By Ernest Shannon, D.E. Winterbone, D.E. Winterbone, Keith Moore
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A good scholar, Russell graduated with an MA from Glasgow University and was made temporary Professor of Natural Philosophy on the death of John Leslie in 1832. He commenced a series of researches into wave theory which resulted in his discovery of the "wave of translation". In practical terms, this allowed Russell to devise a wave-line system for the design and construction of ships which would revolutionise naval architecture. ) earned him the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. More importantly, vessels were built to his specifications: these were initially small iron steamers such as the Wave, but the years 1839-1840 saw the launch of larger ocean-going ships, the Flambeau and Fire-King.
PEACOCK observed, that although the columns might be put so far back as to clear the lines, columns were always very objectionable and inconvenient at the side of the engines, and he thought the central column much preferable. Mr. COWPER suggested, that with a roof of only 150 feet span, the columns might be entirely done away with, and the cost not be increased more than £1 per square. Mr. PEACOCK observed, with respect to lifting the carriages into the upper shop, that it was effected in two minutes by the worm hoist; the time was not an object of importance, as there were only about two carriages raised per day.
Mr. MENELAUS replied that a high pressure non-condensing engine had been adopted, because of the difficulty in getting a sufficient supply of water for condensing in that situation; it was worked with 60 Ibs. steam, expanding through about 2-3rds of the stroke. The CHAIRMAN asked whether the waste gases from the blast furnaces were used for heating the steam boilers. Mr. MENELAUS replied that they did not make use of the waste gases for that purpose, not having been able as yet to get a completely satisfactory result from their use; raw coal was used in most of their furnaces with cold blast, and was not so suitable as in other cases for taking off the waste gases from the furnace; the make of the furnaces was very large, as much as 235 tons per week being obtained from one furnace working with raw coal and cold blast.