Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company

Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Company was a British engineering company based on the River Tyne at Wallsend, North East England.



Charles Algernon Parsons founded the company in 1897 with £500,000 of capital. It specialised in building the steam turbine engines that he had invented for marine use. The first vessel powered by a Parsons turbine was Turbinia, launched in 1894. The successful demonstration of this vessel led to the creation of the company and the building of engines for the first two turbine-powered destroyers for the Royal Navy, HMS:Viper and HMS:Cobra, launched in 1899. Although both these vessels came to grief, the new engines were not to blame, and the Admiralty was convinced. Parsons' son became a director in the company and was replaced during the First World War by his daughter Rachel Parsons.

The rotating blade assembly of a Parsons marine turbine

Parsons turbines powered the Royal Navy's first turbine powered battleship, HMS:Dreadnought, and the World's first turbine ocean liners, RMS:Victorian and Virginian. 73,000 horsepower (54,000:kW) Parsons turbines powered the 31,000:GRT Cunard express ocean liners RMS:Mauretania and RMS:Lusitania.

Turbine reduction gearing of Vespasian, 1908

All early marine turbines drove their propellers directly. Parsons developed helical reduction gearing for marine turbines, and in 1908 converted the cargo ship Vespasian to turbine propulsion with reduction gearing.

Four direct-drive Parsons turbines powered battleship USS:Arizona. They were designed to produce a total of 34,000 horsepower (25,000:kW), but achieved only 33,376 horsepower (24,888:kW) in Arizona's more

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