Scale: 1:96. A modern exhibition style full hull model of the iron screw steamer ‘Agamemnon’ (1865). Built by Scott of Greenock and launched 1865, it measured 309 feet in length by 38 feet in the beam and had a tonnage of 2212 gross, and was fitted with an early compound engine capable of a speed of 10 knots. This model illustrates an early steering arrangement, introduced by John Beattie of Liverpool, whereby the rudder was fitted forward of the rudder in an iron frame fixed to the sternpost on the keel.
The introduction by Alfred Holt’s Ocean Steamship Company of the ‘Agamemnon’ into the very competitive tea trade in 1865 marked a dramatic turning point in the fortunes of the long distance steamer. Consuming only about 20 tons of coal a day, it was capable of steaming 8,500 miles without re-fuelling. This significant cut in coal consumption enabled it to carry 2800 tons of cargo, two or three times as much as most contemporary sailing ships, and to make regular passages of 65 days compared to the 90 days or more taken by the sailing tea clippers. The ‘Agamemnon’ was sold to Nederland Stoomvaart Maatschappij Oceaan (NMSO) in 1896 before eventually being broken up in 1899.