Western Steamboat Glossary

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a-frame: pair of pivoting posts rigged for lifting

acorn: common finial design

ash pan: grated area beneath furnace

ash well: pipe running from ash pan out hull bottom

arm: paddlewheel spoke

backing bell: middle tone, used for signaling engineer

backing line: tie-up for pulling a vessel in reverse

balance bucket: heavy bucket (plank) in the paddlewheel used to balance weight of crank and pitman arm.

balanced rudder: rudder with area forward of tiller post.

bar: in a river, a sand or gravel obstruction/shallow area

beam: hull width

beam engine: used to transfer motion from piston to crankshaft

bed plate (or sole plate): cast iron base for marine engine

berths: beds aboard, or cabins containing beds

bilge: bottom of the hull

bilge streaks: longitudinal timbers atop frames or ribs in the bilge.

boiler: water-filled metal tank heated to produce steam for locomotive power

boiler, Cochran’s: early watertube boiler

boiler, double ended scotch: furnaces at each end

boiler, drop-flue: a return flue design which drops the carbons downward

boiler, dry bottom and wet bottom:

boiler deck: level above the boilers

bow: forward area of vessel

bowsprit: spar, forward-raking, to which tackle, sails and rigging attach.

braces: hogging posts and associated timbers

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