The P.S. Lady Sherbrooke
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Design of the Engine

In 1816, an agreement was reached between John Molson and the Birmingham, England based firm of Boulton and Watt, for the construction of a steam engine for the future P.S. Lady Sherbrooke. Boulton and Watt started the construction of the two boilers in 1816, then at the beginning of 1817 they built the steam engine itself.

Design of the engine Design of the engine

On May 10, 1817 the different components of the engine were loaded onto four barges and sent to Liverpool, England. Once there, they were transferred to the hold of the brig Parker and Sons. The crossing of the Atlantic Ocean took 47 days. On July 14 the Parker and Sons docked in Quebec City.

Over two weeks later, on July 31, the hull of the Lady Sherbrooke, arrived in Quebec City. Designed by the Montréal shipbuilder Isaac Johnson the Lady Sherbrooke was towed from Montréal by its older sister the Malsham. The mechanic John Bennet, a former employee of Boulton and Watt, assembled the engine on board the Lady Sherbrooke and prepared her for her first voyage.

The steam engine of the Lady Sherbrooke cost Molson £3,300. It weighed 70 tons and could produce 60 horse power with just one, albeit very powerful, cylinder. What a cylinder! It measured 2 meters in height with a diameter of 1.5 meters. Technically speaking a low pressure engine. The paddle wheels that this engine turned measured 6 meters in diameter generating a maximum water speed of the vessel was around 10.79 knots or 20 kilometers per hour.

A journalist from the Montreal Herald described the engine as: "Her engine, (a 60 horsepower,) is constructed on the most approved plan, and comprehends all the recent improvements both for speed and safety." (15 April 1819).

The engine was so durable that when the P.S. Lady Sherbrooke was dismantled in 1826, the engine was transferred to the newest steamer of the Molson fleet, the P.S. John Molson.