John Wood (1788-1860) lived at the corner of Kings Street and Scarlow Street. His father John Wood Sr. had been employed by McGill – The first ship builder to be mentioned in Port Glasgow.
When John Wood Sr. died in 1818, he had already been contracted with Henry Bell to build the first Comet steam boat. Wood's sons, John and Charles, who had encouraged their father to take on this contract in the first place, were now responsible for completing the craft after his death.
With his father gone, construction of the hull of the Comet fell to John Wood Jr. The hull of the comet upon completion measured fourteen meters from stern to bow, a width of three meters and weighed an impressive twenty eight tonnes.
The ship was named “The Comet” after the great comet of 1811, which remained visible to the human eye over Inverclyde for an impressive two hundred and sixty days.
Join us next Friday when we will draw our focus to the maiden voyage of the ship.