American Schaeffer & Budenberg
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  1. #1
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    Default American Schaeffer & Budenberg

    anyone able to tell me anything about this piece or a value please & thanks img_20200522_120348-1-.jpgimg_20200522_120348-1-.jpgimg_20200522_120327.jpg

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    It appears to be a pressure gauge secondary calibration set. The test gauge is fittet to one of the pipe ends and the gauge under test is fitted to the other. The pump plunger is screwed in to raise the pressure and compare the readings of the two gauges. The devices just to the right of the pump handle and the pliers top left are needle pullers, the small punch is a needle putter-on-er and the other tools are self-explanatory.

    The pipe ends are plugged because the rig would be oil filled to reduce the amount of pump movement needed.

    The test guage would, itself, be calibrated using a dead weight tester. Budenberg were big in production of precision pressure measuring and calibrating equipment.

    Ah! memories...

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    They are beautiful gauge kits. Everything down to the box itself shows that a lot of thought went into it's design. I have e few made by the Ashton Valve company. Pics are attached.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails mcmaster-carr-2.jpg   img_20190503_083844.jpg   img_20190503_084153.jpg   img_20191101_134504.jpg  

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    Great post

    FWIW, the only gauge tester I ever trusted was a deadweight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    Great post

    FWIW, the only gauge tester I ever trusted was a deadweight.
    Hard to use as a boiler inspector. You go in with your portable "kit", test the gauge frequently in place by a test connection, and then go look at other things of technical weakness if the gauge seems accurate.

    Agreed though. Deadweight is the more accurate.

    Mine is a Crosby production beginning in 1884. 11 brass weights: 9 at 20psi ea., 1 at 10psi, 1 at 5psi, and the "t-shaped" tray they sit on is equal to 5psi. Total capacity 200 psi in 5 psi increments.



    Joe in NH
    Last edited by Joe in NH; 05-23-2020 at 04:52 PM.

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    thanks mate any idea of the year era this kits from & any idea of a value?

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    American, Schaefer and Budenberg was in Brooklyn, NY. I know they were history well before WWII. Schaefer & Budenberg was a German firm with their main offices and plant in Magedburg-Buckau, in pre WWII Germany. They had an office and plant for the manufacture of pressure gauges and related items such as your gauge calibration set located in Brooklyn, NY. The really old Schaefer and Budenberg gauges made in Brooklyn will not have the word "American" included.

    I would guess your gauge calibration kit was made post WWI, given the name change to "American, Schaefer & Budenberg", and given the type case the instrument is in. Prior to WWI, I think the name would have been simple "Schaefer & Budenberg", and the case might well have been made of hardwood.

    As to value, that is hard to pin down. To someone like myself who has need of a pressure gauge calibration set, it is worth something as it is a useful item. How much is another matter. To a collector of vintage engineering instruments, this gauge calibration set is worth more since it is in pristine condition. The truth is that, if this device were to be used, the pump would have to be filled with oil in order to pressurize the gauge being tested/calibrated as well as the reference/test gauge. Afterwards, putting the pump back into a velvet lined box could create a bit of a mess, no matter how well the instrument was wiped clean. As Joe in NH notes, the deadweight type of gauge tester/calibration device is preferable and about as close to "guaranteed dead-nuts accurate" as it gets. This portable device can verify that a pressure gauge is/isn't reading relatively correctly, but is only as accurate as the test gauge.

    Looking on eBay, steam engine indicators seem to be listed at what seem ridiculously high prices by people who usually have absolutely no idea what an engine indicator is used for. Any of the old instruments of this type in fitted cases with nickel plating over fine workmanship seem to at least be listed for very high prices. Whether they fetch those kinds of prices is another matter. I'd throw a WAG (engineering term for "wild-ass guess") that the instrument you have might be worth 50-200 USD.
    Again, this is dependent on the buyer and whether they are 'collectors' (who treat these things as museum pieces) vs a 'user' (someone such as Joe in NH, or myself, who would actually use the instrument to test/calibrate a pressure gauge).

