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THE Comet Centenary celebrations took place in glorious weather from August 29-31 1912.

According to draught and tonnage, ships of all types anchored in lines from Greenock to Helensburgh.

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MANY a person has at the very start missed his true vocation in life, but has discovered it later on. Henry Bell was one of them.

At thirteen he was apprenticed to a stonemason, and not till three years afterwards did he fully make up his mind that he had chosen the wrong calling.

Echoes-of-old-Clyde-Paddle-Wheels-cover-wTHE debate on Henry Bell's claim to fame is mentioned in a book entitled 'Echoes of Old Clyde Paddle Wheels' by Andrew McQueen, first published in 1924 although there may have been more recent editions.

One chapter deals with the early history of steam ships, and here is what Andrew McQueen has to say: "All European steamships trace their descent from Henry Bell's Comet as their common ancestor. Nevertheless it is a mistake, though a common one, to describe Bell as the inventor of the Steamboat.

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THREE conferences were held in Glasgow in 2012 with relevance to the Comet bicentenary celebrations.

The first, entitled 'Innovation and Diffusion of Shipbuilding Technology — A Comet Bicentenary Seminar', was organised by the Centre for Business History in Scotland at the University of Glasgow and Glasgow Museums.

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An excerpt from Annals of Garelochside, written by W.C.Maughan in 1897, from which the above sketch is taken.

Henry Bell may almost be said to rank with George Stephenson, as a discoverer of the great capabilities of steam, as a motive power, in propelling ships through the water.

2nd-Comet-engine-w_thumb_medium300_256THE engine of Henry Bell's second Comet steamship is on display at Glasgow's transport museum beside the Clyde.

The Riverside Museum opened at the end of June 2011 and has proved a huge visitor attraction.

henry-bell-wTHE BELL'S connection with Helensburgh seems to date from 1806 and he was receiving mail there in July and September of that year.

In July of that year the Register of Sasines records that Henry Bell, Architect, of Glasgow, had feued on 29th May a piece of ground lying on the south side of the road from Dumbarton to the Kirk of Row. This was the site of the Baths Inn.

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