Steering wheel, paddlesteamer "Delta"
History/Notes: Believed to be steering wheel of "Delta" side wheel paddlesteamer, built at Ngaruawahia by Archibald Nicol in 1877... for Waikato Steam Navigator Co.. used for passenger service initially but later in 1880s used for cargo, towing barges, etc. First paddlesteamer built on Waikato River
References: Research File: River Transp. "Delta"
"The paddle wheel is a large wheel, built on a steel framework, upon the outer edge of which are fitted numerous paddle blades (called floats or buckets). The bottom quarter or so of the wheel travels underwater. Rotation of the paddle wheel produces thrust, forward or backward as required. More advanced paddle wheel designs have featured feathering methods that keep each paddle blade oriented closer to vertical while it is in the water; this increases efficiency. The upper part of a paddle wheel is normally enclosed in a paddlebox to minimise splashing."
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Courtesy of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato