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Hick Hargreaves Engines

Jim Christie

Titanium
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
I tried a couple of searches to see if Hick Hargreaves may have had an association with a Canadian Company to sell or build its products in Canada
I found this mention from 1913,
Canadian Engineer - Google Books
that I captured and added below but can't make it enlarge as I has hoped .
This picture of a rope wheel being grooved
B. Hick and Sons - Wikipedia
unrelated to Canada and these other links turned up in my search .
Some of the Wikipedia pictured appear to be the same or similar to the ones posted by Billmac.
B. Hick and Sons - Wikipedia
1000 HP Corliss Engine by Hick Hargreaves
The Project Gutenberg eBook of Scientific American Supplement, June 25, 1881
Jim
 

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Asquith

Diamond
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Somerset, UK
Thanks, Jim.

Spot the small man in the flywheel photo (from the Wikipedia link):-

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f8/Hick_Hargreaves_%26_Co._Ltd.4.jpg

Also, note the guide rollers pressing against the flywheel rim.

I wonder what the 'goalpost' frame over the cross slide is for?

The Wikipedia link also reveals some more WW2 marine engines made by Hicks. One was for the Empire Ridley, and there were two 4-cylinder triple expansion engines for the Landing Ship (Tank) LST 3001 (which survived until 1968).

The Wikipedia entry for those LSTs says that they used engines intended for frigates, and gives the cylinder dimensions as 18.5", 31.5" 2 x 38.5", 30". This is the same as for the River class frigates I mentioned earlier, so the engine in Post #31, last photo, which I concluded was for a River class frigate, might be for a LST3.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
That’s a great photo. Were they spraying a fine jet of water vapour to keep the cast iron dust down ? I note the “ H “ for “ Head End “ chalked onto the flywheel hub. “ Head End “ for the tapered stakes holding the flywheel onto the hub of course.

Regards Tyrone.
 

billmac

Stainless
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Location
Lancashire, UK
I think I can see some little lumps on the top of the goalpost frame that could be jets. On the right hand side there appear to be linked pipes going off into the background. Of course this might just be imagination on my part, but Tyrones's idea may well be correct.

The flywheel is being driven by the barring gears. That is quite adequate given that the rpm would be low to get the surface speed into a reasonable region. Might be HSS tooling, but could quite possibly be just tool steel.

At the museum, we had an accident with our large beam engine that resulted in the barring gear pinion that engages the flwheel exploding. No one was hurt but the bang was loud enough to cause some very pale faces. I designed a pattern with the pattern maker on our team making it in the traditional manner (yellow pine etc.) so we could get a casting made. That was when I found that the gear teeth were not involute pattern or even close to it or any other standard gear tooth form. As is normal for these engines, no drawings were available and the parts that need replacement typically have so much wear that the original dimensions have to be worked out by other means. In this case the problem was made worse by the state of the gear - several large chunks with some distortion. This gear had a simple large radius at the top and bottom of the teeth joined with a tangential straight tooth face. The other interesting feature was the bendix-like face cam that takes the gear out of engagement as the engine starts.

These barring gears were not designed for smooth, silent drive transfer at high speed. All that mattered was that they could turn the flywheel and last a long time without excessive wear.
 

Asquith

Diamond
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Somerset, UK
Flywheel photo: goalpost: fine water spray makes sense. The articulated pipes connected to the goalpost are of the type once used to supply open gas flames for illumination on machine tools. If they were good enough for gas, they’ll certainly do for water, but why didn’t they use hose pipes?

I wonder why they had barring gear teeth on both sides of the flywheel, and why were they using both sides to drive it for machining? Perhaps having two drives reduced the chance of the flywheel ringing like a bell during machining. You wouldn’t want chatter marks in the grooves of a rope drive flywheel.

Presumably the wheel was motor driven – no sign of a belt drive, and the shop is wired for electricity. There’s a box on the wall, near the clipboards, that looks as though it has been warm!

I counted about 32 rope grooves on the wheel. I looked through some of the George Watkins photos for an installed Hick Hargreaves engine flywheel with 32 grooves and with the rim assembled from 12 castings, and found one at Osborne Mill near Oldham, 21 ft diameter. Not necessarily relevant to the big photo, but what caught my attention was the way the wheel was boarded in to reduce windage from the spokes. Most big mill engine flywheels were boarded-in, but the way it was done at Osborne Mill looks complicated. Normally the boarding presented a plain flat face, but in this case they started out flat from the hub, and then splayed out near the rim.

This prompted me to look for other examples, and I found one on a big engine made by John Musgrave and Sons of Bolton (at Grape Mill Co, Royton). Incidentally, this had barring gear teeth in the middle of flywheel, and on the inside of the rim, presumably giving the customer more options where to place the barring engine.
 

