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    An excellent maritime museum

    Scottish Maritime Museum, Irvine. The main exhibition area is in the former marine engine workshop of Alex Stephen & Co of Linthouse, Glasgow. Linthouse, note not Irvine. The old building was dismantled and re-erected 20 miles away at Irvine to house the museum. Inside there’s a well-chosen...
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    Herbert Morris & Co: Compasses and Cranes

    Herbert Morris & Co made a vast range of cranes and other lifting equipment. A friend recently gave me these chalk-holding compasses made (or just branded) by the company. I'm curious as to why it would be thought better to use these rather than conventional pointed dividers to scribe an arc...
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    Cutting a 7 ft diameter screw thread with an 18" lathe

    OK, I'm guessing at the sizes, but you get the idea. I assume that the winding/haulage drum had suffered some distress, and that it was necessary to recut or skim the thread. Who would have thought to do it like this? You would? Of course. In case it's not clear what's going on, the drum is...
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    Quick-reading micrometer

    Recent discussion on oddball micrometers sent me to my 1930s(?) Shardlow micrometer catalogue (Ambrose Shardlow & Co, Sheffield). This one opens fully with one turn of the thimble, and automatically closes when released. Full explanation in the text. I don't know how it worked out in practice...
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    Milling machine with tilting bed

    1 2 By way of a distraction from the current unpleasantness, let me offer this Kendall & Gent (Manchester) milling machine. Not sure of the date, but probably from the Depression Era (the one in the last century). Interesting concept. Anyone come across anything similar?
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    Light relief: Machinery identification challenge!

    1. 2. 3. 4. Apologies if this breaks the rules on cryptic titles. What sort of equipment do you suppose is represented by these photos, and when was it made? Ignore the square tubing. I don’t expect anyone to get it yet. Not much to go on, to be fair. I’m deliberately being selective...
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    Engines with Altitude

    Flicking through an 1869 copy of The Engineer magazine (via Grace's Guide), this odd-looking steam engine caught my attention. Several hundred rivets featured in its construction, being several hundred more than are normally found in a steam engine. Each of the two 15" bore cylinders was made in...
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    A Rare Survivor - Dockside Sheerlegs

    1 2 3 4 Large sheerlegs, with riveted iron or steel tubular legs, were prominent features in numerous dockyards from the mid-19thC. They were used for lifting heavy components such as boilers, engines, and guns into and out of ships. They were made obsolete by more versatile equipment such...
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    Richard L. Hills, 1936-2019

    I’m sorry to report that the Rev Dr Richard Leslie Hills died on 10th May. Aspects of his work are well known to some PM members. Richard L. Hills played a valuable role in the field of industrial heritage, and was the author of a number of well-researched books, whose subjects included the...
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    Valuable industrial heritage website

    I've just come across this 'Scoop.it' site, which finds and comments on 'News and events, projects and opinions on industrial heritage and industrial archaeology around the world.' Curated by David Worth. Industrial Heritage | Scoop.it Sadly, Mr Worth wrote in August 2017: 'I have been...
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    Compact milling machine for milling milling cutters

    1. 2. 3. 4. It's on display in the excellent Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris. It's in a glass case down at floor level, and I struggled even to get these poor pictures. I wish I’d studied it more carefully when I was there, as I can’t figure out how the milling head is attached to the bed...
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    Superb 1780 O.T. Lathe

    1. 2. 3. 4. 5. I am proposing a new index for machines, which I’ll call the Acme Index. It’s the product of the age in years, quality of construction, and sophistication/ingenuity. This machine scores 239 x 100 x 100 = 2,390,000. However, if we now include a figure for usefulness, that...
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    18thC Lens grinding lathe

    Lens grinding machine, second half of 18th century, credited to Andrea Frati. On display in the excellent Museo Galileo (Institute and Museum of the History of Science) in Florence, Italy. Not the happiest marriage of architecture and mechanical engineering, but the early use of a gear...
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    Burrell Museum - Machine Tools

    1 2 3 4 Charles Burrell & Sons of Thetford, Norfolk, England. Established 1770, moved into St Nicholas Works in 1803, ceased production there in 1929 during the depression. Most famous for their showman’s traction engines. The Charles Burrell Museum is a small museum in the centre of...
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    18th Century Lathes at Deutsches Museum

    1 2 34567 My offering on the 1830 lathe at the Deutsches Museum in Munich didn't get many takers, so I'll move back in time, to the museum's 1767 Kunstdrechslerbank (ornamental turning lathe, engine turning lathe or rose engine, as appropriate). Made by J. Schega of Vienna. The head can be...
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    c.1830 Lathe at Deutsches Museum

    1 2 3 45 In a previous post I showed a lathe on display in the excellent Deutsches Museum in Munich, built c.1810:- http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/antique-machinery-and-history/c-1810-lathe-320547/#post2769488 Next to that lathe in the museum is this later, bigger, wheel lathe...
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    c.1810 Lathe

    1 2 3 The superb Deutsches Museum in Munich has a wonderful display of machine tools. These are in three large rooms representing three phases of machine tool development. The earliest machines are in a lineshaft workshop with simulated dim lighting, which makes it difficult to study those...
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    The Portsmouth Blockmaking Machinery

    I showed a few photos of machines for producing ship's blocks in this thread:- http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/antique-machinery-and-history/bramah-maudslay-319723/ The machines were installed at Portsmouth Dockyard, starting in 1803, and had a very long working life. Marc Brunel was...
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    Bramah and Maudslay

    Joseph Bramah was responsible for some important developments in the late 18th/early 19th centuries. These included the hydraulic press, a large wood planing (milling) machine, high security locks, and beer pumps. I want to concentrate on his role in industrial machine tools. In 1784 Bramah...
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    The Kirkaldy Testing Museum

    1 2 For much of the 19th century, engineering practice raced ahead of scientific understanding and knowledge of material properties. David Kirkaldy aimed to improve matters by establishing an independent laboratory for testing materials and structures. Between 1861 and 1863 he designed a...
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