By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Oct 22nd

Antique Steam Engine from Doorknob

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Michael Hudson 615/05/2019 18:10:53
22 forum posts

Hello,

My first post to this forum so go easy please!

I own a model engine which was made, using hand tools as far as I'm aware, by my great grandfather's great uncle.

I have a newspaper article from the 1930s which mentions it as part of the collection of oddities in my great grandfathers house, it mentioned the date in that but I don't have it to hand, it would be mid Victorian I think.

Some photos follow, hopefully:

 

My late Dad had seen it running once,he mentioned it needed a leak fixing I think. I have never seen it turn but it does turn by hand. I'm really interested to know if this rings a bell with anyone,if they've seen it before or know of it being a 'done thing' by hobbyists back then.

It's always fascinated me and the more I can learn about it the better. Any ideas on how to start it or go about checking if it's safe to try and run would also be welcome. Anything you can tell me, basically!

There is an inscription, on the base (written on paper that is now burnt!) that it was in the order of 1700 hrs work!

 

Edited By JasonB on 15/05/2019 19:29:02

Michael Gilligan15/05/2019 20:21:58
avatar
14015 forum posts
608 photos

What a brilliant contraption yes

MichaelG.

Plasma15/05/2019 20:35:21
337 forum posts
41 photos

Great grimsby! That is amazing, deserves a place in the national collection! It is or must be unique.

Green with envy my friend.

Mick

Neil Wyatt15/05/2019 21:23:02
avatar
Moderator
16570 forum posts
687 photos
75 articles

Hello Michael,

That really is unusual - more photos!

Neil

Hopper16/05/2019 00:28:22
avatar
3712 forum posts
73 photos

Coolest steam engine ever! Yes more photos please.

Speedy Builder516/05/2019 06:39:36
1819 forum posts
128 photos

If it needs fixing, and you don't feel that you can, someone on here would be proud to fix it for you.

Michael Hudson 616/05/2019 07:03:00
22 forum posts

Wow - I’m touched by the responses above, didn’t lose Dad long ago and he’d also be chuffed to hear it spoken of so highly.

Ill pop some more photos on in a bit when I’m at a computer-photobucket isn’t playing too nice on my phone.

Michael Hudson 616/05/2019 07:11:28
22 forum posts

I found the article I mentioned. It says my great grandfather estimated it to have been completed in 1826, and that it won special merit in “a” Crystal Palace exhibition around that date.

That confuses me, since “the” Crystal Palace wasn’t built until 1856 if I’m not mistaken. I can’t see any mention of the builder in the great exhibition catalogue either (his name was Richard Westerman). So perhaps the build date is off too. The hours worked on it were a mere 1280, not 1700, I stand corrected!

Michael Gilligan16/05/2019 07:27:53
avatar
14015 forum posts
608 photos
Posted by Michael Hudson 6 on 16/05/2019 07:11:28:

That confuses me, since “the” Crystal Palace wasn’t built until 1856 if I’m not mistaken.

.

I'm pretty sure that Crystal Palace was built for the 1851 Great Exhibition

MichaelG.

.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2004/07/27/history_feature.shtml

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 16/05/2019 07:30:43

Michael Hudson 616/05/2019 07:43:34
22 forum posts

Oops you’re right 1851 and moved to Penge common in 1854

SillyOldDuffer16/05/2019 09:21:05
4714 forum posts
1010 photos
Posted by Michael Hudson 6 on 16/05/2019 07:11:28:

I found the article I mentioned. It says my great grandfather estimated it to have been completed in 1826, and that it won special merit in “a” Crystal Palace exhibition around that date.

That confuses me, since “the” Crystal Palace wasn’t built until 1856 if I’m not mistaken. I can’t see any mention of the builder in the great exhibition catalogue either (his name was Richard Westerman). So perhaps the build date is off too. The hours worked on it were a mere 1280, not 1700, I stand corrected!

Not unusual for stories passed down a few generations to blur around a kernel of truth! You have to allow for misunderstandings and faulty memory. In this case, 5 and 2 are often confused (admittedly not as often as 7 and 1) and although the Crystal Palace was famously built for the Great Exhibition, it was thereafter used for many, many other exhibitions until it burnt down in 1936.

Graces Guide reveals a few mid-Victorian engineering Westerman's but no Richard. (Not done a proper search: Grace's seem to have started charging...)

More photos please! I'm wondering what it is. Could be a proof of concept for a real product like an oil lamp pump. (The Victorians tried to steam power everything!) The base looks as it would take a glass dome, suggesting it's for admiring not running. Novelty or prototype? It's a mystery...

Dave

Edit: trouble with the link.

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 16/05/2019 09:24:37

Michael Hudson 616/05/2019 09:31:23
22 forum posts

Sorry, I should have mentioned that it has always been under a glass dome, the newspaper article mentions it as well.

Michael Hudson 616/05/2019 09:37:47
22 forum posts

Right lets see if this works:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited By Michael Hudson 6 on 16/05/2019 10:08:34

Michael Gilligan16/05/2019 09:50:07
avatar
14015 forum posts
608 photos

... it does indeed

Michael Hudson 616/05/2019 10:09:24
22 forum posts

Edited above to put the photos in directly rather than link to the album

Michael Gilligan16/05/2019 10:21:03
avatar
14015 forum posts
608 photos

I think that Dave [s.o.d] is on the right track.

The clock-wheel gearing suggests that it might be an 'adjuster' of some sort ... maybe for fuel supply, or the wick, of an oil lamp [?]

Intriguing !!

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 16/05/2019 10:25:58

Michael Hudson 616/05/2019 10:24:22
22 forum posts

It is definitely a steam engine. It has run and is not purely decorative. Apologies if I misinterpret the questioning of it being decorative vs functioning/functional!

We've alwyas understood it was an exercise in craftsmanship rather than some professional undertaking. I need to find out more about great-great uncle Westerman!

Edited By Michael Hudson 6 on 16/05/2019 10:26:59

Edited By Michael Hudson 6 on 16/05/2019 10:28:07

Michael Gilligan16/05/2019 10:28:22
avatar
14015 forum posts
608 photos
Posted by Michael Hudson 6 on 16/05/2019 10:24:22:

It is definitely a steam engine. It has run and is not purely decorative.

.

I wasn't suggesting otherwise ... simply that [like Dave] I think it's a steam engine with a purpose.

MichaelG.

Michael Hudson 616/05/2019 10:32:28
22 forum posts

Sorry, misunderstood you there, see my preemptive edit, or so I thought..

Michael Gilligan16/05/2019 10:39:51
avatar
14015 forum posts
608 photos

yes crossed in the æther

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
TRANSWAVE Converters
Meridenne Boat 2019
Ausee.com.au
Warco
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
ChesterUK
cowbells
Allendale Electronics
emcomachinetools
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest