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Henry Bell

Henry Bell

Engineer and Pioneer of Steam Navigation

Born in Linlithgow. Moved later in life to work as a builder in Helensburgh and there his wife ran the newly founded public baths and kept an inn. He crossed over to Port Glasgow to persuade John Wood & Co to build him a ship to be powered by his steam engine. He called the vessel the Comet probably because astronomers at the time were excited by one then visible and it was successfully launched on the Clyde on 12/8/1812. It regularly sailed between Greenock and Glasgow.