Transactions of the Newcomen Society
The Newcomen Society used to operate a service whereby it is possible to view the initial page of the majority of the items listed herein free from cost (in pdf format) or to purchase downloads of whole articles for (November 2005) £10 per item (in pdf format). This appears to have been abandoned for more recent issues. Furthermore, post industrial Norwich "City" "library" has ceased to acquire the replacement for the Transcations so as to be able to buy more pulp fiction. Only papers relevant to railway history are listed herein..
Volume 1 (1920/1)
Pendred, Loughnan. St. L. The mystery of Trevithick's
London locomotives. 34-49.
The two locomotives concerned were the road locomotive of 1803 and Catch-me-who-Can of 1808. Harvey Trevithick, great grandson of Richard, believed that there were more of Richard's letters at Hayle. E.A. Forward considered that both models are genuine. The drawing of the Pen-y-darren engine was "manifestly wrong" as the "fireman would have to lie on his stomach to get at the fire". Note the significance of Francis Trevithick's Life. (1872). Pendred stated that this book is "made tedious by repetition", but only Chapters 7 to 9 needed to be considered. Forward (pp 46-9) stated that there can be no doubt that the enclosure was built and Trevithick did run an engine on rails within it. The Forward contribution is very important: he notes the significance of the record made by Isaac Hawkins in 1847 which is included in the Life on page 193. Acording to Forward Hawkins was an engineer of some eminence and is a "fairly reliable witness."..Note: it would not have been possible to have written this abstract on the basis of inspecting the first page.
Volume 2 (1921/1922)
Marshall, C.F.D. The Liverpool & Manchester Railway. 12-44.
General history of the Railway and the factors which led up to its construction. Later critics would argue that too much based on Samuel Smiles (notably account of crossing Chat Moss). There is an extensive bibliography which included Steel's History of the LNWR. In the discussion Sir George Greenhill mentioned that he had known John Braithwaite and that the Novelty was named after a theatre. Ottley cited this for the Author's analysis of the early pictorial representations of the railway including work of Thomas Talbot Bury.
Young, Robert. Timothy Hackworth and the locomotive.
Written by Timothy Hackworth's grandson (who was also the Author of a major study). L. Pendred made reference to S. Snell's A story of railway pioneers (1921 Ottley 2846) which claimes that Isaac Dodds suggested the use of coupling rods to George Stephenson in 1815..
Pendred, Loughnan St.L. A note on Brunton's Steam
Horse, 1813. 118-20.
Mainly an examination of Patent No. 3700.
Titley, Arthur. Notes on Heaton's steam carriage of
George Heaton and his brothers patented a steam carriage (6006 of 6 October 1830).
Forward, E.A. Gurney's railway locomotives, 1830.
Trial by William Crawshay on tramway across Hirwain Common. The locomotive hauled 20 tons over 3 miles in 39 minutes and returned in 32 minutes. The engine weighed 30 cwt. Includes communications from William Crawshay to Sir Charles Dance on the excellence of the tubular boiler, and to Simon Goodrich.
An Engineer's Sketch-book of the 18th Century. H.W.
Volume 3 (1922)
E.A. Forward. Simon Goodrich and his work as an engineer compiled from his journal and memoranda. 1-15 .
Volume 4 (1923/1924)
Pendred, Loughnan St. The value of technological
H.W. Dickinson, H.W. and Arthur Lee. The Rastricks
Civil Engineers. . 48-63.
Argues that relatively well-known John Urpeth Rastrick was born into an engineering family: his father John (1738-1826) patented devices associated with agriculture.
Loree, L.F. The four locomotives imported into America
in 1829 by the Delaware and Hudson Co. 64-74.
Locomotives supplied by Robert Stephenson (America completed 20 October 1828 and shippped to New York via London) and by Foster Rastrick (including Stourbridge Lion).
Early history of the cylinder boring machine. E.A. Forward,. 24-38
No direct connection with locomotive construction, but obviously immensely important influence.
Notes and Communications. Letters of Marc Isambard Brunel. Annotated by Rhys Jenkins. 91-6
Volume 6 (1925)
Brownlie, David. John George Bodmer, his life and work,
particularly in relation to the evolution of mechanical stoking. 86-110
Mainly in maritime applications, but also on locomotives.
Tyas, G.F. Matthew Murray. a centenary appreciation.
Biography and assessment of his contribution to engineering (his first patent was for a textile spinning machine), and especially his construction of what was probably the first viable steam locomotive. Contributors to the discussion included E.A. Forward and E. Kitson Clark.
Volume 7 (1926/7)
Titley, Arthur. Trevithick and Rastrick and the
single-acting expansive engine. 42-59.
Achard, Ferdinand and Seguin, Laurent. British Railways of 1825 as seen by Marc Seguin. 63-7.
Based on Marc Seguin's notebooks, at that time located at Varagnes, near Annonay, especially book No. 13 which covered the period 1825-6. The party consisted of himself his brother Paul and Montgolfier. Before meeting George Stephenson, Marc Seguin had met Henry Maudslay, Babbage and Brunel in London where he had gone to discuss the acquistion of a steam engine for his boat to be supplied by Taylor and Martineau). He also inspected the Middleton Colliery railway. Seguin described the working methods employed on the Stockton & Darlington Railway where the notebook contains significant information about Chittaprat. See also below.
Achard, Ferdinand. The first British locomotives of
the St. Etienne-Lyon Railway. 68-80.
Marc Seguin came to Briatin in 1825-6 with his brother Paul and Montgolfier to discuss engine building with Taylor & Martineau in London and extended his visiit to Scotland and North East England. His observations of this visit added greatly to the knowledge of early railways and their locomotives, as well as to the supply of Stephenson locomotives to France, and the whole question of the priority of the tubular boiler. The major locomotive historians, E.A. Forward, J.G.H. Warren and Dendy Marshall contributed to the discussuion. H.W. Dickinson had sought to find information on Taylor & Martineau (there were references in Raistrck's note-books. See also paper by Forward in Volume 24 page 89. Paper reprinted in full in Locomotive Mag., 1927, 33, 88.