    I was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I came in at what I call 'the sunset of an era', when there were still many working machine shops and manufacturing industry within NYC limits, and when there was still a good bit of steam power in use within NYC limits. I have quite a few Schaefer and Budenberg pressure gauges, some from the engineering school I graduated from, when they got rid of the old thermodynamics lab. Some came from old industrial plants. I was always curious as to where Schaefer and Budenberg had their plant in Brooklyn, NY, but never could find that out. A spin-off from S & B may well have been the Amthor Instrument Company of Brooklyn, NY. Amthor continued the manufacture of dead-weight pressure gauge testers and mechanical tachometers into the 1970's in Brooklyn. Amthor also vanished into thin air and I cannot find a street address for them. I would not be surprised if S & B and then Amthor were connected, and possibly located in the Ridgewood or Bushwick areas of Brooklyn. These areas were German strongholds, and a likely place for a firm with German ties and employing fine machinists and toolmakers to be located.

    The portable pressure gauge tester the OP has looks like it was never used. Had it been used, there might well be wrench marks on the nickel-plated bands on the elbows, and might also be matting of the velvet case lining from oil. The old Schaefer & Budenberg logo on the gauge face will have an oval with a pressure gauge, and a 'cell' such as might have a metal diaphragm, below the gauge. Really old S & B stuff will have "Magdeburg & Buckau" in that logo, a reference to S & B's German headquarters.

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    Maybe there is more to the Budenberg gauge name than meets the eye. I had always thought of them as a British company, despite the name and based in Manchester. Looking at the history of the company, Arnold Budenberg was German and developed the design of his pressure gauges with Ernst Schaffer. He came to England to sell his gauges in Manchester. This was a very sensible move because in the 1850s Manchester was the world-wide centre of the textile industry and a massive market for his gauges. In 1896 he started to make his gauges in Manchester on Whitworth Street - an area I know well. In 1914 they built a new factory at Broadheath in Manchester. With the start of the WW1, the company was nationalised. Given the strategic importance of steam gauges and the still existing connection with Germany I guess the government felt they had no choice but to do this. After the war the company was taken back by the Budenberg family and manufacturing in in Manchester greatly expanded to about 7,000 employees in 1944. Various buy outs and take-overs ensued with expanding manufacturing on a new site in Irlam, also in Manchester. Still going strong as far as I know.

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    Test gauges such as this, and dead-weight testers in particular are used by us occasionally in our mill engine museum. We have a large collection of steam pressure gauges, far more than we can actually use, so we have made a wall display of the more interesting types. Unfortunately I can't include a photo because the museum is shut for the duration, but if there is interest I will post one later when we open.

    The same applies to indicators. We have an example permanently mounted on our horizontal cross compound, and a small collection on display, together with an explanation of what they can show of an engine's performance and faults. They are beautifully made as Joe says and I can understand (with regret) their attraction for collectors who will never use them or possibly understand their use.

    I have occasionally had thoughts about making a modern indicator using up to date position and pressure transducers and a display screen instead of a card on a drum. It would not be too difficult, but I am put off by the fact that we cannot put any realistic load on our engines, and therefore the diagrams would not look anything like the text book examples. Such a system could calculate the area inside the curve as the engine runs, giving a live indication of indicated horse power (IHP).

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    [QUOTE=billmac;3554659]Test gauges such as this, and dead-weight testers in particular are used by us occasionally in our mill engine museum. We have a large collection of steam pressure gauges, far more than we can actually use, so we have made a wall display of the more interesting types. Unfortunately I can't include a photo because the museum is shut for the duration, but if there is interest I will post one later when we open.

    Bill, I would love to see a few photos when you have the opportunity. Where is the museum? Do they have any Ashton gauges?

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    Here is an 1870 catalog of their product line. The words are in German but the pictures aren't!

    Illustrites Preis-Verzeichniss : Januar 1870 : Machinen & Dampfkessel-Armatur-Fabrik von Schaffer & Budenberg : Schaffer & Budenberg : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive


    A 1916 ad from Power House magazine.
    https://ia800409.us.archive.org/Book...ale=4&rotate=0

    And their listing on the GracesguideUK website.
    Schaffer and Budenberg - Graces Guide


    Through google images you might find some interesting links.
    schaffer & budenberg - Google Search


    Here's their current site:
    History of the Bourdon Tube and Schaffer Diaphragm Pressure Gauges

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    Rick -

    This is our museum:
    https://www.nmes.org/
    and
    Bolton Steam Museum - Home | Facebook

    It is located in Bolton, England.

