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  1. #1
    AAB
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    The following pics are of a Cornish beam pump with steam engine, " Ruston Proctor & Co, Lincoln






    which is operating at the Sovereign Hill display at Ballarat,Victoria.

    I am trying to get a reasonable diagram of a beam pump to show those not familiar with the pump arrangement,.. without success to date, so if anyone from the " Old country " or anyone else for that matter, can help, please do.

    Have some pics of steam powered winding engines & a steam operated stamp battery, all operating at the same place, if interested.

    Regards from Melbourne,Australia,

    AAB
    [img]tongue.gif[/img]

  2. #2
    AAB
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    The following pics are of a Cornish beam pump with steam engine, " Ruston Proctor & Co, Lincoln






    which is operating at the Sovereign Hill display at Ballarat,Victoria.

    I am trying to get a reasonable diagram of a beam pump to show those not familiar with the pump arrangement,.. without success to date, so if anyone from the " Old country " or anyone else for that matter, can help, please do.

    Have some pics of steam powered winding engines & a steam operated stamp battery, all operating at the same place, if interested.

    Regards from Melbourne,Australia,

    AAB
    [img]tongue.gif[/img]

  3. #3
    Peter S is online now Titanium
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    AAB,

    What a great sight, I would like to see that set-up one day!

    I don't really know why they are calling it a Cornish Beam Pump - its not as far as I can see.

    I am guessing the rods and pumps down in the mine are similar to those found on Cornish engines? As you may know the Cornish engine itself was typically a non-rotative engine with pump rods directly connected to the engine beam, a development of Watts single-acting engine, although there were rotative versions built. In this case it looks like they have used a small and no doubt much less expensive horizontal engine driving through gearing and rod drives to the pumps.

    Rod drive was popular from as early as the 1600's for taking the drive from water wheels to a mine shaft, the reason being the water wheel could not always be located near the mine shaft. Some rod drives were several kilometers long, going over all sorts of uneven ground, around corners, up and down hills, through tunnels etc to get to the mine shaft.

    I don't know how far the rods go at Sovereign Hill, possibly the shaft is just out of sight in your photo. It looks like that may be a balance weight box in your photo, used to balance the weight of the pump rods in the shaft?

    At Thames in NZ there are the remains of a similar but much larger pump - the "quadrants" are still in place over the mine shaft - huge riveted wrought iron assemblies (22 tons each) which connect the horizontal rod drives from the engine into a vertical drive to the pump rods. I mention this engine because although it was scrapped long ago, they recently discovered the massive second motion crank shaft for this engine - buried in a pit in the old engine house. This is a single throw crank shaft measuring over 12 feet long with 20" journals and 36" throw (6 ft stroke) weighing 23 tons. The foundations for the engine were reckoned to be a single concrete slab of 6,000 tons, the engine was a compound of 750 hp, with 30" HP, 60" LP and 5ft stroke. There was 4:1 reduction gearing between engine and pump crank shaft. The pump rods were steel apparently.

    Any other photos from here would be great!

    [ 11-07-2007, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: Peter S ]

  4. #4
    Peter S is online now Titanium
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    AAB,

    What a great sight, I would like to see that set-up one day!

    I don't really know why they are calling it a Cornish Beam Pump - its not as far as I can see.

    I am guessing the rods and pumps down in the mine are similar to those found on Cornish engines? As you may know the Cornish engine itself was typically a non-rotative engine with pump rods directly connected to the engine beam, a development of Watts single-acting engine, although there were rotative versions built. In this case it looks like they have used a small and no doubt much less expensive horizontal engine driving through gearing and rod drives to the pumps.

    Rod drive was popular from as early as the 1600's for taking the drive from water wheels to a mine shaft, the reason being the water wheel could not always be located near the mine shaft. Some rod drives were several kilometers long, going over all sorts of uneven ground, around corners, up and down hills, through tunnels etc to get to the mine shaft.

    I don't know how far the rods go at Sovereign Hill, possibly the shaft is just out of sight in your photo. It looks like that may be a balance weight box in your photo, used to balance the weight of the pump rods in the shaft?