Seguin, Ferdinand and Seguin, Laurent. Marc
Seguin and the invention of the tubular boiler. 97-116.
Paper establishes that Seguin was first to patent the tubular boiler (on 12 December 1827); and intended to apply it to steamboats on the Rhone, but was also the first (on 13 January 1828) to consider applying this to a locomotive, and being the first to implement such a concept.Nevertheless, the original intension was to lighten the boiler rather than to improve steam raising. Also deduces the date by which the Stephenson locomotives reached France: linked to Marc Seguin's visit to Hallette on 20 August 1828. E.A. Forward (109) agreed with most of assertions, but argued that tests mentioned in Report of 20 August 1829 were probably for boiler only. Dickinson (p. 113) argued that neither Stephenson nor Seguin had any idea of other's works. J.G.H. Warren agreed that Seguin had priority for the multi-tubular boiler as Stephenson's Lancashire Witch had been limited to twin tubes. Stephenson's merit was the form of fire-box adopted: there had been too little discussion on the importance of an efficicient firebox which was an essential element for the success of the multi-tubular boiler. Plate 11: Seguin's sketch of Chittaprat.
Dendy Marshall, C.F. A note on Whistler the American
George Washington Whistler visited England in 1828.
Volume 8 (1927/1928)
Rowatt, T. Railway Brakes. 19-32.
Describes those on early horse wagons, self-acting, continuous, automatic, steam, vacuum, Clark's chain brake, and hydraulic brakes. Robert Stephenson fitted a hand brake to the tender of the John Bull locomotive in 1831 and also used a system of levers to apply the brakes through the train; and patented a steam brake for locomotives (6484/1833) in 1833. Henry Booth invented a form of counter pressure brake for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway in 1836. H.M. Grover invented an electro-magnetic brake in 1840. James Nasmyth and Charles May patented the first vacuum brake in 1844. John Wilson invented a continuous brake to lower his soft coal down a wagonway to the Union Canal. Robert Heath was in 1848 inventor of automatic continuous brake which was activated by a chain: braking force applied by weights and levers:In 1867 A. Chambers invented a modified form of the Fay type of chain brake and this was evaluated on the NLR. The Newark brake trials of June 1875 are described as the most important railway tests since Rainhill. The railways which supplied brakes to be tested were the LNWR with a Clark-Webb chain brake, the Caledonian Railway with a Steel & McInnes pressure brake, the LBSCR with the Westinghouse vacuum brake, the GNR with Smith's vacuum, the L&YR with Fay's screw brake, the Midland Railway with three systems: Barker's hydraulic brake, the Westinghouse pressure brake, and Clark's hydraulic brake. Every competitor tried. to obtain conditions as favourable as possible for itself and many were dissatisfied, but on the whole, the trials were fair. Of the competing brakes, the two mechanical brakes, Fay's.and Clark's were out-classed. The two hydraulic brakes were inconvenient, and the Westinghouse vacuum was, more or less, a failure. This left the Smith vacuum, the Westinghouse pressure, and the Steel & McInnes pressure; and of these, the Westinghouse was decidedly the best. So much was this the case that it seems to the author that had Westinghouse acted sensibly he should have swept all other brakes off the field, instead of which the supporters of other brakes struggled, night and day, to brmg them to the level of success of the Westinghouse, with the final that the vacuum held the field on British steam trains to the exclusion of the pressure brake. Other systems mentioned include that of Heberlein. Discussion: A.M. Bushell (p. 29) noted Heberlein brake used on Maenclochog Railway in Wales, on the Highgate Hill Cable Tramway and on the Colne Valley & Halstead Railway. Bibliography.
Volume 9 (1928/9)
Deakin, W.H. Development of railway signalling.
Author claimed to be one of the oldest signal engineers living (born in 1848). Described systems in use on Stockton & Darlington, Liverpool & Manchester, Great Western and London & South Western [Southampton?] Railways. Block system was first used on Norfolk Railway (from 1844). Bell code system was introduced by C.V. Walker. in 1851.Col. W. Yolland was responsible for suggesting interlocking of points and signals. Noted the application of Cooke and Wheatstone's innovations in electric telegraph. Austin Chambers patented his interlocking system in 1859. The first firm to take up signal engineering was Stevens & Sons of the Darlington Works, Southwark, founded in the 1830s by John Stevens. The author's father (John) joined this firm in 1844. Edward Tyer was innovator of railway signalling equipment, notably the electric tablet system introduced following the Thorpe accident (near Norwich). Founder of Tyer & Co. F.F. Dendy Marshall (9 et seq) spoke about signalling on the Liverpoool & Manchester Railway...
Marshall, C.F.D. The Rainhill Locomotive Trials of
Marshall had examined both Wood's and Rastrick's accounts of the trials and concluded that Kennedy had not taken an active part in judging, and may have delegated the task to his brother? James. E.A. Forward (92) gave a precise location for thhe site of the Trials. He also gave information about the cylinder fitted to Novelty in the Science Museum, and asbout another cylinder which had been altered considerably at Rainhill Gasworks. Captain Edgar C. Smith noted the pressure gauge on the Rocket and noted that the boiler used on Novelty was similar to that used by Captain John Ross on the Victory of 1829. Smith also emphasised the importance of James Walker. B. Welbourn gave details both of the "other" Novelty cylinder and on the site of the Trials. Both J.G.H. Warren and E.A. Forward (91) discussed the shape of the firebox fitted to the Rocket and to the then fresh Rastrick notebook. Warren noted that Phipps was Stephenson's chief draughtsman, also noted that he considered Wood's Treatise on railroads to be an accurate account. . Forward did not consider tthat the lithograph of Burstall's locomotive was accurate.Charles Dollfus noted that the Trials increased French interest in railways, as the reports were translated: Perdonnet is mentioned: Ottley lists several works: notably Coste, L and Perdonnet, A. Mémoire sur les chemins à ordinères. Paris, 1830. Ottley 277 (note mentions that Rainhill Trials are included within the 200pp)..
Volume 10 (1929)
Dickinson, H.W. Diary of John George Bodmer, 1816-17. 102-14.
