from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A launch the motive power of which is derived from the explosion of naphtha in the engine-cylinder.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Then, another day, not long before, I coaxed some big boys who have a naphtha-launch to give the 'Balls a sail on it down the bay.
You know that a man named Mears made the circuit in thirty-five days about seven years ago, and he had to depend on slow steam trains and steamships, aided by a naphtha-launch. "