Parsons, Charles Algernon

Charles Algernon Parsons (1854-1931)

Charles Parsons (1854-1931) was the third Earl of Rosse. He was educated at home by tutors employed in his father's observatory. He graduated from Cambridge University in 1877.

Parsons developed the marine steam turbine enabling propeller blades to go at higher speeds and thereby revolutionising sea transport. His experimental vessel Turbinia was capable of 34 knots and as a result, Parsons turbines were used by the Royal Navy and by the merchant navy. The liner Mauretania, using such equipment, was capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean at an average speed of over 27 knots.

Parsons received many honours including Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (1911), Order of Merit (1927) and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1898. He received eleven Honorary Doctorates. The Building of the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering in Trinity College Dublin is named after him.

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