Loree, L. F. Abandonment of the railroad on which the first
locomotive in America was tried. 120.
In 1931 the Delaware & Hudson RR closed its Honesdale branch where the Stourbridge Lion had first ran in 1829.
Volume 11 (1930/1)
John Nuttall's sketch book and notes on early locomotives.
J.G.H. Warren,. 67-89.
Notes contribution which Nuttall made to the manufacture of wheels for locomotives and of crank axles. Notes also contribution of N.J. Cuss of Swindon to tyre fixing for which a Patent may have been granted (contribution to discussion from C.T. Cuss).
E. Kilburn Scott. Memorials to pioneer Leeds engineers.
Matthew Murray is buried under aa cast-iron obelisk at the extreme north end of the churchyard at the parish church in Holbeck with an inscription recording fate of death 20 February 1826. James Fenton (born 1754; died 1834) is buried in the southwest corner of the parish churchyard in Hampstead, London in a family tomb which notes that James Fenton (...who died 13 January 1834...) was nephew of Phillip Ibbetson Fenton died at Hampstead in 1806, who in turn was son of Thomas Fenton of Hunslet, Leeds, formerly merchant of Riga, Russia, born in 1734 at Hogton Tower (seat of maternal uncle: Sir Henry Hogton)
Volume 12 (1931/1932)
Trevithick's first rail locomotive. W.W. Mason,.
85-93. Disc. 94-103.
The Webb replica which was sent to Chicago was made according to a Crewe drawing of 1891. The Llewellyn drawing dated to 1862 and was housed at Patent Office. Communication from J.G.H. Warren pp 96-7 and C.F. Dendy Marshall p 98.
Volume 13 (1932/1933)
Sprague, Frank J. The genesis of multiple-unit system of electric train control. 117-30.
Pendred, L. St L. Richard Trevithick: a eulogy. (Trevithick Centenary
Delivered at Dartford Parish Church on Sunday 23 April 1933: see Trevithick
Volume 14 (1933/1934)
Body, J.H.R. A note on electro-magnetic engines.
Includes Robert Davidson's electric locomotive which was tried on the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway with illustration taken from Practical Mechanics & Engineer's Magazine, 3, 49.
Side lights on the High Peak Railway. David P. Carr.
Act obtained 2 May 1825. Engineer Josias Jessop. Constructed to connect the canal systems centred on the Trent in the East (Cromford Canal) with those of the North West (via the Peak Forest Canal). Most of the line was situated at over 1000 feet above sea level and was reached via inclined planes.
Memorials to engineers: Trevithick Centenary
Several memorials were erected including one in Uiversity College London to commemorate the 1808 exhibition of a locomotive.
Volume 15 (1934/1935)
Maudslay, Sons & Field as general engineers. J.
Foster Petree. 39-61.
Supplied evacuating pumps to the Croydon Atmospheric Railway and hauling engines for use of the Euston (Camden) incline and for the Minories engine on the London & Blackwall Railway.
Volume 16 (1935/1936)
Presidential Address: the germs and development of some
mechanical inventions. C.F. Dendy Marshall. 1-26.
Mainly very early inventions, such as those of Heron for mechanizing actions in temples, but does include Papin's safety valve of 1681 and William Chapman's bogie, mainly to demostarte that this was not an American invention. Mentions Cugnot..
Volume 17 (1936/1937)
The steam engine on Tyneside, 1715-1778. A.
Mainly of interest in setting the environment into which George Stephenson emerged.
Volume: 18 (1937)
E.A. Forward. Simon Goodrich and his work as an engineer compiled from his journals and memoranda. 1-27.
F.B. Ellison. The Hay Railway, 1810-1863. known in North Herefordshire as "The Old Tram. 29-42.
Ralph Budd. Railway routes across the Rocky Mountains. 205-23.
William Chauncy Langdon. Stonington Railroad centennial. 268-9.
Early American railroad which enabled travellers between New York and Boston to avoid the exposed waters of Point Judith, Rhode Island.
Volume: 19 (1938)
Memorials to Engineers - Bodmer Tablet. 267-268
Volume 20 (1939)
Obituaries - Leonor Fresnel Loree. 179-80.
Volume 21 (1940/1941)
Early railways in Surrey. Charles E. Lee. 49-79.
Including remnants still visible at that time.
Volume 22 (1941/1942)
Automobiles in 1830. Sidney Withington. 21-35.
Gurney and Hancock.
Volume 23 (1942/1943)
Forward, E.A. Stephenson locomotives
at Springwell Colliery, 1826. 117-26. Disc.: 126-7
It had originally been considered that the first locomotives constructed by Stephenson were for the Stockton & Darlington Railway, but research in the primary papers indicated that Stephenson Nos. 1 and 2 were for the Springwell Colliery.
Volume 24 (1943/1944 & !944/1945)
Bathe, Dorothy and Bathe, Greville. The contribution of Jacob Perkins to science and engineering. 49-53.
Stephenson locomotives for the St. Etienne Lyon
Railway, 1828. E.A. Forward. 89-97. Disc.: 97-8.
Refers to paper by Achard Volume 7, pp. 68-76. C.F. Dendy Marshall (97-8) argued that the water tube grates were not removed before the locomotives went to France. Also refers to Experiment where the grate was removed very quickly by the Stockton & Darlington Railway, probably at Hackworth's instaigation.
Early railways of the Ellesmere and the Montgomeryshre
Canals, 1794-1914. A. Stanley Davies. 141-5. Discussion: 145-6.
E.A. Forward (145-6) noted that the fastenings of the rails to chairs followed that of William Losh and George Stephenson's Patent 4067 of 1816
Volume 25 (1945/1946 and 1946/1947)
Dickinson, H.W. Richard Roberts, his life and inventions.
Major source of biographical material about Richard Roberts by one of the best biographers of engineers. See also W.H. Roberts New light on Richard Roberts, textile engineer in 40 p. 27 et seq, but this concentrates on a short period: 1826-8 before Roberts became involved in locomotive construction.
Nicholas Wood's MS. report book. E.W. Swan.
