Machines on display in the North of England: Bradford
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    Default Machines on display in the North of England: Bradford




    Combined drilling and slotting machine by J & S Smith, Keighley.


    Steam engine by J B Clabour, Guiseley, running on air and driving the lineshafts.


    Uniflow steam engine by Newton, Bean & Mitchell of Bradford, 1921. Ex-Linton Mill, Grassington.




    I wonder why Bradford didn’t become a major car manufacturing area?

    Continuing my postings from a wonderful week in the former industrial heartland of northern England, and repeating some of what I said in my ‘Leeds’ post: I took numerous photos in mills and other museums.

    Normally I’d take some time over presenting examples of the machinery, but I feel a sense of urgency here. Partly because it’s the start of the tourist season, and I wouldn’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to visit these places, but mainly because they may not be there to visit forever.

    In the first instance, I’ll give just a few examples of what each museum has to offer, and will return with more in due course.

    These examples are at Bradford Industrial Museum, Yorkshire, just a few miles from Armley Industrial Museum in Leeds, featured here:-
    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...-leeds-204836/

    Like the Leeds Museum, Bradford’s is housed in a former woollen mill.

    Websites:-

    BMG | Bradford Industrial Museum | Visitor Information

    SKIPTON WEB: Bradford Industrial Museum

    I thought nearby Manchester’s Museum of Science & Industry was unbeatable, but this one gives it a run for its money in some respects It doesn’t cover the same breadth as Manchester, and doesn’t draw the same crowds, but the displays of engines, machine tools and textile machinery are superb.

    Don’t miss this museum if you’re in the area. As always, check opening times before visiting.

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    Thanks as always for posting, Asquith! I hope at least most of what you've shown us over the years is still there when I'm finally able to make the trip.

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    Asquith,

    Thanks for the photos. The combined slotter/drill is superb! I wonder if you had to argue with the other guy to get the speed you wanted? And who caused the overload that made the belt come off? Maybe only one machine was used at a time...

    It looks like a most interesting workshop to visit.


    Great to see the Newton Bean & Mitchell uniflow engine, I was not aware of this one. As you know there is a very similar NB&M uniflow here in NZ, it was still working in the late 1980's and possibly still ran until around 2000. It remains on its original site.

    In ISSES Stationary Power Journal #4, there is an article Yorkshire Uniflow Engines by P.D. Lodge; it lists all the uniflow engines built by this company.

    Quote: Newton, Bean & Mitchell: This firm was established in 1896, which was very late compared with other firms. In 1906 they obtained the services of William Eastwood (1864-1941) as Chief Draughtsman. He patented a number of innovations in the field of stationary engines such as centrifugal governors, valves and valve gear, and airpump. All of the uniflow engines built by this firm were built to Eastwood’s designs, with contributions from C. Becker and others. The number of uniflow engines built was a small percentage of their output, the majority being Corliss valved engines.

    Uniflow engine No.7, Linton Mills Estate Co. Linton nr Skipton, Yorkshire. For North Craven Hydro Electric Board. 1920, 300ihp uniflow steam engine. Cylinder 20" diameter by 27" stroke. Piston drop valves operated by Eastwood's positive gear. Auxiliary horizontal exhaust valves controlled by oil relay gear from air pump. The valves ceased work when sufficient vacuum had been reached. Isochronous shaft governor on layshaft controlling speed to 140 rpm. Steam pressure 160 psi. Flywheel 11'6" diameter, weight 8 tons. Eastwood's patent condenser and air pump 11 1/2" diameter by 27" stroke. Named "Victor".
    This engine formed part of the private generating plant of Frank Lowcock & Co. The mill was situated at the bottom of Linton Falls on the River Wharfe, and took advantage of this to generate power by turbines. Also on site were numerous internal combustion engines. The plant, as well as providing power for the mill, provided electricity for the villages of Grassington, Threshfield, Linton, Hebden and Burnsall.
    The engine was said to be last in use in 1940.
    Engine moved to Bradford Industrial Museum 1984 and was partially erected on temporary foundations by Feb 1988.

    Asquith,

    Any chance you took a photo inside the patent "Isochronous shaft governor on layshaft"? They even left the cover off for you!

    I read that after this engine, NB&M sent two 700ihp uniflows to Tientsin, China, in 1920, then no more uniflow engines were built until the last was sent to Gore, NZ in 1936 (200ihp, 20"x24").
    Last edited by Peter S; 05-24-2010 at 05:09 AM.

