William Creighton’s Critique of Pauly’s Schemes, December 1818

This letter, dated December 7, 1818, from William Creighton of Boulton and Watt to James Brown in London, provides a candid critique of Jean Samuel Pauly’s innovative proposals, including a boat propulsion system and an airship, referred to as the "great air fish." Creighton expresses a harsh skepticism about the practicality and value of these inventions, reflecting the critical stance often taken by industrial engineers towards unproven technologies of the time.

Key Points:

Pauly’s Boat Propulsion Scheme: Creighton discusses Pauly’s proposal for a new method of boat propulsion, involving a unique application of power to paddle wheels. He is highly critical, describing the scheme as "not worth a farthing" and expressing doubt about its practical value. Creighton emphasizes that rigorous testing would likely reveal the proposal's inadequacies.

Reference to “Great Air Fish” (Airship): The letter mentions Pauly’s ambitious airship project, termed the "great air fish." Creighton notes ...


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