First North Carolina Built Steam Vessel to cruise the Cape Fear River, Wilmington, North Carolina.
Artist drawing of the Prometheus
Only known drawing ot the Prometheus.
Otway Burns was a ship builder as well as an excellant sea captain. His ship yard, once located between Swansboro and Morehead City, North Carolina constructed many vessels. The Prometheus was the first vessel to be built by Otway Burns without sail. Captain Burns designed and supervised the building of this North Carolina historical vessel during 1818 and 1819.
Otway Burns also built two large vessels, the warrior in 1823,and the,Henry in 1831. These vessels were used to carry cargo from North Carolina to various ports, to include as far away as South America and the West Indies.
The shipyard of Otway Burns was known for quality and workmanship of the vessels that were built there. After building the last of the two Brigs little is known about additional construction at the shipyard.
What is known is that Captain Otway Burns constructed a very personal vessel for himself. Possibly out of the loss of his Snap Dragon during the War of 1812, he build himself another vessel and named it, Snap Dragon. This ship was sleek and known to have been very fast.
Otway Burns also built into the constrution of this vessel the first known , "Center-board," used in the waters of North Carolina. This innovation introduced by Burns gave way to a new medium in ship building for his state.
This is an example of just one of the little known contributions that Captain Otway Burns gave to the State of North Caroina.