Writer had acquired book from a second-hand bookseller in 1939 and appeared to have formed part of Library of Sir Arthur Wood. It includes notes on the Railhill Trials where Wood was one of the judges.
The world's oldest railway: three hundred years of coal
conveyance to the Tyne. Charles E. Lee. 141-60. Disc.: 160-2.
Corresponded in part with the Tanfield branch of the LNER. Maps and gradient profiles. Kenneth Brown refered to the embankment at Prestonpans over which a battle had been fought: Rly Mag., 1938, 82, 1..
Volume 26 (1947/1948 and 1948/1949)
"Norris" locomotives in England. P.C. Dewhurst.
13-44. Disc., etc 44-5.
Divided into two parts: Part 1 Engines constructed by Norris in Philadelphia, U.S.A. (13-31). Part 2. Norris-pattern engines constructed by English firms (31-7). Latter includes three 4-2-0s constructed by Benjamin Hick & Son of Bolton and six by Nasmyth Gaskell & Co. of Patricroft for the Birmingham & Gloucester Railway including for use on the Lickey Incline.
Trevithick and the Merthyr Tramroad. Stanley Mercer.
89-101. Disc.: 101-3.
E.A. Forward (102) mentioned the gauge and the tramplates. C.E. Lee (102-3) commented upon dates. Response to discussion (103) considers difficulty of getting locomotive through the tunnel.
Baxter, Bertram. Early railways in Derbyshire.
185-95. Disc.: 195-7.
Includes Mansfield and Pinxton Railway which used fishbellied edge rails; the Belper and Morley Park Railway (no records, but physical evidence existed at that time) and the Cromford and High Paek Railway.
Tyneside tramroads of Northumberland. Charles E.
Lee. 199-221. Disc.: 221-9.
Comfirms that gauge of Killingworth Wagonway was 4f 8½ in. Notes that George Stephenson was a "light-hearted young fellow, proud of his muscular power, and that creation of Robert Stephenson & Co. showed father's great faith in son's ability.
Volume 27 (1949/1950)
The centenary of the Semmering Railway and its locomotives.
F.J.G. Haut. 19-28. Disc.: 28-9.
Some further notes on early railways in Surrey. Charles
E. Lee. and C. Townsend. 51-68. Disc.: 68.
Mainly archaeology of route.
Donkin, Sydney B. Bryan Donkin, F.R.S., M.I.C.E. 1768-1855. 85-95.
The early history of the electric locomotive. F.J.G.
Haut. 153-60. Disc.: 161-2.
Lee, Charles E.
Adrian Stephens, inventor of the steam whistle. 163-73. Disc.: 171-3.
Cornishman: invented the whistle in South Wales. Died Merthyr Tydfil 25 December 1876. Ronald H. Clark (p. 172) noted the origins of the calliope organ-type steam whistle and cited an article in Engineering concerning the then state of Stephens. On page 172 also notes the status of Colburn's "great standard work"
Lee, C.E. Rise and decline of the steam-driven omnibus.
181-95. Disc.: 195-8.
Lifu, Straker, Martyn-Gillett-Leyland, Thornycroft, Clarkson and Darracq-Serpollet.
Volume 28 (1951/1952 and 1952/1953)
Forward, E.A. Chapman's locomotives, 1812-1815, some
facts and some speculations. 1-18. Disc. 18-19.
Patents noted but not cited in full. Most information added to Chapman entry. Also makes reference to Whinfield's Trevithick locomotive..
Willans, Kyrle W. Peter William Willans (1851-1892).
21-33. Disc.: 33-4.
High speed engines for marine use and electricity generation killed by development of the turbine. Patents cited include 13,769 of 1884 for central valves and 1852 of 1885 for drive to valve. In the discussion R.H. Clark "thought that there was nothing fascinating than to hear a first-hand account of a pioneer by his own son." Clark also noted, and defined, Willans Lines which show that provided the ratio of expansion is kept constant steam consumption is a linear function of ihp..
The Macintosh: the paternity of an invention. H.R.
Schurer. 77-84. Disc.: 85-7.
Schurer was a major contributor to the early history of the rubber industry: many of his short papers were published in what for a time was Rubber Journal, but had both earlier and later titles.
Skeat, W.O. The Decapod locomotive of the Great Eastern
Railway. 169-84. Disc. 184-5.
Includes a folding general arrangement drawing. This is a highly detailed examination of a very unusual design and its performance under test. It was developed by J. Holden and the great draughtsman V.R. Russell. Includes notes of the patents involved: see also 29 page 263.
Volume 29 (1953/1954 and 1954/1955)
Report on railways in England in 1826-27 by Carl von
Oeynhausen and Heinrich von Dechen; translated and reviewed E.A. Forward.
1-10. Disc.: 11-12.
Report by two Prussian mining engineers who visited the United Kingdom to study the railways. The Report appears to have been unknown to British writers until 1921 when J.G.H. Warren found a reference to it which led to the discovery of the original report in Archiv fur Bergbau und Huttenwesen, 1829 Volume 19. A preliminary survey showed it to be extremely valuable, as it contained more complete descriptions of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, and the Hetton Colliery Railway, than appear elsewhere; while it contained detail previously unknown. The parts dealing with the Stockton and Darlington Railway, its locomotives and stationary engines, were translatcd by H.W. Dickinson for Warren who included them in his Century of locomotive building by Messrs. Robert Stephenson and Co., published in 1923. The major portion of the Report remained unexplored until translated in 1942 at the instigation of Dendy Marshall, who hoped the whole Report might be published by the Newcomen Society as an Extra Publication, but this was impracticable. This paper was intended to fulfil that purpose, and covers the descriptive parts of the Report, amounting to about 70%. Although the title page states that their journeys took place in 1826 aud 1827 there is nothing in the text to show the exact period covered. From the dates mentioned, however, it is clear that they were in tho North of England in April and May 1827. 1826 is only mentioned once, when they were apparently at Darlington. Discussion: L.T.C. Rolt (11) confirmed that oval rails and double-flanged wheels were then still in use on the Penrhyn Slate Quarry Line; Kenneth Brown (11) questionned the location of the tramway near Bath, suggesting that it might have been the Hampton Down tramway; he also mentioned early visitors from the USA, notably William Strickland who mentioned the Kilmarnock & Troon Railway; P.C. Dewhurst noted the eight-wheeled Wylam locomotive. Charles E. Lee requested more should be translated about the Swansea-Oystermouth Railway..
