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How best to propel a ship through the water remained a constant focus for inventive effort throughout the nineteenth century.

Henry William's 1877 feathering paddle-wheel
Henry William's 1877 feathering paddle-wheel
Joseph Bramah's screw propeller
Joseph Bramah's screw propeller
Bennet Woodcroft's spiral propeller
Bennet Woodcroft's spiral propeller
Isaac Dripps's screw propeller, 1840
Isaac Dripps's screw propeller, 1840
Propeller pattern
Propeller pattern
Samuel Swett, Jr.’s crank paddle patent model, 1841
Samuel Swett, Jr.’s crank paddle patent model, 1841
Fletcher Felter's 1854 paddle wheel
Fletcher Felter's 1854 paddle wheel
George Swartz's propeller, 1857
George Swartz's propeller, 1857
Daniel Merritt's crank paddle, 1869
Daniel Merritt's crank paddle, 1869
Tug for towing canal boats, 1871
Tug for towing canal boats, 1871
Cornelius Schilling's patent model, 1871
Cornelius Schilling's patent model, 1871
Patent model for Harvey Fowler's canal-boat propulsion device
Patent model for Harvey Fowler's canal-boat propulsion device
Jackson Harrington's 1875 propeller
Jackson Harrington's 1875 propeller
Alvord's endless-chain propeller, 1876
Alvord's endless-chain propeller, 1876
Eckhardt's vessel propulsion system, 1876
Eckhardt's vessel propulsion system, 1876
John MacHaffie's 'Citropeller,' 1892
John MacHaffie's "Citropeller," 1892
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