PENTECONTER Greek galley

The vessel depicted on this stamp I could not find a drawing of her on the internet, but she was given as a 600 BC used Greek cargo galley. On the stamp is depict a one row vessel with a ram bow. At that time the Greeks used a penteconter Greek galley for war, piracy and transport.

The penteconter, alt. spelling pentekonter and pentaconter, also transliterated as pentecontor or pentekontor (Greek: πεντηκόντορος, pentekontoros "fifty-oared"),plural penteconters was an ancient Greek galley in use since the archaic period. In an alternative meaning, the term was also used for a military commander of fifty men in ancient Greece.
The penteconters emerged in an era when there was no distinction between merchant and war ships. They were versatile, long-range ships used for sea trade, piracy and warfare, capable of transporting freight or troops. A penteconter was rowed by fifty oarsmen, arranged in a row of twenty-five on each side of the ship. A midship mast with sail could also propel the ship under favourable wind. Penteconters were long and sharp-keeled ships, hence described as long vessels (νῆες μακραί, nḗes markaí ). They typically lacked a full deck, and thus were also called unfenced vessels (ἄφρακτοι νῆες, áphraktoi nḗes).

Homer describes war ships during the Trojan War of various numbers of oars varying from twenty-oared, such as the ship that brought Chryseis back to her father, to fifty-oared, as Odysseus’ ship that had fifty men and as many as 120 men of the Boeotian ships.

According to some contemporary calculations, penteconters are believed to have been between 28 and 33 m (92 and 108 ft) long, approximately 4 m wide, and capable of reaching a top speed of 9 knots (17 km/h; 10 mph). However, modern reconstructions of penteconters, as well as other ancient ship designs such as triremes, manned by modern untrained amateurs, attained that top speed fairly easily on initial sea trials, which implies that the top speed of that type of ship in the ancient era had to be substantially higher. Ancient Greeks also used the triaconter or triacontor (τριακόντορος triakontoros), a shorter version of the penteconter with thirty oars. There is a general agreement that the trireme, the primary warship of classical antiquity, evolved from the penteconter via the bireme. The penteconter remained in use until the Hellenistic period, when it became complemented and eventually replaced by other designs, such as the lembos, the hemiolia and the liburnians.

Libya 1983 100dh sg 1304, scott
Vietnam 1986 3d sg 991, scott1689


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Postby shipstamps » Fri Sep 05, 2008 10:44 am

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Montreal had a steamship, the ACCOMMODATION, as early as 1809. She was built by the brewer John Molson, (also depict on the stamp) who hailed from Lincolnshire, and his two British partners, John Bruce and Captain John Jackson.
Built in 1809 at Montreal, Canada.
Tonnage ?, dim. 85 x 16 ft. She could carry 20 passengers.
The iron engine cylinder and piston were cast at the Three Rivers in the Forges de Saint-Maurice, the Montreal firm of George Platt and Ezekiel Cutter supplied other parts of the engine.
So far the only picture of the ACCOMMODATION was found on a dinner plate, part of a set used in one of the later Molson’s steamboats.
Her first voyage was from Montreal to Quebec in Nov. 1809, the passage took about 36 hours.
In the Quebec Mercury the following was published:
On Saturday morning, at eight o’clock arrived here from Montreal being her first trip the steam-boat ACCOMMODATION, with ten passengers. This is the first vessel of the kind that ever appeared in this harbour. She is continually crowded with visitants. She left Montreal on Wednesday, at two o’clock, so that her passage was sixty-six hours, thirty of which she was at anchor. She arrived at Three Rivers in twenty-four hours. She has at present berths for twenty passengers, which next year will be considerable augmented. No wind or tide can stop her. She has 75 feet keel, and 85 feet on deck. The price for a passage up is nine dollar and eight down – the vessel supplying provisions. The great advantage attending a vessel so constructed is that a passage may be calculated on to a degree of certainty in point of time which cannot be the case with any vessel propelled by sails only. The steam-boat receives her impulse from an open double-spoked perpendicular wheel, on each side, without any circular band or rim. To the end of each double spoke is fixed a square board, which enters the water, and by the rotary motion of the wheel acts like a paddle. The wheels are put and kept in motion by steam operating within the vessel. Commercially the venture was not a success, and Molson built a much larger steamboat the SWIFTSURE two years later.
The ACCOMMODATION was broken up already in 1812.
Auke Palmhof
Source: Ship Monthly 1967 vol 2 no 4 page 117. Mills steam vessels records. Powered Ships the beginnings by Richard Armstrong.
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