Built 1866, by John Thornycroft Designer John I Thornycroft, Chiswick, Waterlily is one of the world’s earliest steam launches in existence. Her hull, made from riveted wrought-iron plates is still in working order. Designed and built by John Thornycroft for his father, the famous sculptor Thomas Thornycroft,
Waterlily helped set the fashion for wealthy people to be seen boating and holding river parties on the Thames in the late-Victorian period. She was restored by the apprentices at the Porchester and Woolston yards of Vosper-Thornycroft Ltd. in 1977-8. This boat is currently on display in the Main Hall Gallery in the Museum.