Steamboat Billy!


A couple of years ago, I was wandering through a market on a small pacific island. A stall was selling little tin boats. “Really works by jet engine!” the man claimed. Yeah! Yeah! I bought one for about $5 and thought little more about it. I found it in a cupboard the other day and decided to test it. Wow! Steamboat Billy, dear friends, is a fine tribute to the creativity of the human mind. The designer’s ingenuity together with the boat’s overriding tininess and appealing putt-putting noise raise it to “beautiful stuff” status! I just love it! And there is not a single moving part!

This wonderful little toy is a bit of an orphan. Who designed it? Why? Who made it? Where? When? But most importantly, can anyone out there explain how Steamboat Billy works?

3 thoughts on “Steamboat Billy!

  1. My 5 pennies are that the density of the heated air must play a role, the same way a hot-hair balloon is propelled + the tin must also go under some sort of elasticity process at a molecular level… Better ask an engineer 😉

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