship reach open sea quickly. Meanwhile, the National flag, the geus and the pennant are hoisted, the anchors and the gig are lashed seaworthy on deck.

Patches of fog linger above the surface of the water making navigation difficult, and at moderate speed the Buffalo steams down the Firth of Clyde.

As the coastline slowly faded, the 2nd officers compared compasses and held roll call in the battery (tower). At 07:15, the sea watch is set and the sailors continue scrubbing the deck and in the pit (pit deck), “general clean up” is done.
The commander notes the departure from the roadstead in the ship’s log……

The next morning, officers of the watch to port gauge the Isle of Man and report to the commander that the Buffalo is on course. From the Irish Sea, however, a thick fog is coming up; after ample deliberation, the commander decides to reduce speed and place two additional lookouts. Every 10 minutes the ship’s bell is rung, this is to warn ships in the vicinity. Attentive listening is done to ensure that no signals from other ships sailing nearby can be heard. Tension among the officers is rising, something that does not escape the other crew members. During the morning the fog is driven away by a watery sun, the weather situation worries the commander partly because of the drop in the weather glass (barometer) this predicts the arrival of a low pressure area moving across the ocean to these parts and may well cause bad weather.

Despite these bad omens, the commander orders the entire crew to provide an extra earlam to mark the birthday of the Queen of Sweden, Princess of the Netherlands.

On his rounds on deck, the commander smells food odors swirling out from the galley through the cuckoo on the foredeck, the cooks are making “ravenous thunders with bacon” today, the steward informed him. A hearty meal is the “best fuel” for young strong men on a warship so the commander believes, and he thinks back to his own training as an officer when he was a young man.

The engine room is taken care of by machinists, stokers and oilers. Lubrication, polishing and cleaning of 4 of the 16 fires is done, also “the ashes are wiped” (throwing ashes overboard, downwind) .

Patches of fog linger over the water for the next few days, the swell increasing sharply as the Buffalo passed ‘St Davids Head’ over port. The wind also seems to be picking up from the south-west, the ship seems to be rolling more and more, sticking her artfully decorated bow deeper and deeper into the waves. The tower crew reports that at this angle of heel, of 10 to 11 degrees the tower has a deviation from the deck and cylinder wall of up to 23 mm, much to the concern of the commander.

After a restless night, Buffalo passed Lands End and the Scilly Isles over port, the wind continuing to strengthen to a force 6 to 7 Bft. and shrinks to the northwest.
The Buffalo is now also getting solid water on deck and it is seen that a lot of water is flowing into the pit, through the cuckoos and the tower wall. The commander has the water level at the bottom of the ship gauged every hour to see if the bilge pumps can keep ahead of the water flowing in. This fortunately appears to be the case and orders are given to reduce the speed of the screws to 50 turns. Some of the crew felt “catty” and a few also became quite seasick on the swaying and pounding ship. Here, however, the officers on duty have little compassion. “An iron ship calls for iron men” is their opinion.

In the early morning of Aug. 7, the lookout, sees the coast of France looming on the horizon. The 1st officer gives the order to put the chains on the anchors and the Buffalo sails towards the pilot boat to take the North Sea pilot aboard.
It is still “a lumpy sea” but the ship is now taking on much less water which has significantly reduced the leakage.

Commander Hugenholz notes in the ship’s log, that adjustments must be made to the ship to reduce this leakage.
Commander and crew were delighted to catch sight of the Kijkduin lighthouse on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 8, knowing that within hours they would approach Den Nieuwen diep. The anchors are hung in place outboard, the commander addresses the equipage off the bow and gives the crew an extra earlam.

As the Buffalo enters the Schulpengat, a large crowd of interested people can be seen from afar standing to welcome the ship. After the Buffalo is moored in Den Nieuwe diep, the commander may be the first to welcome aboard the Minister of the Navy and the Sheriff at Night of the Dutch Navy. He reports a safe voyage reports that ship and machinery have functioned satisfactorily but leaks from deck are a problem. A crowd of interested people crowded onto the quay to witness this marvel of technology, and cries of admiration met ship and crew.

