Preston Park Museum & Grounds, Tees Valley
Shipbuilding, Maritime, Inventions
1900 – 1945
This object demonstrates Stockton’s innovative solution to an international problem.
The SS Millpool was a trunk deck ship, a type pioneered by Sir Robert Ropner’s shipbuilding company in Stockton. The first was the SS Trunkby, launched in 1896. These ships had a hull that stepped-inwards, which meant that they paid less for canal tolls on the Suez Canal, under the rules used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
However, the toll rules were changed in 1911, removing the advantages that this type of vessel had. Compared to conventional cargo ships, their smaller deck hatches and lower freeboard were a disadvantage and no more were built.
The trunk deck ships were a North East innovation and highlighted both the quality and inventiveness of this region’s heavy engineering.
Ship built by Ropner & Sons Ltd.,1906
On display at Preston Park Museum & Grounds, Stockton Borough Council
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