    At Thames in NZ there are the remains of a similar but much larger pump - the "quadrants" are still in place over the mine shaft - huge riveted wrought iron assemblies (22 tons each) which connect the horizontal rod drives from the engine into a vertical drive to the pump rods. I mention this engine because although it was scrapped long ago, they recently discovered the massive second motion crank shaft for this engine - buried in a pit in the old engine house. This is a single throw crank shaft measuring over 12 feet long with 20" journals and 36" throw (6 ft stroke) weighing 23 tons. The foundations for the engine were reckoned to be a single concrete slab of 6,000 tons, the engine was a compound of 750 hp, with 30" HP, 60" LP and 5ft stroke. There was 4:1 reduction gearing between engine and pump crank shaft. The pump rods were steel apparently.

    Any other photos from here would be great!

    [ 11-07-2007, 06:35 PM: Message edited by: Peter S ]

  5. #5
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    TurningHead is offline Cast Iron
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    AAB
    Great eye candy - Please feed us more !
    John

  6. #6
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    AAB
    Great eye candy - Please feed us more !
    John

  7. #7
    cutting oil Mac is offline Hot Rolled
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    This type of set up in British coalmining was referred to as a Bell Crank Pump, Many of them being of pretty large size, This looks a very nice little unit & beautifully kept as well Anything by Ruston Procter was good quality, This type of units were by and large displaced by high efficiency multi stage turbine pumps, Although some years ago about 1980 Mr MacGregor the late director of Murray & Paterson Coatbank Engine Works Coatbridge Scotland, told me he remembered a pump for a bell crank set up, Being manufactured by his firm in the early 1940/s He did not remember if it was to replace a damaged pump barrel or was for coalmining or another duty This late manufacture somewhat surprised me for such an item of plant.

  8. #8
    cutting oil Mac is offline Hot Rolled
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    This type of set up in British coalmining was referred to as a Bell Crank Pump, Many of them being of pretty large size, This looks a very nice little unit & beautifully kept as well Anything by Ruston Procter was good quality, This type of units were by and large displaced by high efficiency multi stage turbine pumps, Although some years ago about 1980 Mr MacGregor the late director of Murray & Paterson Coatbank Engine Works Coatbridge Scotland, told me he remembered a pump for a bell crank set up, Being manufactured by his firm in the early 1940/s He did not remember if it was to replace a damaged pump barrel or was for coalmining or another duty This late manufacture somewhat surprised me for such an item of plant.

  9. #9
    Peter S is online now Titanium
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    Cutting oil Mac,

    It doesn’t surprise me that this type of engine was used in the UK, but for some reason I don’t recall seeing many of the geared type quite like this photographed by George Watkins (my main source of info on UK engines). I have seen the odd bell crank type used without reduction, either with bell cranks driven directly off the piston rods or by another crankshaft driven directly from the engine. This latter type came up in a discussion a few years back, I posted this photo of a Yarrow & Co triple which was at Wanstead (water works) from 1903. The rods are of nice construction, they look like timber with steel forgings for reinforcement. I think there are three, probably four bell cranks on this engine.

    http://photobucket.com/albums/1003/P...n_Wanstead.jpg

    Here is the type with the bell cranks driven directly from the piston tail rods, also at a water works. It doesn’t actually show the bell crank arrangement. (Hathorn Davey also did this but with non-rotative, compound horizontal engine for mine pumping) I don’t visit this website often, it is a sad story:

    http://oldenginehouse.users.btopenworld.com/dec.htm


    I wonder if the system as used at Sovereign Hill etc. was any easier on the pump rods than a Cornish engine. I have read that each time the steam valve opened on a big Cornish engine running under full load, the shock on the pump rods was immense. I am guessing there was less shock on this system, possibly the pit work could be lighter?

    On the other hand, I believe that a Cornish engine could be slowed right down (ie less strokes per minute, longer pauses between strokes) without great loss of efficiency, and could run much slower than any rotative engine, though the geared reduction engines no doubt had some flexibility in speed, but probably with loss of efficiency.


