Monday, 15 July 2019

SS Hindostan - amazing wooden paddle steamer (1842) carried first mail and passengers from England to Calcutta

first ship from Britain carrying mail. SS Hinduostan /en.wikipedia.org/
Johnson's Hindostan or British India map, 1864 wikipedia
Above image:  ''Hindustan is derived from the Persian word Hindū cognate with the Sanskrit Sindhu. The Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. Hence, the Rigvedic sapta sindhava (the land of seven rivers) became hapta hindu in the Avesta. It was said to be the "fifteenth domain" created by Ahura Mazda, apparently a land of 'abnormal heat'. In 515 BCE, Darius I annexed the Indus valley including Sindhu, the present day Sindh, which was called Hindu in Persian. During the time of Xerxes, the term "Hindu" was also applied to the lands to the east of Indus'' ................ (vide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindustan)_

Do you have any idea about the start of first passenger service including cargo and mail from England to India?  Do you know way back  centuries ago many ocean - going ships carried the name of ''Hindustan''?
SS Hindostan (1842) was a  wooden paddle steamer run by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P & O) sailing between Southampton and Calcutta.  Unfortunately, it sank near Calcutta during a cyclone in 1864.

This was the first ever steam auxiliary ship to run between the Suez Canal and Calcutta; During the early colonial period, when the East India Company became well-established after having taken over the whole of Bengal and adjacent lands, regular navigational shipping services between India and England became a dire necessity.  This was to bring in work force, cargo and mail from England. So, EIC  entered a contract with the P & O company mainly for carrying mail. 
Hindostan ship had three masts for sails and paddles run by 520 horsepower engines, and was capable of carrying 2017 tons; 249 in length, it was made in a  Liverpool dockyard under the direction of  one Charles Wye Williams, marine engineer,  

It began its long voyage on  24  September 1842 from Southampton to Calcutta. It took 91 long days to sail to Calcutta, harbor;  it was a 4,787- mile journey from Calcutta to Suez in 25 days 3 hours made despite SW monsoon winds and rains. It was boon for the mercantile traders. In July 1849 Queen Victoria requested to visit Hindostan at anchor in Southampton water close to Osborne Hose on the Isle of Wight. Indeed, a great honor for the shipping Co - P&O.

It plied via Suez and Calcutta with stopovers at Colombo and Madras. Its very first passage round the Cape of Good Hope to Calcutta was faster than the overland mail to Bombay via Mediterranean  and the Suez. There was provision for 102 First Class passengers, including their servants. It was a bimonthly service between Suez and Calcutta. 
As interesting feature is, giving due importance to the comforts of the passengers on a long journey, the ''passenger cabins'' were in the middle of the ship  where the effect of pitching and rolling will be much less.  

Tit-bits:
en.wikipedia.org/

Above image: Left: Riveted steel paddle wheel from a side wheeler paddle steamer on the lake of Lucerne. Right: detail of a steamer..............................
side wheel steamer. en. wikipedia. org.

Above image:  Advance, a Greenock-built American Civil War blockade-running side wheel steamer............................


In the case of a paddle steamer  or steam boat it is   powered by a steam engine that drives paddle wheels to propel the craft through the water. In antiquity, paddle wheelers followed the development of poles, oars and sails, where the first uses were wheelers driven by animals or humans.

In the early 19th century, steam-powered boats.got the propulsion using  paddle wheels.  Paddle propulsion was largely superseded by the screw propeller in the later period. and other marine propulsion. This system in marine propulsion  had a higher efficiency,  in rough or open water. Paddle wheels continue to be used by small pedal-powered paddle boats and by some ships that operate tourist voyages. The latter are often powered by diesel engines.