Industrial Steam Power In London, 1780 – 1805

LONDON 75 Cowcross Street Cowcross St, Clerkenwell, London

The role played by London in the classic period of the Industrial revolution (say 1760-1815) has long been a topic of debate among historians of technology. Some have argued that London was unimportant; others that it was a driving force as much as Lancashire or the coalfields. The existence of the huge Boulton and Watt archive and the mythology that grew up promoting the firm has led to over-concentration on their output: as recently as 2016 a researcher could write that they had a monopoly of engine building in the capital. This is patently untrue: they were the most important, but only one player, in the market for steam engines. This paper examines, from a wide range of sources, actual engine numbers built, as far as they can be ascertained, and places them in the national context. Moreover, a survey of steam engines at work in the capital was made by Farey in 1804/5 and published in his famous Treatise in 1827. To benchmark this my online database of Watt and other engines installed up to 1800 has been extended to 1805 for London, not just for B&W engines but also other makers including Trevithick. The results are instructive and unexpected.

Joint Meeting with BIAS

BRISTOL BAWA 589 Southmead Rd, Filton, Bristol

In person meeting.

“Gyroplanes” by Roger Savage and Wing Commander Mark Quinn

MANCHESTER International Anthony Burgess Foundation Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street,, Manchester M1 5BY

Take to the skies to learn about the history and technology of gyroplanes and the important role that they have played in military and civilian life. Roger Savage Founder of Lake District Gyroplanes, Roger has over 40 years of experience piloting helicopters, planes and gyrocopters. Wing Commander Mark Quinn An experienced RAF Puma pilot and Regional Director of RAF Benevolent Fund, who now flies Gyrocopters around the Lake District.

“From Time Balls to Time Lights” by Dr Roger Kinns

MANCHESTER International Anthony Burgess Foundation Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street,, Manchester M1 5BY

The time ball at Greenwich was established in October 1833 after persistent lobbying by Robert Wauchope and successful experiments at Portsmouth in 1829. It used a mechanism supplied by Maudslay, Sons & Field to provide an accurate, visible time signal for marine chronometer calibration. It became the reference system for installations worldwide, but it had been preceded by a shuttered, stationary time ball at Port Louis, Mauritius in April 1833, that had been made locally. Maudslays built only four more time ball systems: for Edinburgh and Deal in 1853, for Sydney in 1855 and finally one for Siemens Brothers in 1873, who added additional equipment and shipped it to Lyttelton, New Zealand. Hundreds of other signals were provided world-wide by different suppliers, ranging from time balls to rotating discs and electric lights under observatory control, often complemented by time guns. Most had ceased operation by the 1930s when radio time signals had become almost universally available. Destruction of the time ball in Wellington, New Zealand by fire in 1909 led to the introduction of electric time lights there in 1912 and in Auckland from 1915. They were only withdrawn in 1937. This talk will be illustrated using photographs and other images from around the world. Roger Kinns has worked as an independent consultant since 1999 with principal research interests in vibration and underwater noise due to marine propulsion systems. He read Mechanical Sciences as an undergraduate at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and then took an MASc degree in control engineering at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, before returning to Cambridge to complete a PhD in unsteady aerodynamics. Roger was the first Maudslay Research Fellow of Pembroke College, Cambridge before moving to Scotland and joining YARD Ltd in Glasgow to develop and apply techniques for the acoustic design of ships and submarines. Roger has lived in Clynder, near Helensburgh, Scotland since 1975. The Maudslay connection led to an enduring fascination with the history of engineering and particularly time signals.