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Henry Bell & Comet

19th century account of Henry Bell

An excerpt from Annals of Garelochside, written by W.C.Maughan in 1897, from which the above sketch is taken.

Henry Bell may almost be said to rank with George Stephenson, as a discoverer of the great capabilities of steam, as a motive power, in propelling ships through the water.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 January 2015 17:59 )

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Bell's place in history

THE debate on Henry Bell's claim to fame is mentioned in a book entitled 'Echoes of Old Clyde Paddle Wheels' by Andrew McQueen, first published in 1924 although there may have been more recent editions.

One chapter deals with the early history of steam ships, and here is what Andrew McQueen has to say: "All European steamships trace their descent from Henry Bell's Comet as their common ancestor. Nevertheless it is a mistake, though a common one, to describe Bell as the inventor of the Steamboat.

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City museum displays Comet engine

THE engine of Henry Bell's second Comet steamship is on display at Glasgow's transport museum beside the Clyde.

The Riverside Museum opened at the end of June 2011 and has proved a huge visitor attraction.

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Three City Conferences

THREE conferences were held in Glasgow in 2012 with relevance to the Comet bicentenary celebrations.

The first, entitled 'Innovation and Diffusion of Shipbuilding Technology — A Comet Bicentenary Seminar', was organised by the Centre for Business History in Scotland at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Museums.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 October 2012 12:19 )

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The Henry Bell Story

THE BELL'S connection with Helensburgh seems to date from 1806 and he was receiving mail there in July and September of that year.

In July of that year the Register of Sasines records that Henry Bell, Architect, of Glasgow, had feued on 29th May a piece of ground lying on the south side of the road from Dumbarton to the Kirk of Row. This was the site of the Baths Inn.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 07 April 2015 17:40 )

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First 2018 Open Meeting

Mike-Thornley-wThe first 2018 Open Meeting will be held at Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm on Wednesday January 31. Mike Thornley will talk about the Glenarn garden at Rhu. Anyone interested most welcome.

Winter Talks 2017-18

  • Wednesday September 27 2017 — AGM; then Professor John Hume: History of local churches
  • Wednesday October 25 — Cleland Sneddon: Childhood holidays in Rosneath
  • Wednesday November 29 — David Bruce: Greatrex, Forger and Photographer

  • Wednesday January 31 2018 — Mike Thornley: The Glenarn Garden
  • Wednesday February 28 — Bruce and Nicola Jamieson: Developing the Mackintosh Club
  • Wednesday March 28 — Richard Reeve: A Brief History of the Rosneath Peninsula

Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm.

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