Commander Hugenholz concludes the ship’s journal with; “at the round all well” and notes the given water levels in the ship at the bilge pumps.
On Sunday, another parade will be held in honor of the arrival of Sr Ms. Buffalo, and then the crew will be given the opportunity to “go to church,” shore leave and enjoy Sunday rest.

After 10 days of coal bunkering, foraging, scrubbing and painting, the Buffalo seeks open sea again, toward the Irish Channel. However, this will be a tough trip with strong winds, gale force winds, thick air and rain with the ship being put to quite a test and taking on a lot of water. After some arduous days, the ship steamed up the Mersey toward Birkenhead for final adjustments to this particular ship and installation of the two 23 cm Armstrong guns (front loaders).

Punishments on board (19th and 20th centuries)

Until the “General abolition of corporal punishment” in 1879, handdagging was still in vogue. Corporal punishment was somewhat more humane than its implementation in the 17th century, though. There was no more blood involved. The punished person was handcuffed to the rigging, standing upright with his hands up. The loins were protected by a tightly stretched piece of cloth, with which the body was strapped against a mattress. The number of strokes of the punishment drill, which (at least after Official Gazette No. 96 of 1854) no longer exceeded fifty, was generally administered by two quartermasters, with the entire crew standing by.


A klassian was someone placed in the punishment class. This was not a special naval aviation measure. But in the navy, the classics were more conspicuous, because they were not sent to Flushing (later to Hoorn, but since the First World War abolished) as in the army, but served their punishment time on board. Before 1907, Marines also went to Flushing as classmates (with minimum punishment time of 7 months). In 1907, when Marines joined the ship’s service, even when posted ashore, the application of this penalty for Marines was made equal to that of sailors.

The seaman (usually this was limited to the sailor third, at most an occasional second class, who was somewhat disciplinarian and needed to be brought into line), who was placed in the punishment class of one to three months, lived and worked in isolation from the rest of the mates. He was dressed in a sailcloth work suit and from his hat the ribbon was removed. The dirtiest and dirtiest jobs were assigned to him, especially keeping the galleons clean; why he was also called “galleon captain.” During the time he was working, he was under the constant supervision of a sentry, and as soon as the work was finished, he was taken into the provost, which, during the time that the rest of the sailors had free time or were eating, remained open, but always with a sentry present. At night, the provost locked up. Freedom of movement the classian did not have and smoking was forbidden to him. This disciplinary measure was not often used in the Navy. Yet even now a commander can place a shipmate in the disciplinary class for some offense. There is of the klassian a moving song à la Speenhoff or Quérido: “Dear mother, will not weep, for your son is klassian” . . . . . .


The last of the provost-at-arms (officially called sergeant-provost) resigned in 1906 for long service. This abolished a function that for centuries waved the rod of justice over the shipmates on board, and whose executor supervised in the lower ship. The latter is still done today [1945] by the provost, but it is no longer a separate “profession.” A boatswain or quartermaster, and for the stoker’s quarters usually a corporal, is entrusted with the service of provost and is charged with the duty, with the seamen and any attached men, of keeping the quarters tidy and supervising them under “supreme supervision” of the officer in charge of the service of the lower ship.

The provost as a cell is still [1945] virtually on every ship today. Today, the provost’s sentence is called “severe arrest.” The use of the provost sentence was strongly opposed for many years. Although the “handing out” of provost sentences has been greatly reduced, it seems that this disciplinary tool cannot be entirely missed. The provost cell is also called squeeze, or Bouwman, in the walk. Squeeze to squeeze. Therefore, the unruly and troublesome boatman is also threatened with: “will row him into the squeeze”. Bouwman was for a series of years the serg. major of marines, who served as a jailer at the provost house in Den Helder. When the ships are inside, the provost’s sentence is not served on board, but ashore. People then said on board “He has so many days Bouwman.” From the moment, the provost-arrestee is informed of the punishment, he is under the supervision of a sentry, his bonnet ribbon is removed from his hat, his silk tie, belt and knife with scabbard and all his private belongings in coat or trouser pockets are temporarily “placed in insured custody.” Between two armed Marines and a non-commissioned officer (also a corporal) of the Marines, the provost~arrestee is then taken to the provost house on shore. It is mainly because of this method, which was and is felt to be degrading by the sailors, that people acted so strongly against the provost’s punishment.