    AAB, there is a great book “The Cornish Beam Engine” by D.B. Barton, it doesn’t have anything about the engines like that at Sovereign Hill, but is a classic on its subject. The author mentions that flat rods were common in Cornwall, firstly for taking drives from water wheels as mentioned earlier, but later for connecting engines to more than one shaft.

  10. #10
    Peter S is online now Titanium
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    Cutting oil Mac,

    It doesn’t surprise me that this type of engine was used in the UK, but for some reason I don’t recall seeing many of the geared type quite like this photographed by George Watkins (my main source of info on UK engines). I have seen the odd bell crank type used without reduction, either with bell cranks driven directly off the piston rods or by another crankshaft driven directly from the engine. This latter type came up in a discussion a few years back, I posted this photo of a Yarrow & Co triple which was at Wanstead (water works) from 1903. The rods are of nice construction, they look like timber with steel forgings for reinforcement. I think there are three, probably four bell cranks on this engine.

    http://photobucket.com/albums/1003/P...n_Wanstead.jpg

    Here is the type with the bell cranks driven directly from the piston tail rods, also at a water works. It doesn’t actually show the bell crank arrangement. (Hathorn Davey also did this but with non-rotative, compound horizontal engine for mine pumping) I don’t visit this website often, it is a sad story:

    http://oldenginehouse.users.btopenworld.com/dec.htm


    I wonder if the system as used at Sovereign Hill etc. was any easier on the pump rods than a Cornish engine. I have read that each time the steam valve opened on a big Cornish engine running under full load, the shock on the pump rods was immense. I am guessing there was less shock on this system, possibly the pit work could be lighter?

    On the other hand, I believe that a Cornish engine could be slowed right down (ie less strokes per minute, longer pauses between strokes) without great loss of efficiency, and could run much slower than any rotative engine, though the geared reduction engines no doubt had some flexibility in speed, but probably with loss of efficiency.


    AAB, there is a great book “The Cornish Beam Engine” by D.B. Barton, it doesn’t have anything about the engines like that at Sovereign Hill, but is a classic on its subject. The author mentions that flat rods were common in Cornwall, firstly for taking drives from water wheels as mentioned earlier, but later for connecting engines to more than one shaft.

  11. #11
    cutting oil Mac is offline Hot Rolled
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    Liked Peters link on shaft pumping engines, Up until about 1962, near the banks of the river Ayr ( Ayrshire Scotland) Was a redundant little beam winding engine at what was then being used as an air shaft for the Dalmore Hone Mine, This was i believe the Elephant Mine, This little engine was still complete at that date, Unmolested and complete with double drums geared to the winding engines, Also of note was the fact that the drums could be unclutched from their shaft, and on the end of the drum shaft, was a crank, for the attachment of the pump rod for the pit bottom drainage pump. A most intriguing little set up unfortunately scrapped by the National Coal Board, who had promised its owner Mr Montgomery, that their apprentices would overhaul it and subsequently preserve same!
    However back to Bell crank engines, The arrangement of driving the crank by gearing from usually a single or compound horizontal engine was pretty standard practice in the Scottish coalfields, And like the little Australian engine, it would seem the cranks had an arrangement of holes, Whereby the stroke of the pump could be altered, as to handle the varying volume of water depending on the rainfall,

