This section is from "Scientific American Supplement Volumes 275, 286, 288, 299, 303, 312, 315, 324, 344 and 358". Also available from Amazon: Scientific American Reference Book.
I wish, before quitting this section of my subject, to call your attention to two very interesting but very different kinds of marine engines. One is the high-speed torpedo vessel, or steam launch, of which Messrs. Thornycroft's firm have furnished so many examples. In these, owing to the rate at which the piston runs to the initial pressure of 120 lb. and to very great skill in the design, Messrs. Thornycroft have succeeded in obtaining a gross indicated horse-power for as small a weight as half a cwt., including the boiler, the water in the boiler, the engine, the propeller shaft, and the propeller itself.
To obtain the needed steam from the small and light boiler, recourse has to be made to the aid of a fan blast driven into the stoke-hole. From the use of a blast in this way advantages accrue. One is, as already stated, that from a small boiler a large amount of steam is produced. Another is that the stoke-hole is kept cool; and the third is that artificial blasts thus applied are unaccompanied by the dangers which arise, when under ordinary circumstances the blast is supplied only to the ash-pit itself.