- Letter Writer
- History - general, Naval technology, Letter to the Editor
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- April 1993 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
I wish to congratulate you on the content of the December 1992 issue of the Naval Historical Review, I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially your follow up article on the S.S. SUEVIC.
There was one statement in the article which aroused the dormant engineer in me, and which may add further interest to this historic incident.
The statement that the oxy-acetylene flame was unknown in 1907 is not correct, although no doubt it was not readily available at the time of the stranding as it was necessary to take urgent action however drastic, if any of the ship was to be saved.
The method of producing oxygen from liquid air developed by Linde in 1893 made the production of oxygen in commercial quantities a viable proposition.
This in turn led to the development of the oxy-acetylene torch by Fouch and Picard in 1903. The device was certainly in use in workshops in France by 1904 for I have a photograph of it being used there at that time. No doubt its use for welding and cutting quickly extended to British workshops and shipyards.
So universal has the use of the oxy-acetylene torch become that it is difficult to visualise life without it.
Norman C. Rivett