    The use of balance boxes attached to a the beam mechanism, was pretty standard also, Some of these being in lodgements in the shaft, and in the case of deep mines, sometimes there were pumps set at up to 3 levels, The pit bottom pump sending the water up to transfer adits on the level of the intermediate pumps
    To digress slightly some years ago i was taken down Kingshill No 1 pit Lanarkshire coalfield and at an intermediate level there was still existing a fairly robust Joseph Evans horizontal mining ram pump, Again having been fed from a similar unit at the bottom.
    One of my friends was a fitter,and employed at a neighbouring colliery (Polkemet) sunk at the first world war period, And locally called The Dardanelles after the 1st. world war battle,His duties were the repairs of three similar shaft pumps, and he told me that during the pump attendants shift, he had to travel on the cage at varying intervals of time and check on the water levels at the intermediate lodgments, and oil up and attend to his pumps This makes me wonder as to the manning levels of a big colliery pumping set.
    Somewhere i have by me a set of tracings for a pit bottom bell crank pump, The construction of which was massive, These large pumps were fitted with a large cast irom strainer on the suction, having approx 3/8" holes and the suction and delivery valves consisted of cast steel "flap Valves" lined with 1/2" leather riveted on with copper rivets, easily got at by removing a large side door, the whole set up indestructible & unchokable These large colliery pumping sets wer built more for reliability, capable of long arduous running periods than high efficiency,
    Possibly the last of these large bell crank engines in the Scottish coalfield, would be a large single cylinder horizontal set, with the pump bell crank, directly driven of the piston tail rod, a photograph of this engine being in Guthrie Huttons recently published book on Lanarkshire Mining, This heavy engine ceasing work in the early 1950/s

  12. #12
    cutting oil Mac is offline Hot Rolled
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    Liked Peters link on shaft pumping engines, Up until about 1962, near the banks of the river Ayr ( Ayrshire Scotland) Was a redundant little beam winding engine at what was then being used as an air shaft for the Dalmore Hone Mine, This was i believe the Elephant Mine, This little engine was still complete at that date, Unmolested and complete with double drums geared to the winding engines, Also of note was the fact that the drums could be unclutched from their shaft, and on the end of the drum shaft, was a crank, for the attachment of the pump rod for the pit bottom drainage pump. A most intriguing little set up unfortunately scrapped by the National Coal Board, who had promised its owner Mr Montgomery, that their apprentices would overhaul it and subsequently preserve same!
    However back to Bell crank engines, The arrangement of driving the crank by gearing from usually a single or compound horizontal engine was pretty standard practice in the Scottish coalfields, And like the little Australian engine, it would seem the cranks had an arrangement of holes, Whereby the stroke of the pump could be altered, as to handle the varying volume of water depending on the rainfall,

    The use of balance boxes attached to a the beam mechanism, was pretty standard also, Some of these being in lodgements in the shaft, and in the case of deep mines, sometimes there were pumps set at up to 3 levels, The pit bottom pump sending the water up to transfer adits on the level of the intermediate pumps
    To digress slightly some years ago i was taken down Kingshill No 1 pit Lanarkshire coalfield and at an intermediate level there was still existing a fairly robust Joseph Evans horizontal mining ram pump, Again having been fed from a similar unit at the bottom.
    One of my friends was a fitter,and employed at a neighbouring colliery (Polkemet) sunk at the first world war period, And locally called The Dardanelles after the 1st. world war battle,His duties were the repairs of three similar shaft pumps, and he told me that during the pump attendants shift, he had to travel on the cage at varying intervals of time and check on the water levels at the intermediate lodgments, and oil up and attend to his pumps This makes me wonder as to the manning levels of a big colliery pumping set.
    Somewhere i have by me a set of tracings for a pit bottom bell crank pump, The construction of which was massive, These large pumps were fitted with a large cast irom strainer on the suction, having approx 3/8" holes and the suction and delivery valves consisted of cast steel "flap Valves" lined with 1/2" leather riveted on with copper rivets, easily got at by removing a large side door, the whole set up indestructible & unchokable These large colliery pumping sets wer built more for reliability, capable of long arduous running periods than high efficiency,
    Possibly the last of these large bell crank engines in the Scottish coalfield, would be a large single cylinder horizontal set, with the pump bell crank, directly driven of the piston tail rod, a photograph of this engine being in Guthrie Huttons recently published book on Lanarkshire Mining, This heavy engine ceasing work in the early 1950/s

  13. #13
    scottmi is offline Aluminum
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    If you ever get a chance, go to the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn Michigan they have a Newcomen from the 1700's and a early Watt engine right next to it, all the way up to modern turbines.Newcomen engine
    There is a huge industrial display there and the curator of the steam engines is British so that makes it even cooler.

