At the southern end of the arcade in front of the Naval Museum
In Bristol (2008)
Here displayed is the screw or propeller of the former sloop H.M.S. RATTLER, a vessel of around 800 tons and 200 H.P. This sloop in 1845 decided the future propulsion of British warships in a series of experiments against another sloop H.M.S. ALECTO of similar displacement and horse power but propelled by paddle wheels.
On an 80 mile course in calm weather the RATTLER defeated the ALECTO by 23½ minutes. Later over a 60 mile course against a hard sea the RATTLER again defeated the paddle driven ALECTO, this time by 40 minutes. Finally, in the most conclusive experiment of all when the two ships, being fastened stern to stern, and both steaming their best, the RATTLER towed the ALECTO away at a rate of 2½ knots. In consequence, from 1845 onwards, new warships were driven by propellers.
The HMS Rattler propeller was removed from it's position noted here in 2006, supposedly for a limited period, possibly of two years. It is currently on display with the SS Great Britain in Bristol. The photo on the lower left was taken at the exhibition there and is displayed here by kind permission of the photographer, Shawn Spencer-Smith, and by courtesy of the SS Great Britain Trust'.
See also the memorial to the men of HMS Rattler in St Ann's Church