Experiments Made on Board H.M.S. Terror with Perkins’ Apparatus for Warming Ships, &c.


H. M. S. Terror, Chatham, March 23, 1836.

Sir,—I now, according to promise, send you the result of our hot-water experiments, and I may perhaps as well add a description of the apparatus.

The furnace is situated under the galley, on what was the lower deck, and is constructed of brick, within a four-feet tank (supplied for the purpose;) the space around it sheathed with lead and copper. The coils of pipe are independent of each other, and work on either side of the ship, ascending obliquely to the side, and passing up to the main-deck abreast of the furnace. The “flow pipe” turns aft at ten or twelve inches above the deck, supported over the water-way piece; runs through the cabins until it gets to the stern; then suddenly back at a three-inch bend to the fore-bulkhead, at right angles three feet towards amid ships, aft again to the stern; then to the sternpost (three inch bend) and back to foremast bulkhead, where it turns into the gun-room, and passing round it on each side, takes the course of the cants to the foremast cabin, where it returns, within three inches of the deck, by the water-way, which is coated with fearnought. The length of pipe therefore between the furnace and the extreme bend in the cabin, is about 120 feet, at which distance, on the larboard or hottest pipe, the best course of experiments were made.

The external size of the pipe, which is of very pure wrought iron, is one inch diameter, with five-eighth inch bore. The expansion-tubes are placed just abaft the first bend coming from the furnace, and reach to the upper shelf-piece. In the event of the heat becoming too great in the furnace, the water is driven out of the coil, and fills the expansion-tube, which prevents the bursting of the apparatus.

This being the first trial of the kind on board of any vessel, becomes somewhat interesting, and, being successful, may probably supersede the use of stoves on board of large ships.

On the first day’s trial the galley-fire, which is on the main deck, was also lighted, in order to assist the draught, and take off the damp air which was in the ship. The furnace was also very damp from fresh mortar, &c. On the second and subsequent trials, the lower furnace only was made use of, and the hatches over the funnel kept closed. The several openings were also kept closed, to prevent the access of cold air. The first temperatures taken were those on the “flow pipe,” at the stern or extreme distance from the fire. After they exceeded 200 degrees, the general increase of diffused heat was registered as under the head of Cabin, Gun-room, Sick Bay, &c.

Commander, R N.

Report of the Temperature obtained by means of Perkin’s Warming Tubes, as registered on board H.M.S. Terror, at Chatham, on Friday 18th March, 1836.

Times.Larbd Pipe.Starbd Pipe.Cabin.Gun Room.Sick Bay.Remarks, &c.
103005554.554.5Fires lit—Atmosphere 55°.
 1610150Atmosphere 56.2°
 290100.058.5At this temperature Starboard Thermom stood some time.
 200120130° – On the flow
 2030150° – On the flow
 210160° – On the flow
 214565180° – On the flow
 2529130190° – On the flow
 38566.8200° – On the flow
20067.66667.5210 – On the flow