  14. #14
    scottmi is offline Aluminum
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    If you ever get a chance, go to the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn Michigan they have a Newcomen from the 1700's and a early Watt engine right next to it, all the way up to modern turbines.Newcomen engine
    There is a huge industrial display there and the curator of the steam engines is British so that makes it even cooler.

  15. #15
    AAB
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    Adding a diagram ( not too good but I hope you get the idea ) & a couple of pics,







    Good for about 14,000 gallons ( imperial ) per hour.

    Regards,

    AAB
    [img]tongue.gif[/img]

  16. #16
    AAB
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    Adding a diagram ( not too good but I hope you get the idea ) & a couple of pics,







    Good for about 14,000 gallons ( imperial ) per hour.

    Regards,

    AAB
    [img]tongue.gif[/img]

  17. #17
    Peter S is online now Titanium
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    I was just reading in the book mentioned above how buffalo hide was used for clack valve seating in the underground pumps, and in one case hippopotamus hide was used (1860's) with great sucess. Apparently these valves wore rapidly and were the most troublesome part of the entire underground pumping system.

    Also read a note about engine speeds - Boulton & Watt reckoned an engine in good order should be able to work as slow as one stroke in ten minutes or 10 strokes per minute, if required. The author comments that the Cornish engine was unbeatable in this regard as there was little loss of efficiency when working at a slow rate. Apparently pumping requirements could vary with the seasons, hence one reason for different pumping rates. I guess as the mine grew in size there could have been increased water too? The way they can vary the stroke on the rotative engines looks pretty clever though!

  18. #18
    Peter S is online now Titanium
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    I was just reading in the book mentioned above how buffalo hide was used for clack valve seating in the underground pumps, and in one case hippopotamus hide was used (1860's) with great sucess. Apparently these valves wore rapidly and were the most troublesome part of the entire underground pumping system.

    Also read a note about engine speeds - Boulton & Watt reckoned an engine in good order should be able to work as slow as one stroke in ten minutes or 10 strokes per minute, if required. The author comments that the Cornish engine was unbeatable in this regard as there was little loss of efficiency when working at a slow rate. Apparently pumping requirements could vary with the seasons, hence one reason for different pumping rates. I guess as the mine grew in size there could have been increased water too? The way they can vary the stroke on the rotative engines looks pretty clever though!

  19. #19
    Asquith is offline Diamond
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    AAB,
    Thanks for posting the pictures. I’d like to see the photos you took of the other machinery at the mine.

    The book ‘The Cornish Beam Engine’ recommended by Peter S is indeed a fascinating read. Some interesting photos, too, including one of a toff standing inside a 12 ft diameter beam engine cylinder made by Harveys of Hayle, Cornwall, for the Cruquuis pumping engine in Holland. There’s a also an intriguing photo taken during the demolition of Harvey’s works, showing a very large lathe spindle and faceplate supported by a crane. The scale is indicated by the fact that six men are standing on the horizontal spindle, and the faceplate must be 18 ft diameter.

    Some Cornish mines had shafts that weren’t vertical, and in some cases not even straight, so the pump rods had to negotiate changes in direction. In some cases they used rocking levers in the shafts to support the rod at changes in direction.

    One particularly unusual arrangement was adopted for a Cornish mine in the 1830s. The mineshaft was sunk from a reef offshore. The engine house was 200 yards away on the mainland, and the engine drove the water pump rods by a series of horizontal rods supported on iron sheave wheels on a trestle bridge, connected to the vertical rods by a bell crank.

    The mines placed very heavy reliance on the single engine-driven pump to prevent the mine flooding, and reliability was essential. The book describes how pistons which used packing of hemp and tallow, needed attention at least every 6 - 8 weeks. At the oddly-named Ting Tang mine in Cornwall, the water pump could only be stopped for a maximum of 1 hr 40 mins, giving little opportunity for the cylinder to cool before the men went inside to repack the piston. ‘It was a bitter hot job in the bottom cylinder, with manholes for the men to get in; also they had in some cases to get a pair of blacksmith’s bellows to blow cold air on them to pack the piston it was so hot ….. they were nearly roasted’.

