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1845 - Screw Versus Paddle Proved

This year the Admiralty decided to prove the respective merits between the paddle wheel and the screw propeller. The two ships selected for the contest were the paddle wheel vessel Alecto and the propeller driven Rattler, both vessels being almost exactly equal in power and tonnage. The contest was staged at Spithead where the two vessels were secured stern to stern and, at the given signal, applied their full power. After a short pause the paddle wheel Alecto was towed stern first backwards by the screw driven Rattler at a speed of two and a half knots. (The screw of “Rattler” is displayed in the arcade of Storehouse No. 11).