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An excerpt from Annals of Garelochside, written by W.C.Maughan in 1897, from which the above sketch is taken.

Henry Bell may almost be said to rank with George Stephenson, as a discoverer of the great capabilities of steam, as a motive power, in propelling ships through the water.

Echoes-of-old-Clyde-Paddle-Wheels-cover-wTHE debate on Henry Bell's claim to fame is mentioned in a book entitled 'Echoes of Old Clyde Paddle Wheels' by Andrew McQueen, first published in 1924 although there may have been more recent editions.

One chapter deals with the early history of steam ships, and here is what Andrew McQueen has to say: "All European steamships trace their descent from Henry Bell's Comet as their common ancestor. Nevertheless it is a mistake, though a common one, to describe Bell as the inventor of the Steamboat.

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THREE conferences were held in Glasgow in 2012 with relevance to the Comet bicentenary celebrations.

The first, entitled 'Innovation and Diffusion of Shipbuilding Technology — A Comet Bicentenary Seminar', was organised by the Centre for Business History in Scotland at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Museums.

Replica_at_Port_Glasgow_thumb_medium350_371AN exhibition entitled 'Clyde Celebration: Comet to Waverley' took place from September 13-16 1997 in the Pillar Hall, Victoria Halls, Helensburgh, and was a celebration of the Clyde and all that the river meant to the people of Helensburgh.

A fine working model of the Comet was displayed along with maps, photographs and text tracing the history of the development of the burgh with the coming of steam navigation.

2nd-Comet-engine-w_thumb_medium300_256THE engine of Henry Bell's second Comet steamship is on display at Glasgow's transport museum beside the Clyde.

The Riverside Museum opened at the end of June 2011 and has proved a huge visitor attraction.

henry-bell-wTHE BELL'S connection with Helensburgh seems to date from 1806 and he was receiving mail there in July and September of that year.

In July of that year the Register of Sasines records that Henry Bell, Architect, of Glasgow, had feued on 29th May a piece of ground lying on the south side of the road from Dumbarton to the Kirk of Row. This was the site of the Baths Inn.

Replica_at_Port_Glasgow_thumb_medium350_371ON August 6 2012 it was the bicentenary of the first commercial sailing of Henry Bell’s Comet steamship.

A committee organised celebrations on both sides of the Clyde, and the members were well aware that the 100th and 150th anniversary celebrations set a high standard to be followed.

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