The Decapod locomotive of the Great Eastern Railway:
supplementary notes. W.O. Skeat. 263-4.
Cited Barnard M. Jenkin's contribution to the discussion on W.E. Dalby's paper (inadequately cited in the Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (1912 2). He had noted that the data recorded in Diagram 9 related to the Decapod (Dalby had anonymous data). Original 28, p. 169)
Volume 30 (1955/6; 1956/7 published 1960)
George Jackson Churchward, Chief Mechanical Engineer, Great
Western Railway. W.A. Stanier, 1-8. Disc.: 8-12 + 4 plates. 4 illus.
(incl. port.), 3 diagrs.
Extract from this paper under Churchward
Bruton, J.F. Some industrial steam locomotives and
railways. 77-92. Disc.: 87-9.
Cites several patents specific to this type of locomotive: Walter Neilson patent 988 of 1856 for a saddle tank locomotive, Thomas Aveling patent 197 of 1878 for road locomotives to operate on railways (Steam Sappers) and E.E. Baguley application No. 11,469 of 1893 for valve gear. In the discussion R.H. Clark (87-8) mentioned the Aveling locomotives for the Brill tramroad Nos. 807 and 846 of 1862 which were 6hp single cylinder engines; the John Fowler Steam Sappers supplied to the Upnor military railway (these were fitted with the Oldham coupling); the Marshall Traction Train Engine (36741/1902) (although Boulton anticipated this with Rattlesnake in 1860 are discussed. The Bagnall-Price valve gear is mentioned: Price died in 1953 in his 94th year. G. Alliez (88) stated that a further Aveling locomotive (2-2-0) was supplied in 1921 to the Holborough cement works on the Medway. P.C. Dewhurst (88-9) stated thet the Harvey Combe was intended for railway construction. It was supplied by Robert Stephenson & Co to be used on building the London & Birmingham Railway. G. Alliez (89) discussed crane locomotives (including a classification of the options) and in particular the Head Wightson type used at Seaham Harbour. E.W. Taylerson stated that William Finlay purchased a Head Wrighton locomotive for the Dorking Greystone Lime Co. for £452 in 1871: Finlay, a Scot, had been resident engineer on the MSLR.
The Crampton locomotive in England. P.C. Dewhurst.
99-139. Disc.: 131-5. 14 diagrs.
Part 1 is entitled the outside cylinder rear-driver pattern. Part 2 (pp. 115-39) which lacked a sub-title covered locomotives of the type built in the USA and France. There is a considerable amount of material in Part 2 on dummy crankshaft locomotives, on Lablache of 1848 and on light rail coaches involving William Bridges Adams. Much of the material is used for the Crampton page. . Discussion: R.H. Clark (131) commented on expansion valves: these were used on Wallis & Steevens road locomotives in 1896. J. Foster-Petree (131-2) noted that ideas came so fast that [he/Crampton] was incapable of learning from them. Charles E. Lee (132) refered to the photograph of Folkstone which came from the catalogue to the Great Exhibition of 1851 of which very few copies remain (this one was from the Natural History Museum. A.R.J. Ramsey (132) observed that patents prior to the Patent Law Amendment Act of 1852 had little standing as they were unexamined. H. Holcroft (132) wondered when the type ended (he was reflecting on the Drummond double single); W.O. Skeat (133) noted that a Crampton hauled the first King's Cross to York express in 1852; Dewhurst (133) commented on expansion valves and that Joy sometimes spelt Carrett with a single 't'; J.C. Cosgrave (134-5) should be credited with appreciating the advantages of outside valve gear. Includes a diagram of Bridges Adams' Cambridge as drawn by D. Joy.
Volume 32 (1959)
Crosley, A.S. Simon Goodrich and his work as an engineer (compiled from his journals and Memoranda) - Part III, 1813-23. 79-92
Volume 33 (published 1960)
Lee, Charles E. Some railway facts and fallacies.
[Presidential Address]. 1-16.
Early in the nineteenth century the concept of a "railway" included parallel tracks, usually of stone, in a gravel highway. The Commercial Road Tramway constructed by James Walker opened on 27 March 1830 and lasted until 1871. Another built between Towcester and Weedon lasted even longer. In Lee's opinion these were not "railways" as the vehicles used on them were not self-steering. Cites Author's own Evolution of railways for deatils of rutways in Antiquity and of the development of wooden railways in Germany and subsequently in Britain. Notes how gauges emerged.
The Talyllyn Railway. L.T.C. Rolt. 17-29. (Discussion
Includes notes on the permanent way and on the locomotives, including Fletcher's patent (327 February 1864) valve gear
Volume 34 (published 1963)
The Fairlie locomotives. Part 1. the formation period.
P.C. Dewhurst. 105-32. 13 diagrs.
Most of material has been added to Fairlie entry. Dewhurst questions whether Fairlie knew about the Cockerill locomotive Seraing and ponders the single central inner firebox fitted to the initial Fairlie locomotives. Discussion from R.H. Clark (130); Charles E. Lee (130) who noted that Petree was apprenticed to George England, J.T. van Riemsdijk (130). Part 2 Volume 39 page 1..
Volume 35 (1962/1963)
Lee, Charles E. The Haytor Granite Tramroad.
Built to connect the Stover Canal constructed by George Templer with Dartmoor granite quarries at Hay Tor.
Volume 36 (1963/1964)
Lee, Charles E. Railway engineering: its impact on
civilisation. (Sixth Dickinson Memorial Lecture). 109-36.
Recorded the significance of the Grand Junction Railway as recorded in contemporary sources. This is a prelude to considering transcontinental routes in Europe and North America. The great Alpine tunnels are considered in depth, and many of the world's longest tunnels are tabulated.
Volume 37 (1964)
Belliss, J. Edward. A History of G. E. Belliss &
Company and Belliss & Morcom Limited. 87-98.
