This book presents an in-depth study of the impact of the steamship on Britain during its first forty years, roughly between 1810 and 1850. It relates the early steamship to several industrial themes including diffusion; construction; modernisation; the role of government - particularly the difficult attempt to align laissez-faire politics with the greater need for public safety measures due to technological advance; business and finance; plus public reaction and tourism. The aim is to establish the significance of the steamship as a conduit of modernisation and societal change. It consists of a foreword, introduction, and fourteen chapters devoted to specific themes, structured to ensure each chapters build on the preceding chapter’s progress. Collectively, they demonstrate that the development of both experience and enterprise with steam power both gained and refined during this period made the mid-century expansion of steamship technology across Britain possible. Ultimately, it establishes that steamship services began to adapt to oceanic routes, steam began to integrate into the world economy, and the age of sail began to draw to a close.