It was not until 1854 that the most brutal punishments, at least in the Netherlands, were imposed by King William III in consultation with the Council of State and at the suggestion of the Reorganization Commission under
presidency of Lieutenant Admiral Prince Henry (William Frederick Henry) abolished and defined in 10 articles:

Art. 1. The penalties of keeling and falling off the yard are abolished.
Art. 2. The punishment of keelhauling with attendant penalties are replaced by wheelbarrow punishment. Falling from the ra with additional punishments are replaced: for the deck and non-commissioned officers by the punishments established in art. 39 and 40 of the Criminal Code for the men-of-war on water; for lesser seamen by boots. For both, the punishment imposed may be accompanied by dententie, as defined in Article 46 of the same Code.
Art. 3. The barrow punishment consists in placing the convicted in a military penal prison for the time of three to fifteen years, in order to be there, then the existing convictions for convicts of the land army, to be designed to work. Wheelbarrow punishment is always preceded by demotion, as referred to in Article 41 lit. a of the Code for deck and non-commissioned officers, and by expulsion from military rank for junior officers.
Art. 4. The end rope, which is henceforth used to the boots, is unthreaded, three-stranded, loosened and not exceeding the thickness of 15 thread on strand for convicts over 16 years. For convicts under 16 years of age, so called knutlets of not more than 9 ends of old twigged logline, without knots, are used.
Art. 5. The number of strokes does not exceed one hundred for those over 16 years old and sixty for those under 16 years old.
Art. 6. The blows with hand logs are inflicted with an end of white line, not heavier than 15 wire for convicts above 16 years, for convicts below 16 years the knutteltjes, described in article 4, are used. The number of strokes for the first mentioned does not exceed 50, for the latter 30.
Art. 7. The disciplinary punishments for deck officers and non-commissioned officers in art. 29 of the Rules of Martial Discipline for the Waterborne Military Personnel are replaced by the following punishments: demotion for a fixed or indefinite period of time, with or without arrest; arrest, with or without observation of duty.
Art. 8. To the punishments established in article 29 of the said regulations for lesser seamen, is added that of reduction in class for a definite or indefinite period.
Art. 9. At the sentencing and execution of booting or beating with handcuffs, of detention, arrest, confinement, putting on water and bread on board, the registers and commanders keep an eye on the places and air conditions, and all circumstances, by which the health of the prisoner can be too much harmed, and they may always order such intervals in the execution, as the state of health of the prisoner demands.
Art. 10. The Head of the Department of the Navy is granted the authority, upon recommendation of the commander of the messenger in whose roll they are enrolled, to dismiss from the service here in the country with a letter of discharge, or a specially marked passport. Order and command, that this shall be published in the Official Gazette, and that all Ministerial Departments, Authorities, Colleagues and Officers, whose business it may concern, shall enforce it.
Given at Assen, the 28th of June 1854.

Official Gazette 1854, No. 96.

Lieutenant Admiral Prince Henry, commander-in-chief of the fleet received the title of admiral in 1879 – six days before his death – on which occasion it was decided to “Completely abolish corporal punishment in the Royal Dutch Navy.”

Note: We Calvinist Dutch were a hypocritical people. Forced labor was not to be called that. It was reassuringly called “wheelbarrow punishment” (see Art. 3above). In the Navy, a light form persisted well into the 20th century. The punished were called klassian, but simply performed forced labor.

Napier and Sons Shipyard

In 1867 “the Buffalo” was put on the stack and launched more than 1.5 years later on March 10, 1868, at Napier and Sons Shipyard Govan upon Clyde (Glasgow).

