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Russian Icebreaker, design for two vessels: “Kosmá Mínin” and “Kniáz Pojársky”

Russian Icebreaker, design for two vessels: “Kosmá Mínin” and “Kniáz Pojársky”, 1916
Builder’s Model, scale 1:48
Great Britain
wood, metal
model: 79.0 x 155.0 x 50.0 cm
The Thomson Collection © Art Gallery of Ontario


The Thomson Collection of Ship Models Audio Tour

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Download: 1:09 min / 472 KB MP3

Simon Stephens: I think the obvious feature about this model is the shape of the hull. It almost looks double ended. You've got propellers at both ends, which leads to the question, in which direction does this vessel travel?

Basically, this was designed as an icebreaker. So the bow is the end with the anchor, and the single propeller underneath, beneath, the bow, with the stern with the twin screws at the rear. The idea of this design was that the propeller at the bow would create a void under the ice. The vessel would then ride up onto the ice, and the weight of the hull would then crush a way through the icepack.

Another interesting point you should notice also. On the foremast, there’s a little lookout. Obviously you have to keep a sharp lookout when they were going forward in terms of the pack ice as to whether they could actually break a way through, find the thinnest area of ice that they could break.

Then the vessels would follow in their wake. They would actually make a sea way through the ice with vessels behind them. You'll notice also on the stern of the model there’s a large fender, which was obviously put there for stopping, if they were towing other vessels, or stopping other vessels or the ice actually damaging the hull as well.

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