F.Y.I. – FRED KNAPP’S ROLLER BOAT WAS THE STRANGEST CRAFT EVER LAUNCHED IN TORONTO

FOR YOUR INFORMATION – This unusual boat measured 125 by 25 feet. There was an opening at each end where people could board. The inside remained stationary, while the outer casing, equipped with small paddle-like projections, revolved around it. This allowed the ship to roll sideways along the surface of the water like a rolling pin.
<PHOTO ABOVE – the inventor of the Roller Boat, FRED KNAPP>
In 1897, while a large crowd was watching, the ship demonstrated a top speed of 5 miles per hour in TORONTO Bay. The idea was dropped because the vessel was too slow and very expensive. <PHOTO above – City of Toronto Archives; WATERCOLOUR below by THOMAS HARRISON WILKINSON, 1847-1949>

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