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    Unfortunately this is as near as I could get to the N,B&M governor.
    There was an excellent storyboard alongside showing stages in the restoration of the engine, which in due course I’d like to expand upon, especially as it involved major work to accommodate the crankshaft in the confined space of the museum. It also showed a photo of the governor unclothed, which I’m afraid I didn’t take time to study.

    I have stacks more photos to show - eventually. A few to be going on with:-


    More details of the combined drilling machine and slotter.


    These three photos show an interesting arrangement for shifting belts.


    Nice little planer.


    Gear cutting machine, and Darling & Sellers (Keighley) horizontal mill.

    It’s a pity there wasn’t a display board showing what each machine was. A minor criticism of a superb museum. I should point out that the general standard of display of exhibits and information boards is first class. Succeeds in informing and illuminating, unlike some museums which aim to impress with acres of glass screens and minimal 'ambient' lighting.

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    Asquith,

    It looks like an amazing museum.

    I found out a little more about the Newton, Bean & Mitchell uniflow engine. I was wondering if this engine was used to generate electricity, or drive the mill. It turns out it did both. A photo of this engine appears in The End of a Revolution: The Last Days of Stationary Steam by Colin Bowden (this is an excellent book, packed with an extraordinary range of steam engines photographed in their last few years of work, mostly 1970's-80's).

    There was a 6ft 10-groove rope pulley driving the weaving shed, and a 9ft pulley driving a 100kW generator. The ropes drove a lineshaft down the length of the mill with bevel gear drives to the weaving shed shafting.

    In this book the isochronous governor is also described as a "Bee" governor.

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    Default Excellent books

    Peter,

    Another excellent book in your possession - ‘The Last Years of Mill Engine Building’ by Arnold Throp (ISSES) has a drawing of a vertical Bee governor on page 83, although it doesn’t go into detail. It’s a vertical one, not horizontal, and appears to of the hydraulic relay type, so no help at all.

    For those who don’t know, the book is Arnold Throp’s account of his time with Cole, Marchent & Morley, engine builders of Bradford. Worth its weight in gold, in my opinion, with its insight into a number of lost arts.

    Here’s a small section of a photo in Bradford Industrial Museum showing a big Cole, Marchent & Morley engine in the course of construction. Rolling mill drive?:-



    Going back to Newton, Bean & Mitchell, adverts on Grace’s Guide:-

    Newton, Bean and Mitchell


    Another view of the uniflow engine. The ‘dogbone’ holding flywheel together is common, but the recessed rim and the bolted joint are not so common.
    One point that surprised me was that the finish on the connecting rod was ‘as machined’, not polished, and the moulding of the castings was not so good as normally seen on mill engines. Perhaps it reflects the hard times and cost cutting needed in the 1920s?


    Patterns made for new bearing casting made by the museum for the engine.


    This freelance 1/12 scale model in the museum was made by John A Pickles. This takes me to another excellent book: Brown & Pickles by Stanley Challenger Graham. Some will know of Stanley from his One Guy From Barlick (OGFB) forum. Like the Arnold Throp book, this contains rare insights and other treasure. Among the many photos is one of the bowler hatted Johnny Pickles with his model engine, and another of him as a boy wearing a flat cap, attending a large lathe. Followers of the ‘Galloways’ thread will know of my curiosity about Birch & Co of Salford. John Pickles admired their expensive ornamental turning lathes so much that he made his own copy. This is now owned by Stanley Graham.

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    Asquith,

    Thanks for the photos. The early Dean Smith and Grace lathe looks to be in very nice condition. Any date given for it?

    Do you have any details of the vehicle in the last thumbnail in the first post which looks like a cross between a faired in motor cycle and sidecar and a cycle car? I have not come across that layout before.

    franco

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    Franco,

    No date for the DS&G. At some point I’ll contact the museum and find out more about these machines.

    Regarding the car, as you know, Britain made many three-wheeler cars to demonstrate the advantage of four wheels. At least the Morgan had two wheels at the front. The one at Bradford is a locally-made Scott Sociable.

    When I first saw it I said to my wife that it was a concept that would never catch on, i.e. making a three wheel car by taking a four-wheeler and removing one of the front wheels. But no, she’d read the placard, and put me right. It’s more along the lines of the motorcycle and sidecar.