Asquith

Diamond
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Somerset, UK
My description of various methods of hiding flywheel spokes behind tongue-and-groove boards may have been both uninteresting and incomprehensible, so I’ll attempt to address the latter shortcoming with this photo:-

HH-Knowles-3a.jpg HH-Knowles-3b.jpg

They show an 1883 Hick Hargreaves engine at Knowles & Co’s pipe works in Elland, Yorkshire, photographed by Tom Hargreaves. The photos are from Arthur Roberts’ collection of over 400 engine photos, kindly put on line by Peter Ellis. Website here:-

[url=http://ellisdesign.jalbum.net/Arthur%20Roberts%27%20Box/#HH-Knowles-3a.jpg]Arthur Roberts' Box[/URL]

In one of the photos it lacks the all-important connecting rod.

The same engine was photographed in 1963 by George Watkins, who recorded that it was badly neglected. It had come from a textile mill, and languished for some years at Knowles' works awaiting reassembly.
 

billmac

Stainless
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Location
Lancashire, UK
This prompted me to look for other examples, and I found one on a big engine made by John Musgrave and Sons of Bolton (at Grape Mill Co, Royton). Incidentally, this had barring gear teeth in the middle of flywheel, and on the inside of the rim, presumably giving the customer more options where to place the barring engine.

Our Musgrave 'Non Dead Centre' (NDC) engine has the barring teeth in the middle of the flywheel but there are no additional teeth on the inside of the rim. I expect this was because this is a relatively small engine with no real need for a barring engine. The teeth that are provided are ideally located for use with a manual bar and this is how we use it.

After reading Asquith's message I had a close look at how Musgrave had made the barring gear teeth. The actual teeth are of roughly rectangular cross section and were not cast integrally in the flwheel. It would have been quite difficult to cast the flywheel with the teeth in place. I'm not sure how the teeth are actually inserted - I will ask one of the guys who last installed the engine.

This engine is another example of a marine/mill engine cross-over; The original design was by Fleming and Ferguson of Glasgow for marine use. They licensed the design to Musgraves for mill engine use. The resulting engines were quite compact and made in sizes up to 1500hp. The smaller examples ran at a fairly high speed for a mill engine - our engine is intended to run at 120rpm and is a very smooth runner. I'm not sure about the rationale for the NDC mill engine design. Our engine has no simpling valve, so although the engine has no conventional geometric dead centres, it still cannot start in any position. Mill engines were ideally stopped in a position where they could be restarted with no or minimal barring - this was part of the engine man's skill set. Of course barring is still required for maintenance.
 

Asquith

Diamond
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Somerset, UK
Another contender for the successful introduction of a ‘non dead centre’ engine is H. J. H. King. Apparently he patented his engine in 1885, but it was some years before examples were in production (by H. J. H. King & Co and by Fraser & Chalmers).

He was an ingenious man. He established a factory in Glasgow, which made micrometers among other things. One of the emplyees there was James Charles Potter, who emigrated to the USA and with John Johnston founded the machine tool firm Potter & Johnson. (Information from the excellent vintagemachinery.org).

King himself spent a couple of years in the USA, before returning to his native Gloucestershire and setting up an engineering works, which produced a wide range of products.
 

Asquith

Diamond
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Somerset, UK
JD 1884 HH Barring 1.jpg JD 1884 HH Barring 2.jpg

I came across these engravings of a Hick, Hargreaves barring engine in 'Engineering', 22 Aug 1884. I'd copied the pictures, but not the descriptive words, unfortunately!

The pinion's axle allows it to slide in and out of engagement, and is biased to disengage by springs. Presumably when the barring engine starts, it pushes the gear into engagement with the flywheel, and when the flywheel speeds up it throws the pinion out of engagement, helped by the continuing load on the pinion teeth applied by the barring engine. I further assume that the hand lever holds the pinion safely out of engagement.

That was as far as idle speculation got me. Fortunately I remembered that there's a photo of a Hick Hargreaves barring engine on Grace's Guide:-

File:Im20100530BSM-09a-Hick.jpg - Graces Guide

Even more fortunately, the engine is at billmac's museum!
 

billmac

Stainless
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Location
Lancashire, UK
We have a collection of orphan barring engines at the museum. The Hick Hargreaves example (and all the rest of the barring engines) can be seen running (by request) on our steam days.

We have two Musgrave barring engines. One of them is a twin cylinder 'boxer' unifow design. This is a most unusual engine, possibly unique amongst barring engines. The other engine is also unusual in that although conventional in layout, it has a governor fitted. I'm not sure why a barring engine would need a governor but perhaps it was the size of the mill engine that made the expense justifiable. The flywheel weighed about 70+ tons and the engine was rated at 1700hp.
 

