In 1815, a small paddle-wheeled steamship left the River Clyde and made the long and hazardous journey down the coast of Britain to the Thames. In doing so, she made a monumental journey at a speed of about five knots into the history books and became the first ever steamship to sail on the Thames. Her name was the Margery and she was to become the first of many steamers on the Thames.
By 1830 there were about fifty steamships on the river, plying their trade, sailing to the Continent and back, and taking day trippers to the coast. The Thames had also become one of the shipbuilding centres for the steamers, with engine manufacturers and shipbuilders along the length of the Thames in east London.
Tim Sherwood tells the story of the Thames' first steamships and the revolution in trade and tourism that occurred as a result.