James Lowe was born in Rotherhithe, London, England back in 1798 to James and Elizabeth. In 1811, he worked with a master mechanic and Freeman in London, England. In 1800, his mentor Edward Shorter had taken out a patent for propelling vessels. In 1816, he joined the whaling ship, the Amelia Wilson. He came back to Edward in 1825 after three voyages whom he went into a partnership with.
He left shortly going into business as machinist and a smoke-jack maker. In 1838, he applied and received patent (GB patent 7599) for his invention. His invention was first used in the steamship Wizard in 1837, later used on the vessels Rattler and Phoenix.
In December of 1844, he brought action in the Court of Queen’s Bench against Penn & Co. engineers at Greenwich, for infringement of the patent. The jury ruled in his favor and in 1852, he took out another patent (GB 14263) for another of his inventions. He died in 1866.
What you may not know about James Lowe is that he invented what is basically in use to this day. for you see he invented the screw propeller for ships. His daughter Henrietta continued her father’s experiments and her improved invention was used on the SS Lusitania.
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