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Introduction of Examination for "Steam Officers"

Admiralty, 8th December, 1849

Circular No. 57.

My Lord's Commissioners of the Admiralty having had under their consideration the examination required of officers, on subjects connected with the Steam Engine, with a view to ascertain their competency to be registered as "Steam Officers;" are pleased to order that no Officer shall, henceforward, be so registered, until he has passed an examination at the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth, on the subjects herein detailed ; and any Officer, whether he has acquired his knowledge in one of H. M. Dock Yards, or at the Factories of Private Individuals, or has studied at the Royal Naval College, or not, is at liberty to present himself for examination on the days fixed for the purpose, on giving timely notice to the Captain Superintendent of the College of his intention so to present himself.

The examinations are to take place once in every three months at the time fixed for the present Quarterly Examinations ; and they will be conducted by the Professor of the College, in the presence of the Admiral Superintendent of the Dock Yard, and the Captain Superintendent of the College.

The subjects on which the Officers will he examined are to be, until further notice, as follows, viz.

1. The Elements of Geometry, Mechanics. and Dynamics.

2. Laws of Heat.

3. The Application of these Branches of Science to the Steam Engine.

4. The name, and use. of every part of the Engines, Boilers. &c.

5. Construction and principle of the Engines and Boilers ;- expansion of Steam, Economy of Fuel, resulting from the application of the principle ; and, under certain circumstances, from the employment of reduced power.

6. The nature, application, and uses of the Indicator.

The Chief Engineer of the Dock Yard is to furnish the Professor with questions, relating to the heads No. 4 5, and 6, - marked with the number which should be given for each question if answered fully and correctly : and he is to examine the written answers, and mark upon each of them the number which should, in his opinion, be given by the Professor.

The Professor is to prepare questions under the first three heads, and in like manner assign to each question the number which should be given to it, if answered fully and correctly.

The whole of these questions are to be printed, and placed in the hands of each Officer on the day of examination.

An abstract is ultimately to be made by the Professor of the result of the examinations, showing in one column the greatest number, which could be gained under each head of the examination, and in another column, the aggregate of the number under the separate heads awarded to each Officer : and this abstract is to be transmitted to the Secretary of the Admiralty, with a copy of the printed question, for their Lordships' information,

By command of their Lordships,

John Parker


Examination of Officers in Steam

Admiralty 15 June 1850,

The Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty have approved of the first quarterly examination of Officers taking place at the Royal Naval College, on Monday 7 Oct next, at 9 o’clock.

Officers wishing to attend are to give ten days previous notice to the Captain Superintendent of the College.

By Command of their Lordships.


Examination of Officers on Subjects connected with the Steam Engine

Admiralty 16 March 1853

With reference to their Lordships' Circular No, 57, dated 8th Dec. 1849, respecting the examination of Officers on subjects connected with the Steam Engine, their Lordships are pleased to order that, such examinations shall not be confined, as therein prescribed, to the Royal Naval College at Portsmouth, but be extended to Woolwich also. And Officers studying at either Port must undergo the said examination; but there is no occasion for remaining longer at such Port than may be considered necessary to qualify for the examination

and any officer, whether he has studied or not at either of the above places, may be allowed to come forward for examination on the second Wednesday in the months of December, March. June, or September.

The printed Examination Papers, which are to embrace subjects of a practical nature, are to be prepared as at present at the College at Portsmouth, and be sent to Woolwich, in order that the examinations may be similar.

The examinations at Woolwich are to take place in the presence of the Superintendent of the Dock Yard, and be conducted by the Chief Engineer and Inspector of Machinery, of the Yard, who are to sign the Certificates of Passing (as at Portsmouth) and forward the same to the Secretary of the Admiralty, in order that the same may be registered.

The form of Certificate is annexed.

By Command of their Lordships,

R. Osborne


16 March 1853.

Certificate of Examination in Steam.

At Portsmouth or Woolwich.

This is to certify, that, in pursuance of the Admiralty Order, No. 57, dated 8 Dec., 1849, relating to the Examination of Officers, on subjects connected with the Steam Engine, ___________ has been examined at ___________ and having shown a competent knowledge in the following subjects:-

1st The Name and Use of every part of the Engine Boilers, &c. with Diagrams.

2nd. Construction and Principle of the Engine, Boilers, &c.

3rd. Practical working of the Engine and Boilers.

4th. Expansion of Steam, and Economy of Fuel.

5th Nature and Use of the Indicator.

(May also be examined in following additional subjects:)

6th The Elements of Mechanics and Hydrostatics.

7th. Laws of Heat.

8th The application of these Branches of Science to the Steam Engine.

Captain _________________ _________________

is considered entitled to a Certificate (1st. 2nd. or 3rd,) for practical knowledge in the working of the Steam Engine.

Dated at ____________ 185_

Captain Superintendent. ___________

Professor. ____________

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