This paper treats the progress of surface condensers used in Japanese mercantile and war ships from 1870s to 1945. The period treated corresponds to the most important period in the whole history of the surface condenser. Based on the working drawings kept in Nagasaki Ship Building Works of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry Corporation, a chronological table for condenser specifications is made and the progress in the condenser structure is described. Another chronological table is made based on a few documents of the Japanese Imperial Navy. From these tables the relation between the cooling surface area and the steam consumption or the power generated by the steam engine and turbine and the relation between the number and the length of tubes are clarified graphically. Also is described the progress in the speed of the cooling water, vacuum, tubes, shells, design policy, manufacturing and materials with reference to the structure and the performance. Epochs took place in 1876, 1895 and 1910, when the improvement of performance corresponded to the change of structure, and then followed the changes of manufacturing and materials. The relation between the cooling surface area and the steam consumption for the condensers of 722 mmHg vacuum in 1940s is applicable to large condensers of today. The design policy was somewhat different between condensers of mercantile and war ships. In general, the condenser technology in Japan was a modification of the imported one. However, Japanese originals appeared in 1940s. Main events in the technological progress are summarized in a chronological table.
Study on the history of technology has its own history. In the earliest days, technology was looked upon as a gift from mythological world by gods. With the advance in natural sciences in 18th Century, history of technology changed into a complex body of sequences of inventions and findings. The beginning of 20th Century was marked by finding the importance of economic influences on the history of technology. After the World War II, the intrinsic laws of development of technology attracted attention and a radical transition from the externalist view to the internalist view is now taking place. The study on the intrinsic laws of development needs naturally a close cooperation of specialists of technology with historians. The increasing efforts of scientific and technological societies including MESJ, JSME and others are due results of such transition in the view on the history of technology. This paper gives a brief description of the study on marine engineering history in Japan by MESJ. The study is hoped to contribute to the future development of marine engineering in Japan as well as in now developing countries by giving insight into the mechanism of technological develop-ments.
A role of imported steamships and their main engines at the beginning of modern industry in Japan is scrutinized and examined in this paper. Before the first arrival of steamship to Japan in the year 1853, some of Japanese artisans had endeavoured to make up a side-lever engine only in dependence on a translation of a Dutch textbook. They successfully built up a steamship and it operated well in 1854, but these trials were suspended and many western steamships were imported, because it was so difficult to make up complicated marine engines such as an oscillating engine without machine-tools and related industry. In addition, there was no time to prepare for the foreign pressure. But the importation of steamships played a great part for the progress of Japanese marine engineering. At that time, in Europe the marine engine had been in the era of innovation, for example, the spread of oscillating engine or double-cylinder engine etc., and also the change from paddle wheel to screw in propeller. Steamships equipped new-type engines were imported successively, and Japan could keep up with the times. In 1862, excellent engineers went abroad for study and joined in construction of an ordered ship in the Netherlands, thus they could learn in practice. Using the imported ships, Japanese engineers grew accustomed to operation and repair of new machines. There was a rather good understanding of the necessity of dockyards for repair and such shipyards made a contribution to the development of marine engine in Japan.
Marine use turbine-generators in Japan have remarkably developed concerning their reliability, overall turbine efficiency, operation easiness, governing performance and heat recovery system, etc. This paper explains the technological progress of marine use turbine-generator in Japan since 1911, when Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipbuilding Co. (present Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co.) completed 1st unit of Parsons' type steam turbine for 200 kW DC generator. Summary of historical topics on marine turbo-generator is listed in the table. In 1982, Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Co., and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Co. completed the mixed pressure type turbine-generator for motorship, and they are efficiently operated on board. About seventy years have passed since 1911, and we can keep in mind of various efforts which led to modern turbine-generators.
As everybody knows, the present stage of technical level in Japan, regarding to production, design, research and development of the marine engines field, is remarkably high. In order to sound the origin of those technical progress, it has been investigated on the technical history of marine internal combustion engines in Japan as one of the projects of the Committee of Marine Engineering History in Japan in MESJ as one of their projects. This paper gives an essential materials compiled from the above studies. It was the first step of marine internal combustion engines in Japan that kerosene oil engines and gas engines began to be applied to small river boats in about 1898 and then proceeded to be applied to fishing boats. In the next step, hot bulb engines were introduced in 1903 and then widely used. Following to them, Diesel engines were introduced in 1907 and installed to many kinds of ships, i.e. to coast service ships, fishing boats, ocean going vessels and also navy ships. There were a quite number of memorable technical improvements attained in Japan on the various matters of marine internal combustion engines.