Manufacturer of machinery, including portable steam engines, and at least two locomotives.
Volume 39 (1966)
Dewhurst, P.C. and Holcroft, Harold. The Fairlie locomotive
- Part 2. Later designs and productions. 1-34.
Illness prevented Dewhurst from completing this Paper (Vol. 34 page 105) and he arranged for the Society to pass his notes, drawings and photographs onto it for completion by someone else, namely Harold Holcroft. Tabulates all known Fairlie locomotives constructed including their manufacturers (James Cross, Hatcham, GS&WR, Sharp Stewart, Festiniog Railway, Avonside, Hunslet, Vulcan Foundry, Yorkshire Engine Co., R. & W. Hawthorn, Neilson, NBL, also overseas manufacturers: in most cases Works Numbers are cited..
Volume 40 (1968)
Chaloner, W.H. New light on Richard Roberts, textile
engineer (1789-1864). 27-44.
None of the new light appears to fall upon his locomotive manufacturing activities: concentrates on the period 1826-8 and therefore adds little to Roberts, as a locomotive engineer: see Dickinson: 25 page 123 et seq.
Hills, Richard L. Some contributions to locomotive
development by Beyer, Peacock & Co. 75-117. Disc.: 118-23.
Includes a full list of locomotives manufactured. Highly detailed on Beyer Garratt development. In discussion Patrick (p. 120) is highly critical of rotary bunker fitted to LMS Garratts (far better to have fitted mechanical stokers). He was also highly critical of the Kirtley-type chassis which the LMS insisted upon. In the discussion W.O. Skeat and Patrick (p. 121) discussed synchronisation of the two engine units on Beyer Garratts.. See also seminal book on Beyer Peacock.
Petree, J. Foster. Some reflections on engineering
Especially H.W. Dickinson's contribution: a highly serious examination of a major topic. Inevitably has much to say that is relevant to biographers and biographees. Includes comment on Dickinson, himself, Samuel Smiles and Rolt, and the failings of the ODNB..
George, F.B. The Consett Iron Company's steam locomotive
These cranes were designed by Consett Iron and were originally supplied by Black Hawthorn and by Cowans Sheldon.
The Skipton Rock Railway. G. Biddle. 171-3.
Short railway built to connect quarry to Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
The Easingwold Railway. C.E. Lee. 175-8.
Skeat, W.O., The Great Eastern Railways "1500 Class"
locomotives. 75-97. Disc.: 97-106.
Extremely detailed history which includes the B12/3; experiments with ACFI feed-water heating, superheating, compressed air operated reversing gear, performance and liveries. Discussion: centred on loading guage limitations which led Peter Proud to note that the Great Northern 2-6-0 engines with 20 in. outside cylinders ran very freely on the Great Eastern in the early 1920's. Colonel Cantlie suggested that the 1500s had inside cylinders simply because Mr. Holden wanted that arrangement. In those days, inside cylinders were generally regarded as superior to outside cylinders. With an inside-cylinder engine, everything tended to stay fairly tight; with outside cylinders there was always something that needed to be tightened up at the end of a run. . D.R. Carling noted that during his days on the London and North Eastern Railway he bad ridden on, and fired on, the Great Eastern 1500s in 1937, and one or his recollections was that they were by far the most comfortablc-riding engines with coupled wheels under the cab that he had ever been on. Doubtless one of these engines on which he had ridden, because it was one ofthosc kept £or Royal trains, was in the very best condition; nevertheless the impression was strong. The duties were not hcavy-they were running berween Cambridge and King's Cross-but the memory remained as It very pleasant one. George Carpenter asked if the author could give the draughting details of these locomotives, which must have been vcry effective because of the steam-raising performance of the boiler. In reply to Law, he said that the crank axles did tend to give trouble towards the end of the rebuilt engines' lives. Flaws were liable tv develop in them. With the cranks and coupling rods at the same angle, considerable stresses were set up in the crankshaft. These locomotives had always bad built-up crank axles. His friend, David Harvey, of Norwich motive power depot, had described to him how periodically the crank axles had to be stripped down, the eccentric straps and sheaves taken off, and the axle examined minutely for the development of cracks. However, cracks developing in a built-up crank axle were not such a liability as in a single forging. In reply to Colonel Cantlie, the valve uavel in the rebuilt 1500's was increased by nearly 50 per cent. . He would expect the boiler to be capable of producing 20;,000-22,000 lb. of steam per hour. Mr. Glover and Mr. Proud had both raised the question of 20 in. outside cylindcls on the Great Eastern. It was by no means easy to answer Since the meeting, he had been in touch with T. C. B. Miller, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of British Railways, on this matter. Mr. Miller had very kindly made inquiries of his colleagues, but could find no conclusive evidence as to why the Gmtt Eastern. built its express engines with inside cylinders during the first quartet of the present century.
Rolt, L.T.C. The history of the history of engineering.
(Ninth Dickinson Memorial Lecture). 149-58.
Rolt began by defining the term "engineering history", and the relationship between science and engineering. "Today , the connection between science and engineering is very closc; so close that it is extremcly difficult to say where science ends and engineering begins, especially when many men whom [Rolt regarded] as distinguished scientists are members of our engineering institutions. But it was not always so. It is interesting to remark the kind of uneasy courtship that scientist and engineer have held over the years. In Newcomen's day they were poles apart, whatever scientific historians may claim. One has only to read Desaguliers to sense this. He thought it quite incredible that an obscure Dartmouth Ironmonger could have developed the world's first practical steam engine. According to him it was due to a lucky accident coupled with unacknowledged borrowings from scientific sources to which Newcomen could never have had access. Even his account of that lucky accident is wide of the mark, while it is clear from Desaguliers' writing that he had not the foggiest notion of how Newcomen had made his engine self-acting." According to Rolt's reading of engineering history, the scientists of this period mainly devoted themselves to proving why a mechanical engineer's inventions could never work or why a civil engineer's structures must fall down. On page 153 Rolt argued that great engineering is more than a science; it is an art.
