In the 1830s, David Gillespie (Douglas Fairbanks Jr.) serves as first mate on the fastest ship in the world, which, like all major vessels at the time, is powered by sails. But then he encounters John Shaw (Will Fyffe), an engineer who resides in Liverpool. Shaw informs Gillespie that he has invented a steam-powered ship capable of traveling across the Atlantic. Despite opposition from the shipping industry, Gillespie teams up with Shaw to be the first to guide a steamship across the Atlantic.
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