Denny Tank Museum, Dumbarton

#1 of 15 in Museums in Stirlingshire
History Museum · Historic Site
The Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank was the world's first privately owned commercial tank and was built in 1882 using Froude's design of the 1870 Admiralty tank at Chelston Cross, Torquay. From its inception until 1963 it was owned by William Denny and Brothers of Dumbarton, world renowned builders of fast cross channel steamers. It was then owned by Vickers until its closure in 1983. The facility has been in the safe hands of the Scottish Maritime museum since 1986.

Visitors to the museum will be able to see the complete model making process, which has remained virtually unchanged since tank testing began.

The purpose of the tank was to test scaled down models of the proposed ships hull to find out the stability, speed, and drag in the water. With the new tank the Dumbarton firm enjoyed a tremendous advantage over their rivals. Before even the keel of a Denny boat was laid her speed had been determined.
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Denny Tank Museum reviews

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239 reviews
  • Combines a technology museum with an intimate history about one of the great Scottish ship building enterprises. Being in the actual building where the famous Cutty Sark was actually designed is an...  more »
  • This is a historic building, the first ship model test tank in the World. It still retains a lot of period features, like the original paraffin wax used for making models, which we know is original...  more »
  • The staff are wonderful! They ensure you get the most out of your visit: there when needed, as much/ as little as you want. Ronald O'Kane kindly did the introduction tour twice for our group so the hard of hearing and parents could benefit without our littlest ones. Very interesting to find out how much we owe to the town of Dumbarton and to learn about the brilliance of Denny's that helped shape our shipping world. The children's spacious facilities are surprisingly good!! Found it hard to get both young and old out of the museum, haha!
  • Great museum, loads of information and hands on exhibits. Staff are very happy to talk to you, give extra insight into how the tank experiment works. Lovely cafe on site as well to finish off your visit.

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