• SS Xantho;
  • Joseph Whitworth;
  • British Standard Whitworth (BSW) threads;
  • mass-production

A former RN gunboat horizontal trunk engine taken from the SS Xantho (1848–1872) in 1985 was totally disassembled by May 2004. All the threads on the engine were examined and the majority were found to be British Standard Whitworth (BSW). This provides material evidence of the spread of standardisation at a time when the Royal Navy commissioned the first mass-produced marine engines and fitted them to the ‘Crimean War Gunboat’ types. The study also provides a pointer to the use of screw threads as a diagnostic tool in maritime archaeology.

© 2004 The Nautical Archaeology Society