Volume 43 (1970)
Riemsdijk, J.T. van. The compound locomotive, Part
I, 1876-1901. 1-16. Disc.: 16-17.
The three part paper was subsequently developed into a book, but certain parts of the papers were omitted from the book, notably Nicholson and Samuel's "continuous expansion" locomotive tried out on the Eastern Counties Railway. The papers deliberately set out to avoid Webb's work, but this was corrected to an extent in the book.
Throp, Arnold. Some notes on the history of the Uniflow
steam engine. 19-39.
Author was employed as an erector of stationary steam engines with Cole, Marchant & Morley Ltd of Bradford and mentions key literature and patents.
The Tower Subway, the first tube railway in the world. C.E. Lee. 41-51. Disc. :52
Pyne, A. The Kitson-Still locomotive. 53-62. Disc.:
See Carling entry for his written contribution to discussion.
Crabtree, J.A. The automatic control of small
Includes Doble's developments, mainly for automobiles and mainly of the flash or monotube types (including automatic pumps and thermostats), but also for Sentinel lorries (trucks), and for the Sentinel locomotive for LMS and railcar for Southern Railway. Although coke was used for some experimental runs with monotube boilers, firing required too high a degreee of skill, and most were oil-fired..
William Smith, Richard Trevithick and Samuel Homfray - their correspondence on steam engines, 1804-06. Joan M. Eyles. 137-61.
Woodcock, Lloyd H. Richard Trevithick's first
steam-locomotive trial, Christmas 1801. 175-81.
Compilation of statements made to Francis Trevithick, son of Richard in the 1850s. Reprinted from Camborne Festival Magazine.
Gilbert, K.R. A Note on Railways in England 1826
and 1827 by C. von Oeynbausen and H. von Dechen. 203-4.
Portraits of two authors of the Report.
Volume 44 (1971)
Riemsdijk, J.T. van. The compound locomotive. Part
2, 1901-1921. 73-98.
This part considere (very curtly) Webb's four-cylinder compounds, the Hughes 0-8-0s and Smith's four-cylinder masterpieces for the NER Carling's comments are considered as part of his "page". K. Cantlie's comments on Webb compounds are considered with Webb's locomotives. Part 1: see Volume 43 page 1.
Volume 45 (1972)
The compound locomotive, Part 3. J.T. van Riemsdijk. 45-54.
The Pneumatic Despatch Company's railways. C.E. Lee. 67-88
Carling, D.R. Locomotive testing stations: Parts
1 and 2. 105-44; 145-82.
Very important paper: on page 158 "front end limit" is defined (although it is stated that it was not possible to say precisely when the margin of draught available over draught required beame insufficient to meet any minor mismanagement". Furthermore, there was the limit set by the endurance of the fireman. The same page also defines "Willans lines" with the aid of diagram plotting steam rate against indicated horse power (ihp). Discussionn included: H.I. Andrews (131-2); Chapelon (137-9) and Carling's reply on pp. 139-42..
Volume 46 (1973)
Skempton, A.W. William Chapman (1749- 1832), Civil Engineer (Eleventh Dickinson Memorial Lecture). 45-82
Volume 47 (1974)
James, J.G. Ralph
Dodd, the very ingenious schemer. 161-78.
Includes notes on where he was born: not London, and on the name change to Dodds by his successors P.J.G. Ransom's Iron road (2007) is critical of this paper..
Law, R.J. A survey of tank boilers down to 1850. 25-40.
Not applicable to locomotive engineering, but in the discussion on page 39 J.W. Butler was followed by a member of the audience who noted that cast iron piston rings were turned from lengths of tube cast in unbaked sand cores at Crewe.
Bishop, P.W. John Ericcson (1803-89) in England.
Covers the period 1826-1839. Obviously covers Novelty in considerable detail. Notes patent for a rotary engine. Patent 5995/1830 with Vignoles was a form of providing extra adhesion on steep gradients via a third rail acted upon by rollers. Patent 6409/1833 was for a flame engine: a form of external combustion engine..
Smith, Denis. Structural model testing and the design of British railway bridges in the nineteenth century. 73-90.
Skempton, A.W. and Andrews, A. Cast iron edge rails at Walker
Colliery, 1798. 119-22.
Based on drawings "of exceptional interest as they show details of well designed 'fish belly' edge-rails with chairs and cross sleepers" which form part of the Boulton & Watt Collection held by Birmingham Library: also note that Thomas Barnes (c.1764-1801), viewer of Walker Colliery is the "Barns" cited by Nicholas Wood in his Practical treatise on rail-roads..
Volume: 49 (1977)
Buchanan, R.A. Scottish engineers and engineering: a symposium.
Influence of Scottish religion, education and democracy: the Golden Age of Scottish Civilization followed the quelling of the Highland Rebellion. Does not appear to contain anything relevant to railway development in Scotland..
Volume 50 (1979/1980)
Robert Stirlingpreacher and inventor. 1-10.
Born in Methven on 25 October 1790 and died in Galston on 6 June 1878. Inventor of the air engine, usually known as the Stirling engine and Church of Scotland minister who clearly did not neglect his flock. Includes full details of his patents.
Bailey, Michael R.
Robert Stephenson & Co., 1823-1829. 109-36. Disc.: 137-8.
Robert Stephenson & Co. was formedin June 1823 as a partnership by George Stephenson, Edward Pease (with Thomas Richardson), Robert Stephenson and Michael Longridge. Notes an error in Thomas concerning speed attained by Rocket at Rainhill. cites George Stephenson's comments on the fallacies of the rotary engine (Proc. Instn mech. Engrs, 1847/9, 1 (page 4). 230 references, majority to unpublished manuscript sources, many of which held by Science Museum. An appendix records the steam engines (both locomotive and winding) built between 1823 and 1829, and the industries to which thet were supplied, mainly collieries, but also paper-making.
Smith, R.T. John Gray and
his expansion valve gear. 139-53. Disc.: 153-4.
Patented in 1838 (7745) whilst still employed by Liverpool & Manchester Railway. Covers case taken against LNWR.. G.W. Carpenter (154) called this a "superb and fascinating paper" and noted that D.K. Clark's Railway machinery summarised the pros and cons of Gray's valve gear
Body, J.H.R. Two early electro-magnetic locomotives. 159-62.
