A steamboat or steamship, sometimes called a steamer, is a ship in which the primary method of propulsion is steam power, typically driving propellers or paddlewheels. Steamships usually use the prefix designation SS, S.S. or S/S.
The term steamboat is usually used to refer to smaller steam-powered boats working on lakes and rivers, particularly riverboats; steamship generally refers to larger steam-powered ships, usually ocean-going, capable of carrying a (ship's) boat. The S.S. Humbolt engine room, to the right, is a concept drawing during the construction of the ship. The term steam wheeler is archaic and rarely used. In England, "steam packet", after its sailing predecessor, was the usual term; even "steam barge" could be used. The French transatlantic steamer SS La Touraine was probably the last of her type to be equipped with sails, although she never used them. Steamships in turn were overtaken by diesel-driven ships in the second half of the 20th century. Most warships used steam propulsion from the 1860s until the advent of the gas turbine in the early 20th century.
Famous quotes containing the word steamboat:
“We approached the Indian Island through the narrow strait called Cook. He said, I xpect we take in some water there, river so high,never see it so high at this season. Very rough water there, but short; swamp steamboat once. Dont paddle till I tell you, then you paddle right along. It was a very short rapid. When we were in the midst of it he shouted paddle, and we shot through without taking in a drop.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)