    As far as I can recall we have no Ashton gauges. UK had many makers of all types of steam machinery, so US imports would have been rare. I can't check until we are able to start up again, but when we do I will have a look and take some photos to post.

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    Schaeffer & Budenberg in the UK ceased to be a German firm in 1918, when the business was taken over by the Government and shares were advertised for sale to British nationals. The company was bought by Christian Frederick Budenberg, who had spent all his life in Britain. In fact, his sons joined the army in WW1, and one, Donald Harlow Budenberg was killed in action in 1918 while leading an attack against the German lines, while another, Christian Frederick Budenberg, was awarded the Military Cross in 1917.

    In looking for more information on the history, I came across something that might be of interest to Rick: In 'Famous for a Century' by Curtis Sparkes, there's a transcript of a conversation between Mr Sparkes and Brian Budenberg in 1991 (Sparkes had been Managing Director of Kearns Machine Tools, and also a consultant to Budenberg, while Budenberg was the retiring M.D. of Budenberg). Brian Budenberg said that 'only yesterday at the exhibition in Birmingham, I was talking to a man called Ashcroft, from Mannie [Manning] Maxwell & Moore who are the American equivalent of Budenberg. He told me that after the war, in 1919, they bought Schaffer & Budenberg (America) under the German Repatriation Scheme.

    I’d like to add a bit more from this exchange when I get time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by billmac View Post
    Rick -

    This is our museum:
    https://www.nmes.org/
    and
    Bolton Steam Museum - Home | Facebook

    It is located in Bolton, England.

    As far as I can recall we have no Ashton gauges. UK had many makers of all types of steam machinery, so US imports would have been rare. I can't check until we are able to start up again, but when we do I will have a look and take some photos to post.
    Great museum. Ashton Valve had an office in London for a number of years around the turn of the century. I'll keep my fingers crossed that you might stumble across one in the museum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asquith View Post
    Schaeffer & Budenberg in the UK ceased to be a German firm in 1918, when the business was taken over by the Government and shares were advertised for sale to British nationals. The company was bought by Christian Frederick Budenberg, who had spent all his life in Britain. In fact, his sons joined the army in WW1, and one, Donald Harlow Budenberg was killed in action in 1918 while leading an attack against the German lines, while another, Christian Frederick Budenberg, was awarded the Military Cross in 1917.

    In looking for more information on the history, I came across something that might be of interest to Rick: In 'Famous for a Century' by Curtis Sparkes, there's a transcript of a conversation between Mr Sparkes and Brian Budenberg in 1991 (Sparkes had been Managing Director of Kearns Machine Tools, and also a consultant to Budenberg, while Budenberg was the retiring M.D. of Budenberg). Brian Budenberg said that 'only yesterday at the exhibition in Birmingham, I was talking to a man called Ashcroft, from Mannie [Manning] Maxwell & Moore who are the American equivalent of Budenberg. He told me that after the war, in 1919, they bought Schaffer & Budenberg (America) under the German Repatriation Scheme.

    I’d like to add a bit more from this exchange when I get time.

    Ashcroft was one of the big names in gauge production in the states. As a matter of fact, they are still around.
    Last edited by Rick A54; 05-27-2020 at 10:51 AM.

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    Thanks everybody for the detailed information I've learned a lot & i don't know if this is aloud on here so Im sorry in advance if its not but if anyone is interested in buying this American Schaeffer & Budenberg Test Gauge kit private message me there are more photos on my user profile & i'll gladly make a buy it now eBay listing & send you the link or what ever is best if you have a better idea let me know
    cheers & stay safe everyone

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    Quote Originally Posted by storagelistingz View Post
    Thanks everybody for the detailed information I've learned a lot & i don't know if this is aloud on here so Im sorry in advance if its not but if anyone is interested in buying this American Schaeffer & Budenberg Test Gauge kit private message me there are more photos on my user profile & i'll gladly make a buy it now eBay listing & send you the link or what ever is best if you have a better idea let me know
    cheers & stay safe everyone
    Not really.

    More important...."Punctuation is free".

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Not really.

    More important...."Punctuation is free".
    Geez! "Digger Doug" I can see why that's your name. You had to get your diggs in. This is my first time ever using a forum of any sort. And I tried to thank people for their help because I really appreciate random people helping one another out. What a real nice way to welcome the new guy.


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