Govan is famous worldwide for its place in the history of modern shipbuilding that began on the River Clyde as part of the rapidly expanding industrialization around Glasgow. In the mid-19th century, railroads developed and many new techniques were introduced for mass production of iron. Local production of iron was mainly used for the construction of bridges, ships, locomotives and industrial structures.

Robert Napier and Sons had a leading position among Clyde shipbuilders and ship designers in the Glasgow area. The shipyard, founded by Robert Napier in 1826, was moved to Govan in 1841 to build larger and modern ships. In 1853, sons James and John became co-directors within the company.

All the shipbuilders and designers in the Clyde region benefited from Napier’s good reputation and progressive ship,- and machinery designs. Recognized worldwide in 1840 as the best and most innovative British shipyard around. Many new machine shops were established by former employees who had gained their knowledge at Napier.

In 1821 Napier took over the Camlachie iron foundry from his nephew David Napier and in 1824 appointed David Elder (1795-1866) as manager. This firm constructed city waterworks stationary steam engines to drive pumps. In 1823, Napier built the first steam engine designed specifically for shipping. Designer David Elder (*father of John Elder) went on to develop many specialized steam engines for a variety of purposes. In 1826 a contract was won to supply steam engines and boilers for the newly built wooden steamship “Eclipse” and four years later for a number of ships of the “Glasgow Steam Packet Company.” In 1834, they received a contract to supply steam engines and boilers for the ships to be built from the “Dundee and London Shipping Company.”

In 1836 they obtained the order to build the “Berenice,” for the “East India Company” This was the shipping company’s first steamship. The wooden hull was built under sub-contract by “John Wood and Company shipyard” also located on the Clyde. In 1840, the first contract was signed with “Her Majesty’s Government” for the construction of a steamship HMS Akbar. Followed in 1841 by the construction of HMS Vesuvius and HMS Stromboli.

In 1842, Robert Napier and Son established a new shipyard on the Clyde at Govan in order to build larger and, in the future, ironclad ships, by which time the construction of wooden hulls was already partly outsourced to shipyards specializing in them along the banks of the Clyde.

Between 1840 and 1855, Napier supplied steam engines and boilers for the entire “Cunard Line” tributary ship
powered fleet (paddle fleet), the wooden hulls were made for Napier’s by “John
Wood of Port Glasgow and Steele & Co of Greenock”.
In 1850, Napier’s started building iron river steamers after which iron steam
powered marine vessels follow. In 1852, the first steam propeller ship was delivered to the
“Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company” (P & O line).

‘S.S. Scotia,’ built at Napier’s Shipyard in Govan, 1862
Launch of an iron ship with screw propeller at Napier’s Shipyard in Govan, c.1861

Between 1843 and 1864, the firm built 114 ships and by 1864 had more than 3,000 employees in
service. The yard builds the first “Cunard Line” steamship after which many more will follow.
After the death of Robert Napier in 1876, the shipyard facilities and customer base are being expanded via a
auction sold. March 1877 the shipyard is purchased by a group of shipbuilders
under the direction of former manager A. C .Kirk.
They continued to build ships until 1900 until the yard was incorporated into the firm “William
Beardmore and Company”.

Robert Napier was a pioneer of modern iron shipbuilding and design on the Clyde River.
He built the first successful steam engine in 1823 and in 1830 a number of specialized
mechanical workshops in Finnieston. By 1838, Napier was the largest supplier of
steam engines and boilers for Royal Navy ships.

Many modern ironclad warships were built for foreign navies and regarded as
“state of the art” in the second half of the 19th century.

Robert Napier

As a designer and shipbuilder, Napier was remarkably successful on the banks of the Clyde at

In 1841, he took over an old-fashioned shipyard in Govan and modernized it to build
Of modern iron ships. From Napier’s modern slipways, many warships were
cargo ships and ocean liners launched.

