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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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