    Another Bradford product was the Panther motorcycle, made by Phelon & Moore. One stroke per lamp post, popular with sidecar owners. Apparently P&M were the first to use a sloping engine as a stressed frame member. The engine was designed by Granville Bradshaw. I happen to be currently reading a fascinating biography of him and his work (Granville Bradshaw: a flawed genius? by Barry M Jones). The book was recommended to me (thanks, Bruce), and ranges over many aspects of engineering. It refers to two lady riders who crossed the Sahara on a Panther, en route to Capetown, in 1934/35, and points out that the epic story was told in The Rugged Road by one of the adventurers, Theresa Wallach. I note that the book is available cheaply, and the cover of one version shows the bike hitched to a trailer!

    Jowett of Bradford made well thought out cars and vans. Here‘s a van chassis:-



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    I was looking at another of Stanley Graham’s books, ‘Steam Engine Research Resources’, and came across a reference to the Newton, Bean & Mitchell engine now in the museum. Fortunately the relevant text is online, so I didn’t need to copy it out.

    ‘“I've just found another engine at a mill out in the country at Linton Mill,
    Grassington.
    300hp Uniflow by Newton, Bean and Mitchell, 1923. Could not get to see it
    but saw the owner and he told me about it. Mill closed in 1960 or so, silk mill,
    all locked, didn't seem to want to sell it or care. I always thought it would be
    an old beam. See if it is in you're your/my notebook and alter it if it says beam
    Engine.” …….
    [Here's an excerpt from Newton Pickles LTP tape 78/AG/10 where Newton is
    talking about the mill at Linton on which he had worked.
    [Stanley Graham]: Lowcocks, what are they, are they still a mill?

    Newton: They were manufacturers. Grand mill is Linton, make best
    museum in the country would Linton Mills if the silly old feller 'ud let
    somebody go in and talk to him and do it. There's everything in that mill.
    There's a Newton, Bean and Mitchell engine, it'd be the last engine they ever
    made with drop valves, you know, a drop valve one with a tail end air pump.
    It ran a great big DC generator about ten feet tall. There's two Paxman
    Diesels, I don't know whether they're six cylinder or eight now. I forget,
    one's partially in pieces and t'others all together with great big DC
    generators on the ends. There's a forty horse power turbine that runs a DC
    generator which used to light his house and heat it. It did that for fifty years,
    never cost them a penny and when we went to repair it when the bearings
    conked out he wouldn't pay for it so I wouldn't go any more. But it's a
    marvellous set up. Then there's that great big thing down in that concrete
    cellar, that'd run all the blinking lot with a DC generator on it as well as
    being coupled to all the shafting in the mill. They ran everything off that
    water, when there were plenty of water coming down the river, everything,
    mill, houses, looms, the lot. They even pumped water out of the river for
    people to drink. It's a shame. In fact I think it's ridiculous, I think someone
    wants to go along there and plonk an order on it before the scrap chaps get
    in there. There's shafting up and everything.]'

    Source:-
    ARTHUR ROBERTS ENGINE LIST - OGFB | Forums | Rare Text (Book Transcriptions)

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    The Bradford museum gets even better - a row of Bradfords and Jowetts! A Bradford van went puttering past me a couple of weeks ago and I can remember when they were a common sight.

    Here is the Scott Sociable with its body off - rather a sweet design. The engine is apparently similar to the Scott motorcycle, but with shaft and worm gear drive to one rear wheel (hmmm, did the motorcycles have shaft drive? I don't think so).

    Photo comes from The History and Development of Light Cars by C. F. Caunter. The Scott was not alone, there are many 'surprising' designs in this book

    Quote: This offset front wheel gave the vehicle an awkward appearance which no doubt helped helped to prevent this design becoming popular. Well, I like it!


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    Peter,

    Thanks. It does look less unstable without its clothes, but on the other hand it appears to have been made from a discarded umbrella frame. It was probably no more unwieldy than a motorbike and sidecar, and it might even have had brakes on both sides to avoid that unwelcome drift to the right (or the left, depending on which side the chair is situated).

    As a reward, here’s a Crossley gas engine. Big for its 64 HP. 1924. It drove the lineshafting at B Smith & Sons, Wellington Street, Bingley, until 1971. Note the cross motif on the main bearings.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Asquith View Post
    but on the other hand it appears to have been made from a discarded umbrella frame.
    Why, how rude! Mr Scott almost, but not quite, possibly, if no one else had tried, could have - well let me quote:

    The Scott Sociable was designed in 1916, and contemporary opinion held that if it had been made as a four-wheeler and thus avoided the sales resistance due to to its unorthodox appearance, it might have become the first family ultra-light car.

    Furthermore: This design had such embellishments as rotary inlet valves to improve volumetric and thermal efficiency and a hand starter by means of which the engine could be started from the driver's seat.

