John Patch was a sailor and fisherman who invented one of the first versions of the screw propeller. He was born in Yarmouth in 1781.
One day, while watching a small boat being manoeuvered with a single oar, John Patch came up with the idea for a device that would allow steamships to travel without the need of inefficient paddlewheels or wind-dependent sails. Thirty years later he had seen his idea become reality.
John’s invention is presented at an exhibit at the Yarmouth County Museum & Archives.