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Ambulance Ships, River Thames, London

Henry Ford, the famous American motor car mogul began collecting artifacts of engineering and technological innovation in the early twentieth century and the resulting museum "The Henry Ford" at Dearborn Michigan became one of the leading museums in the USA.

Ford visited  Europe to collect appropriate items to exhibit and one such was the oscillating engine of the paddle steamer Albert Victor 

Albert Victor was one of a small fleet of ambulance transport ships owned by the Metropolitan Asylums Board which were obtained  to ferry infectious passengers between the city of London and hospital ships which were established downstream at Long Reach, near Dartford in 1883. These ships were to hold smallpox patients in isolation and were established as a response to the outbreak of the disease in 1881. A convalescent hospital was also established on land at nearby Gore Farm. Piers were set up in Fulham, Rotherhithe and Blackwall for embarcation and featured medical examination rooms.

Marguerite (1884-1889)
Red Cross (1884-1897)
Maltese Cross (1884-1932)
Albert Victor (1884- 1932
) ex-London Steamboat Co
Geneva Cross (1894-1932)
Red Cross II (1902-1932) originally to be Solent for the Lymington-Yarmouth ferry
Conservator (1902-1903)

The service was abandoned in 1932, two years after being taken over by the London County Council

Built in 1879 by Edwards & Symes of London
68 ft : 23 GRT
Privately owned in London until bought in 1884
Various subsequent owners, latterly at Plymouth
Scrapped in 1903

Red Cross
Built in 1884 by Edwards & Symes of London
105 ft : 86 GRT

Maltese Cross
Built in 1884 by Edwards & Symes of London
132 ft : 134 GRT
Engine : Oscillating 23 and 23 in x 30 in by M Pratt & Co

Albert Victor
Built in 1879 by Westwood, Baillie & Co of Poplar, London
129.9 ft : 106 GRT
Engine : Oscillating 25 and 25 in x 30 in

Geneva Cross
Built in 1894 by J Stewart & Sons of Blackwall, London
137 ft : 260 GRT
Engine : Compound diagonal 23 and 46 in x 42 in

Red Cross II
Built in 1902 by Mordey, Carney & Co of Southampton
126 ft : 162 GRT
Engine : Compound diagonal 24 and 40 in x 36 in
Originally ordered for the Lymington-Yarmouth ferry on the Solent but rejected and sold
Built in 1858 by Samuda Bros. at Poplar, London
112.2 ft : 50 GRT
Built for theThames Conservancy Commissioners
From 1899 in private ownership at Greenwich
Obtained by the MAB in 1902 to hel cope with a new smallpox outbreak in London
Scrapped in 1905

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