    I am surprised there aren't more survivors, I would have thought being laughed at would lead to almost unused examples being hidden away all over the country.

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    I'm drooling so bad I'm shorting out my keyboard!!!

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    Those photo's and machines are fantastic ! One of my favorite books is the autobiogrphy

    of James Nasmyth where he talks about working with the famous Maudsley, are any of

    Maudsley's models or works preserved ?

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    That is a very nice DS&G lathe in the first photo, though getting at the changewheels might take a bit of time.

    When I am again in a position to visit England, Scotland, and Ireland, I hope that these museums will still be around. I also hope that they won't be "remade" into what some directors feel a modern museum must be.

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    Default American heavy iron ......



    ……. suspended from the carriage.

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    No offers on the American lathe, so I’ll focus on some local stuff.


    Spring hammer by A Kinghorn & Co of Todmorden.


    Ryder’s Patent Forge No. 25 made on the other side of the Pennines in Bolton. Looks like an early model.
    Thomas Ryder & Sons were an important firm, who finished up making automatic lathes for the auto industry, and closed c.1980. The machine in the photo appears to be a progressive forging machine. I think these were developed for making the millions of spindles needed by the local textile industries. In fact the machines in this group, and the US lathe, and a grinder to follow, came from the shops of Clapham Smith & Sons, Flyer & Spindle makers of Bradford.

    Information about Ryder’s:-

    Thomas Ryder and Son

    In between the Kinghorn and Ryder hammers is something called ‘The Masdale’ (forging hammer) by Schofield & Mitchell, Keighley.

    Going back to the query from Steve’s Hobby (post #14), do a search on Maudslay or Nasmyth in this forum and you’ll find information, e.g. photos of Maudslay lathes and other machinery.
    Last edited by Asquith; 06-04-2010 at 06:24 AM.

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    In the previous post I credited the above machine to Thomas Ryder, on the basis that I didn’t know that a company called William Ryder also existed in Bolton, making similar machines!
    It turns out that they started as brothers in partnership, and went their separate ways, but not very different ways.

    Grace’s Guide informs us that the brothers probably started to make these progressive forging machines in the 1840s. I now think that the machine in the photo was an early model, because:
    a) Certain details look very old, including the scrolled handles
    b) The ‘font’ looks old
    c) No reference to William or Thomas, suggesting that they were still together
    d) Including ‘Lancashire‘ in the address in the casting. By the late 19th century I don’t think there would be any need to tell customers which county Bolton was in.

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    Another Bolton machine from the Bradford workshop, and a new maker to me: M. Buck. Looks like quite an early example of a cylindrical grinder. I don’t know much about these things, but if anyone can bring themselves to make any observations, I really would welcome them this time. A few things that seem unusual to my eyes: the raised V-guide on the moving table; dovetail instead of a T slot; spring-loaded tailstock spindle.

    On the subject of over-optimistic expectations of information, going back to the American lathe with its suspended weight, I was looking at a picture of an early Pratt & Whitney grinding lathe, and although the details are very different, it, too, has a big weight on the carriage, to counteract the tension in the overhead belt that drives the grinding wheel. Since the lathe is in the ‘grinding’ section of machines from the old Clapham Smith & Son workshop, perhaps this one was a grinding lathe?

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    Asquith,

    I don't have much experience with cylindrical grinders, a bit of time time using Jones & Shipman machines. Hopefully others will have some better answers.

    On the size of machine I was using spring-loaded tailstocks were normal. For grinding between centres (very common work), dead centres were used on both head and tail stocks (more accurate). You would lubricate the centres (never-seize) and the spring would ensure constant pressure. You can grind in both directions, the spring is strong enough to resist the fairly light loads.

    The headstock in the photo looks a bit strange because the pulleys are overhung, however I would guess the centre is dead, and the carrier (driving dog) has not been attached to the workpiece, and carrier pin has not been fitted to the pulley face.

    On machines like the J&S, you can fit a live chuck (same headstock).

    As for the vee way and dovetail, they look ok to me, my guess is they are both easy to clean - very important each time you move the tailstock etc.

    Did you happen to work the hand wheels and lever to tell us what each one does? I wonder if there was any power to the table - I doubt it, there don't seem to be any stops or trips.

    The grinders I used all had "universal" tables (not sure of the terminology), you pivoted the table to get your job parallel or tapered as required.

    ps. it looks like a horrible job to grind...and I would hate to do any grinding without coolant.
    Last edited by Peter S; 06-05-2010 at 06:16 AM.


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