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A US paddle steamer of 380 tons, was the first vessel powered by steam propulsion to cross the North Atlantic when in May 1819 she made a passage from Savannah to Liverpool in 27 days. She was originally a sailing vessel but was later fitted with a small auxiliary engine with detachable paddle wheels that were unshipped and laid on deck when she was under sail. During her passage she was, in fact, under power for only 85 hours. The rest of the voyage was made under sail, as her master found that using wind and steam power together did not work—when she heeled while under sail one paddle dug deep into the water and the other beat on nothing but air. It was not until 1838 that one of the earliest ocean liners, the Sirius, crossed the North Atlantic entirely under her own power.

Subjects: Maritime History.

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