John Knox

First Steamboat on the Clyde

On 15 August 1812, the first regular steamboat passenger service along the River Clyde (or anywhere in Europe for that matter) was launched by Henry Bell: Knox’s painting commemorates the Comet’s maiden voyage. Capturing the “most beautiful view” from Dalnottar Hill often commented upon by travel writers, it includes the sails of a boat entering the recently completed Clyde Canal in the foreground. It is an image of passage and progress, which now included steam-powered tourism.

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