Pettit Smith, marine engineer, shaking hands with Thomas Pilgrim, 1854-1859.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Studio portrait photograph by Maull and Polyblank of Sir Francis Petit Smith (1808-1874) shaking hands with Thomas Pilgrim. Smith was the inventor of the screw propeller and, in 1839, built the first succesful screw-propelled steamer, the 'Archimedes', which convinced the English Admiralty of their superiority over sailing vesels. Then, in 1843, he built the 'Rattler', the first screw warship for the Royal Navy. In 1860, Smith was appointed curator of the Patent Office Museum, whose collections formed part of the newly created Science Museum in 1870. Dimensions: 200mm x 150mm.