The iron plates and machine parts of the ship to be built and the boilers were initially
still made by “Parkhead Forge” , but in 1848 Napier took full control of it.
One of Napier’s most famous collaborators was *John Elder, who eventually made his own
successfully set up business in Govan.

Technical data

Namesign as a warshipHW 12 and as lodging ship: A884
Construction time1867 – 1868
Been in active service as a sailing warship 26 years1868 – 1894
Converted to lodge ship1894 – 1896
Steam Boilers, Machinery and Armor was sold as scrap metalFL. 29.284,-
Length over all62,68 m
Length between perpendiculars59,68 m
Width12,25 m
Cavity (distance top of keel > bottom of main deck)7,44 m
Tonnage/water displacement2198 Tonnes
Horizontal steam engines2x 2200 IPK
Yarrow trunk boilers4
Screws2x 3.66 m diameter
Trotmann stick anchors2
(disappeared during a docking?)
Fuel (coal) bunker capacity200 Tonnes
Signal mast height18 m
Max. speed12.82 nautical miles
Cruising speed average.6 nautical miles
Range (at cruising speed)1150 nautical miles
Cost shipFL. 1.117.756,-
(25% accounted for by steam engines)

Adjustments 1888

  • De stuurinrichting en het ankerspil omgebouwd op stoom.
  • Elektrische verlichting (t.b.v. zoeklicht) geïnstalleerd bij Smit in Slikkerveer.
  • Bepantsering vervangen door platen van smeedijzer met een stalen oppervlak.
  • Armstrong kanons worden vervangen voor een modern 28 cm. achterlaadkanon.
  • Bemanning bestaande uit; 115 opvarenden (incl. commandant en 6 officieren).

Museum ship 1974-present

Conversion to Museum Ship after 1974

The ship was officially withdrawn from service on January 18, 1974 and placed with the Dienst der Domeinen and later in the year transferred to the Municipality of Rotterdam, which took the former ramship on hire-purchase for a period of five years, for the service of the Prins Hendrik Maritime Museum.

On this date, her name also changed to “Buffalo” (without a name signal) since there was no longer a Naval officer, in command, on board.

1.9 million guilders was needed to restore the frequently rebuilt ship and turn it into a museum ship.

Eventually, the “Friends of the Buffalo Foundation” was established and the necessary funds were found from metal employers and the Municipality, so that April 17, 1975, restoration could begin at the yard of de Groot en van Vliet in Ridderkerk.

It was decided to restore the 1868 condition, but also to portray the era of lodge ship. It is decided to first restore the external silhouette of the ship based on the , probably most reliable, yard model.

Pipes, pipes and drains along the ship’s hull are removed.

The scrap-nailed armor box in the side walls, whose armor had been demolished in 1896 and where windows had been inserted, will be broken open and resealed.

The square windows installed in the skin will be eliminated, so that the ship’s wall will once again become a closed unit, except for a few portholes and gun ports.

The deck boards (8 cm thick teak) will be partly renewed, partly cut and turned and then caulked and pecked.

The cage bulwark and cap structure over the upper deck will disappear, and in its place will be a railing with pot lid and replica gun tower, a chimney with a replica “Refrigerator” at its base, command bridge, two steel masts and four windlasses, which used to supply air to the four boilers, a Cape helm and a large steering wheel.

Extensive plans are being made for the interior, including a lengthwise wide stairwell, fire-retardant walls and automatically closing fire doors.

After docking, during which the hull was painted black with an “apple-pink” stripe, the Buffalo was towed to Rotterdam on Oct. 30, 1976, where, lying in the Leuvehaven, restoration and furnishing continued, under the auspices of the Maritime Museum.

The period of restoration and mooring at the Maritime Museum

The ship was moored ashore and kept off the shore with two outriggers (braces), due to changing tides.

Two gangways to the upper deck were installed, and under one of these all the supply and return lines were installed.

A period of chipping, scratching and chipping paint followed to remove countless layers of paint, revealing the original hues: green for the Longroom and the wooded doors of the officers’ cabins.