Asquith

Diamond
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Somerset, UK
Bill,

Barring gear governor - could its role be to prevent the barring engine overspeeding when it disengaged from the flywheel? However, I can't think of any circumstances where the driver wouldn't be on hand to stop it.
 

Asquith

Diamond
Joined
Mar 3, 2005
Location
Somerset, UK
Grace's Guide provides more illustrations of Bolton Steam Museum engines as described by Bill:-

File:1891PE4658.jpg - Graces Guide
Musgrave, 1891

File:Im20100530BSM-Mus1888.jpg - Graces Guide
Musgrave, showing governor

File:Im20100530BSM-GeoSaxon.jpg - Graces Guide
George Saxon engine, with the same type of tumbler gear as on the Musgrave. I've also seen the same tumbler arrangement on large steam turbines made by GEC at Erith works (originally Fraser & Chalmers, later taken over by C. A. Parsons). A clever idea - as the turbine or flywheel speeded up, the final drive pinion climbed up round the driving pinion, tending to disengage. On the turbines there was a hydraulic limit switch which acted to supply oil to a hydraulic ram to fully disengage the gears. As far as I recall, the ram used low pressure (15 psig) oil from the bearing lubricating system.
 

billmac

Stainless
Joined
Oct 17, 2004
Location
Lancashire, UK
Bill,

Barring gear governor - could its role be to prevent the barring engine overspeeding when it disengaged from the flywheel? However, I can't think of any circumstances where the driver wouldn't be on hand to stop it.

I would agree that the engine man would normally be on hand - barring engines require physical intervention to engage them, and would normally be closely observed. The only exception I can think of is a very large engine where the main steam valve is a long way away from the barring engine but this is stretching credulity a bit. I suppose that a very large engine would require a lot of steam to start the flywheel moving, but then much less once the inertia is overcome. The governor would help to keep that under control?
 

Jim Christie

Titanium
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
From Post#39
I remembered that I have a book called 'River-class Frigates and the Battle of the Atlantic', by Brian Lavery. The ships were designed in haste during the winter of 1940/1. They were simple and uncomfortable. There's a photo of one of the four-cylinder triple-expansion engines, and I was amazed to see that it is almost identical to the one in the last photo in post #31!

I won't copy the photo from the book, but the only noticable difference is that it doesn't have the crankcase splash guards seen on Billmac's photo. However, here they are in this 1943 photo! :-

INTERIOR STUDIES ON BOARD A FRIGATE. 5 JULY 1943, ON BOARD THE RIVER CLASS FRIGATE, HMS MOURNE, AT LIVERPOOL. | Imperial War Museums

I rest my case!

Those things on the side are lubricators, by the way.

Billmac's photo is clearly taken in a dark shop, so it is consistent with wartime blackout.

I wasn't satisfied about the dates of the other photos, though, which weren't in a blacked-out shop. By another stroke of luck, I've found that Hick's had made a three-cylinder triple-expansion engine for the Ministry of War Transport, for a "C Type" wartime standard cargo ship, built by the Shipbuilding Corporation in Newcastle in 1947 and launched as the 'Empire Birdsay'. Later renamed SS Lokoja Palm, then various other names, and scrapped in 1971.

Zarian 1947


On edit: In 1944 they supplied a three-cylinder triple-expansion engine for the Ministry of War Transport's 'Empire Grey' (Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields).

Empire Grey 1944

I had remembered seeing some old articles about the ships built in Canada and the U.S.A. mentioned by Asquith in old magazines some time ago .
It took me a while to find them .
There are several volumes of Pacific Marine Review on Archive.org
I found this one Volume 38 from 1941
Pacific marine review : Pacific American Steamship Association : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive Where the ships built by Burrard are mentioned .
also the ships ordered by the British in 1941 are mentioned here
Pacific marine review : Pacific American Steamship Association : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive
I didn't explore the other volumes to see what else might be there in later volumes
https://archive.org/search.php?query=creator:"Pacific+American+Steamship+Association"&and[]=year%3A%22-1%22
Here is Volume 39 from 1942
https://archive.org/details/pacificmarinerev3942paci/page/n6/mode/1up
They are also on the Hathi trust site but the volumes for the war years are limited search only
https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/000674991
how ever the list gives the year associated with the volume number that is not as easy to find on the archive.org search.
Jim
P.S.
This turned up when I looked a little more.
https://archive.org/details/pacificmarinerev3942paci/page/n35/mode/1up?view=theater
One never knows what else may turn up .
The engine room layout with the triple expansion engine is shown here using the 2 page view.
https://archive.org/details/pacificmarinerev3942paci/page/n101/mode/2up?view=theater
 

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