    Surprisingly, considering that the engines were pumping water, one of the major problems was shortage of suitable fresh water for the boilers. At ‘Great Wheal Busy’ mine in the 1850s, the water was so acidic that every year four of the 24 boilers had to be replaced due to corrosion.

    Most of the engines in Cornwall were made locally, but they also exported many engines, new and secondhand. To take the thread back to Australia, the book describes how an engine was sent to Burra Burra mine in S Australia, 100 miles inland, the 40 ton beam being hauled on a special carriage by a team of 72 bullocks on unmade roads (1852). Engines sent to S America had more difficult journeys, including crossing mountain ranges 10,000 feet high. The beam for one engine in the Andes is said to have taken 2 years to reach its destination.

    There’s some interesting stuff in this thread, including a photo of a ’man engine’:-

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/cg.../11/1846.html?

    Here’s a photo showing the high density of engine houses in Cornwall:-

    A pity they didn't mine coal here ......

    Maintaining the balance-bob by candle light
    Candles on the men's hats


    Don't go down the mine, Daddy


    Looking down at the pump's sump: hot, wet, dark

  20. #20
    Asquith is offline Diamond
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    AAB,
    Thanks for posting the pictures. I’d like to see the photos you took of the other machinery at the mine.

    The book ‘The Cornish Beam Engine’ recommended by Peter S is indeed a fascinating read. Some interesting photos, too, including one of a toff standing inside a 12 ft diameter beam engine cylinder made by Harveys of Hayle, Cornwall, for the Cruquuis pumping engine in Holland. There’s a also an intriguing photo taken during the demolition of Harvey’s works, showing a very large lathe spindle and faceplate supported by a crane. The scale is indicated by the fact that six men are standing on the horizontal spindle, and the faceplate must be 18 ft diameter.

    Some Cornish mines had shafts that weren’t vertical, and in some cases not even straight, so the pump rods had to negotiate changes in direction. In some cases they used rocking levers in the shafts to support the rod at changes in direction.

    One particularly unusual arrangement was adopted for a Cornish mine in the 1830s. The mineshaft was sunk from a reef offshore. The engine house was 200 yards away on the mainland, and the engine drove the water pump rods by a series of horizontal rods supported on iron sheave wheels on a trestle bridge, connected to the vertical rods by a bell crank.

    The mines placed very heavy reliance on the single engine-driven pump to prevent the mine flooding, and reliability was essential. The book describes how pistons which used packing of hemp and tallow, needed attention at least every 6 - 8 weeks. At the oddly-named Ting Tang mine in Cornwall, the water pump could only be stopped for a maximum of 1 hr 40 mins, giving little opportunity for the cylinder to cool before the men went inside to repack the piston. ‘It was a bitter hot job in the bottom cylinder, with manholes for the men to get in; also they had in some cases to get a pair of blacksmith’s bellows to blow cold air on them to pack the piston it was so hot ….. they were nearly roasted’.

    Surprisingly, considering that the engines were pumping water, one of the major problems was shortage of suitable fresh water for the boilers. At ‘Great Wheal Busy’ mine in the 1850s, the water was so acidic that every year four of the 24 boilers had to be replaced due to corrosion.

    Most of the engines in Cornwall were made locally, but they also exported many engines, new and secondhand. To take the thread back to Australia, the book describes how an engine was sent to Burra Burra mine in S Australia, 100 miles inland, the 40 ton beam being hauled on a special carriage by a team of 72 bullocks on unmade roads (1852). Engines sent to S America had more difficult journeys, including crossing mountain ranges 10,000 feet high. The beam for one engine in the Andes is said to have taken 2 years to reach its destination.

    There’s some interesting stuff in this thread, including a photo of a ’man engine’:-

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/cg.../11/1846.html?

    Here’s a photo showing the high density of engine houses in Cornwall:-

    A pity they didn't mine coal here ......

    Maintaining the balance-bob by candle light
    Candles on the men's hats


    Don't go down the mine, Daddy


    Looking down at the pump's sump: hot, wet, dark

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