Historic Steam Engine + Bill Gates

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Big Pete
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:18 pm
Currently located: Solihull, England

Historic Steam Engine + Bill Gates

Post by Big Pete »

Dear All,

As some of you will know, since retiring from Sea Life, I have been Volunteering at Nottingham Industrial Museum (NIM) in England.
We have co operated with the Bill Gates Foundation in preparing some films for Students about the Industrial Revolution.
The NIM volunteers who feature in them have already seen them so please feel free to share these with your family and friends.

Film 1 is in London (not NIM)

Film 2 is in Plymouth (not NIM)

Film 3 is partly at NIM (Textiles)

Film 4 (not at NIM)

Films 5 and 6 are in London (not NIM)

Films 7 and 8 are at NIM (Victorian Domestic Life and Nail Making)

Film 9 is about Coal Miners in Yorkshire

Film 10 is at NIM and features me talking about our 151 year old compound, Double Acting, Rotative Beam Engine operating on the Cornish Cycle, that used to supply the City's drinking water, sadly there is only a short segment of it Running on Steam.

I think all the films are well worth watching by anyone with an interest in History and Technology. Happy viewing.


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... Fac9wxN9a4

Big Pete.
It is always better to ask a stupid question than to do a stupid thing.

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Merlyn
Fleet Engineer
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Joined: Wed Dec 25, 2013 7:19 am
Currently located: South Coast UK

Re: Historic Steam Engine + Bill Gates

Post by Merlyn »

Interesting film, I had my old bearing scraper /leads/engineers blue out from the bottom of my box in preparation together with the flogging spanner and 14 pound sledge but alas to no avail as the film went back even beyond my startout in the trade.
Resurrection thus aborted.
BP,
Nice to see you haven't retired from the site as you have from the sea, I tried it briefly but with crap tv and threats of wandering around golf courses for hours on end I went back to slide hammering seized pencil injectors etc as it still seems to be of far more interest than being boxed up with the wife eight days a week.
Plus seized front pulleys etc.
Good hydraulic pullers nowadays too.
Might have missed them had I retired!
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

Big Pete
Engineering Mentor
Posts: 893
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:18 pm
Currently located: Solihull, England

Re: Historic Steam Engine + Bill Gates

Post by Big Pete »

Yes Merlyn,
The Technology is well before our time, Thomas Newcomen invented his "Atmospheric Engine" in 1712, James Watt developed it, but locked down all innovation by patenting everything until 1800, the Cornish Engineers then took over, they had all those Tin and copper mines but no Coal so they were desperate for more efficient engines and really drove the development of steam engines forward, better boilers, higher pressures, expansive working of steam, compounding, double acting, larger bore steam pipes and "Double Beat" valves to minimise the pressure drop between engine and cylinder, insulation of all the hot parts.
Our Engine is 151 years old, almost exactly half way from Newcomen to the present, and is in many respects similar to the last beam Engines built in the early 1900's.
Our engine has piston rings, invented a couple of years before it was built, (James Watt experimented with barrow loads of stable manure on top of the piston to make a steam tight seal to the cylinder). General practice was to put rings of "Junk" (worn out old rope) on top of the piston, fill in the gaps round it with Oakum and generously soak it all will molten Tallow (Sheep's fat) at each stage) a "Junk Ring" was then placed on top and screwed down to the piston pushing the junk out to the cylinder to make a steam tight seal. Off with the head every weekend to re make the seal...

The engine is almost entirely made of Cast iron and wrought iron, Sir Henry Bessemer the Sheffield Iron Master, invented the Bessemer Converter to make steel a few months before the engine was ordered.

Before Covid we used to run the engine, and several more engines, in Steam on the last Sunday of every month, but at present we have no idea when we will be allowed to open, and our Annual Steam Plant Surveys are due in August, so I have no idea when she will be running again.

If anyone is interested I will post when we are open again, and if any readers live in the Midlands they would be welcome to join us as Volunteers to help operate and maintain these old engines and explain them to the Public.


www.facebook.com/NottinghamIndustrialMuseum

www.twitter.com/NottIndMuseum

www.instagram.com/nottingham_industrial_museum

www.nottinghamindustrialmuseum.org.uk



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It is always better to ask a stupid question than to do a stupid thing.

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JK
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Re: Historic Steam Engine + Bill Gates

Post by JK »

Nice to put a face to the man, BP! I am happy to see you dropping in.
That was a fun video and brings back the recip days. Now I often wish I had an IPhone back when I was on the steamers because I would love to be able and see the machinery running again.

Big Pete
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Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:18 pm
Currently located: Solihull, England

Re: Historic Steam Engine + Bill Gates

Post by Big Pete »

Yes JK, I sometimes regret that I didn't take more pictures in my early days at sea but the cost of film and processing was high, and the photographs that I did take have faded to nothing!!! (Should have used Kodak Ektachrome, instead of Fuji Film) Also, like most of us, a lot of the things that I would find interesting now were so commonplace that nobody thought about them!!
I haven't posted for a while because my Wife and I went on the "Holiday of a Lifetime" at the start of March and got locked down in New Zealand for a month, unable to get a flight home and no access to a PC. Don't get me wrong NZ is a fantastic place but and everyone was very nice, but you don't go on Holiday for everything to be closed in your face and to be told to stay in your RV 23 hours a day, when all the Showers, Toilets and other communal facilities have been closed. Fortunately we were able to pay for a self catering Motel Room for a month, so at least we had a full sized shower and toilet, and room to pace about.

BP
It is always better to ask a stupid question than to do a stupid thing.

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Merlyn
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Currently located: South Coast UK

Re: Historic Steam Engine + Bill Gates

Post by Merlyn »

Well I always thought that higher houred Marine Engineers gave themselves away with their glaze busted effect foreheads so I can only conclude that BP has always had a top team beneath him in all his sea going travels.
This is indeed a one of in my experiences in life.
Hope the NZ trip didn't change any of the foregoing.
Getting back to the rope type effect piston rings I feel that turning and fitting and gapping rings back in the early sixties would now not appear to be old fashioned after all and as such I feel much younger already.
Amazing stuff the old type engineering, I worked on the old Recip. Engines of 1925 year of manufacture ( John Brown ) casting big ends, mains etc and line boring them and of the unforgettable bearing scraping performed.
I always thought that the whole engine and fittings were over engineered as we used to call it.
Huge castings/webs etc everywhere.
So are you remetalling / boring / shimming etc up there?
Got any workshop facilities?
I see you are downloading all the old info to Joe Public so beware of the person who asks you highly technical questions of things like,
" what's the lead/tin ratio present and proportionate in bearing leads?"
Multi choice answer.
70/30?
60/40?
Or 100% lead?
How many dots/markings should be present of engineers blue on the white metal surface based on a square inches basis ( not metric- that's a failure) portrayed?
How many turns ought the crank be turned to display the engineers blue markings?
Why are VLC ( think they were made up your way ) bearing scrapers horns ground hollow?
What diameter grinding stone produces the correct radii?
Plus other important questions I can recall of that old era.
For that innocent inquirer could well be me as when this wretched Virus subject is done it is my intention to visit your good self
( on a Sunday in steam ) in order to get the correct answers to all of the foregoing ( plus others) and hopefully meet your good self.
However I feel I have the advantage here as I know what you look like but I will be in a disguise dressed as a member of " Joe Public "
Beware of Sunday's in steam BP!
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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