Not much of the original inventory was left. After studying old photographs and ship inventory lists, a list of missing pieces was compiled. All over the Netherlands and sometimes in England, antique dealers and auctions were visited in search of the right objects.

What was still missing was recreated by the restoration crew.

The steam engines, which have been installed, come from former harbor tugs.

On the BB side is a Triple Expansion machine of 180 IPK and on the SB side is a Double-Compound Lentz Valve machine of 510 IPK. Both machines can be demonstrated by being driven by a small electric motor.

On Sept. 1, 1979, the ship was opened to the public. Immediately after opening, the ship proved to be a major attraction: by the end of 1979, more than 100,000 visitors had already viewed the Buffalo.

The restoration of the “foliage” on the bow and stern alone took 1.5 years.

In the first years after its opening, about 100,000 people visited the ship annually.

In 1995, the museum ship “Buffalo” received a medal of honor from the English “World Ship Trust” for the extraordinary way the ship was restored. From August 2007 to April 2008, the ship was closed to the public for several months due to an extensive refurbishment and redesign of the exhibition.

A good arrangement of the material on display with sufficient explanatory text pictures gives a good idea about the Buffalo as a warship and as a lodge ship.

Berth Hellevoetsluis 2013 – present

Due to budget cuts within the Rotterdam Maritime Museum, in 2013 the ship was moved to Hellevoetsluis, where it is currently berthed at Koningskade no.2. Management will come into the hands of the Museum Ship Buffalo Foundation, founded by historian Arie van den Ban, and transferred to the volunteers under the “Ramtorenschip Buffel Foundation” in Oct. 2016.

The Municipality of Hellevoetsluis has provided a structural grant to preserve the Buffalo as a unique 150-year-old Maritime Cultural Historical Heritage Site. A plan has been developed to develop the Buffalo together with Dry Dock Jan Blanken and the City Museum into a Historic Marine Quarter within the Hellevoet Fortress.

Lodging ship 1894-1974

Naval education and training facilities .

With the advent of steamships, the Navy also had to be better organized. In the days of sailing ships, only officers had training and sailors and other men were trained on board. With the advent of steamships, ordinary seafarers also had to have preliminary training to be able to go to sea by modern means. A great need arose for training facilities and resources in the Navy.

Facilities were needed for the training of various service branches. The Navy hardly had any barracks and buildings outside the KIM in Den Helder and the Quartermaster School in Leiden and thus had to rely on lodge ships. Previously, the Navy had also used lodge ships, but usually only to temporarily house the crew of a ship under maintenance or construction. Much of the larger ships that were no longer suitable from the fourth quarter of the nineteenth century were assigned a passive role as lodging or waiting ships. Rebuilding mostly involved removing the masts, chimney, machinery and armament and expanding the accommodation. On the “Buffalo,” 350 sailors-in-training were housed in the ship, which was originally designed for 115 sailors. A cage ramp was installed on deck to hold the men’s berths during the day. In addition, a tent structure was installed to protect the upper deck from weather. This was later replaced by a wooden preservation canopy.

Timeline lodge, waiting ship:

  • 01-04-1894 Hellevoetsluis (quartermaster training)
  • 11-06-1896 Hellevoetsluis (sailor training)
  • 1920-1926 Flushing.
  • 1926-1940 Den Helder
  • (training naval mates flying camp de Kooy)
  • 1940-1946 Amsterdam
  • (internment of naval personnel)
  • 15-05-1946 Rotterdam
  • (submarine service)
  • 01-09-1947 Amsterdam
  • (TOKM)
  • 01-09-1948 Den Helder
  • (lodge ship Commander of the Navy)
  • 01-02-1949 Rotterdam
  • (lodge ship approach crew Karel Doorman).
  • 1949-1951 Den Helder
  • (lodge ship for the benefit of ARGIS)
  • 1949-1973 Amsterdam
  • (lodge ship TOKM)
  • 18-01-1974 Transferred to Domains