[Ruth and Tom Pinch] never [had] half so good a stroll as down among the steamboats on a bright morning. There they lay, alongside of each other; hard and fast for ever, to all appearance, but designing to get out somehow, and quite confident of doing it; and in that faith shoals of passengers, and heaps of luggage, were proceeding hurriedly on board. Little steam-boats dashed up and down the stream incessantly. Tiers upon tiers of vessels, scores of masts, labyrinths of tackle, idle sails, splashing oars, gliding row-boats, lumbering barges, sunken piles, with ugly lodgings for the water-rat within their mud-discoloured nooks; church steeples, warehouses, house-roofs, arches, bridges, men and women, children, casks, cranes, boxes horses, coaches, idlers, and hard-labourers; there they were, all jumbled up together, any summer morning, far beyond Tom's power of separation.

In the midst of all this turmoil there was an incessant roar from every packet's funnel, which quite expressed and carried out the uppermost emotion of the scene. They all appeared to be perspiring and bothering themselves, exactly as their passengers did; they never left off fretting and chafing, in their own hoarse manner, once; but were always panting out, without any stops, 'Come along do make haste I'm very nervous come along oh good gracious we shall never get there how late you are do make haste I'm off directly come along!' — Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewitt, ch. 40

Vessels propelled by human effort alone — boats rowed and poled

Canal Barges

Sailing Ships and Barges

Steam boats and ships: Paddlewheelers

Steam Boats and ships with screw propellers

Related Web Resources — Maritime Museums

All these sites are located in the UK and will open in a new window; close it to return to the Victorian Web. The first item below contains many maritime and related sites, but I include only those with large Victorian collections. [GPL].

Related Web Resources — Individual Preserved Vesssels (outside the VW)


Victorian Web Overview Victorian Technology

Last modified 3 June 2014