Profesor Stratingh and Mr Becker of the Groningen Society for the Advancement of Science was descibed in Konst en Letterbode, 1835 Nos. 54 and 55. Dr C.Q. Colton gave a series lectures during which he demonstrated a device (now stored in the United States National Musuem). The lectures were reported in Louisville Journal 20 August 1847 and Pittsburg Gazette 2 September 1847.
Volume 51 (1979-1980)
The first experimental air-cushion machine. Paul
Tunbridge. 41-54. Disc. 54-6.
Includes atmospheric railways.
Booth, L.G. Thomas Tredgold (1788-1829): some aspects of his work. 57-94.
Llewellyn-Jones, Frank. Steam and the Mumbles Railway.
143-55. Disc.: 155-6.
As well as describing the steam locomotive stock as at the end of steam operation, the paper includes the industrial Beyer-Garratt locomotive operated by Vivian & Son in the vicinity of the railway described.
Hills, R.L. The origins of the Garratt locomotive.
175-89. Disc.: 189-92.
An important source of biographical material, noting that Garratt was an artist. J.A. Williams (191) noted that when an apprentice he had worked on the last Meyer to be built in Britain, and at Sentinel on the Doble locomotive for the Colombian State Railway: it was then that Bulleid possibly got the idea for chain drive. He also asked about the low centre of gtavity achieved in the Garratt which was contrary to Aspinall's quest for a high centre of gravity. See Carling page for his comments on Garratt development.
Volume 52 1980-81
George Stephenson locomotive advocate: background
to Rainhill Trials. M.R. Bailey. 171-9.
Both this and the next paper formed part of the Society's George Stephenson: a Commemorative Symposium celebrating the 200th Anniversary of his birth.
The High Level Bridge, Newcastle: its evolution, design and construction. R.W. Rennison. 180-207. Disc.: 207.
Sheriff, Thomas. The early development of the Ljungström radial flow steam turbine. 31-44. Disc.: 44-7.
Volume 54 (1982-83)
James, J.G. Russian iron bridges to 1850.
The pioneering effort by E.A. Cherepanov to introduce locomotives to Russia is mentioned in a note in one of the references.
Duffy, M.C. Technomorphology and the Stephenson traction
system. 55-74. Disc.: 74-8.
The author both confirms George Stephenson's brilliance and soundly condemns "late" steam locomotive engineering (especially that of Riddles and Bulleid) to the dustbin of history. Emphasises the key role of Goss's scientific experiments which led to the American Locomotive Company's No. 50,000 and the influence of Goss upon Churchward, Gresley, Stanier, and to an extent Bulleid. In view of Duffy's critique (and of his dominance of the Society's papers in the 1980s and 1990s) his contributions should be read more widely by those who pontificate in balderdash like Stars of steam. In Note 56 he observes that "apart from the Q1 'Austerity' locomotive, his [Bulleid's] steam engines were failures."
Technomorphology is the study of technological change, which is intended to provide insight into the way engineering components and systems appear, grow, become obsolete, change, and are replaced with different degrees of haste. It seeks a fusion of the methods of engineering design, systems analysis, and historical studies, and its aim is strictly utilitarian, not aesthetic. The concepts used to analyse technological change should be drawn from engineering practice itself and not transferred from other disciplines in which commercial considerations are not paramount. Furthermore, vital technological change is more than the introduction of modified machinery, and the concept of change used here is the same as that proposed by Gilfillan who defined invention as:
essentially a complex of most diverse elements-a design for physical object, a process of working with it, the needed elements of science, if any; the constituent materials, a method for building it, the raw materials used in working it, such as fuel, accumulated capital such as factories and docks, with which it must be used; its crew with their skills, ideas and shortcomings, its financial backing and management, its purpose and use in conjunction with other aides of civilisation and its popular evaluation. Most of these parts in turn have their separately variable elements. A change in anyone of these elements of the complex will alter, stimulate, depress or quite inhibit the whole ...
Hence, a transformed component must be related to the larger system
if its significance is to be gauged, because assessment of a particular
technology can change if the view embraces the whole system instead of~being
limited to the component. The 'scale' of the view takenwhether 'components
scale' or 'systems scale'decided policy towards steam traction in the
1940s and 1950s.
Those engineers who took the 'systems' view (which embraced the whole railway with its role in the economy and general technology) recognised the impending obsolescence of steam power in time to introduce superior traction modes in an economical manner. Those who failed to take the broad view, such as Chapelon and Riddles, wasted valuable resources and time in developing steam locomotives when they were obsolete. There were also shifts in the scale of the view taken within the steam traction machine-ensemble. Engineers such as Chapelon and Lawford Fry, tended to design high-powered, high thermal efficiency, often complex types. The more modern minded, who took the larger scale view embracing the entire machine-ensemble, simplified the locomotive and reformed the system through better management.
If George and Robert Stephenson's Rocket symbolised all that was progressive in British industry, Riddles' Engine 71000 represented all that was retrograde, and it is a discouraging sign that so much effort is directed towards preserving such symbols of failure. Little wonder that there were those who regarded the demolition of the 'Euston Arch' as a most necessary symbolic act, marking the destruction of the old steam railway, and the birth of a new system. .
Duffy was later to produce a seminal study on electric railways..
Cantlie, K. The Chinese 4-8-4 locomotives.
Constructed at Vulcan Foundry in 1935. Intended for Canton to Hankow service. Designed in 1932/3. Incorporated ideas from Lawford Fry, Goss and Chapelon. Relatively high pressure: 220 psi. Poor water. Severe gradients. Bar frames and mechanical stokers. J.T. van Riemsdijk asked if thermic syphons were considered and was informed taht they would have been too heavy. E.F. Clark commented on the round-top firebox and that the exhaust from the cylinders wass directly below the chimney. G. Carpenter notes the design constraints including the long brick arch and the increase in coal consumption through the use of a mechanical stoker..
The overseas projects of I.K. Brunel. R.A. Buchanan. 145-64. Disc. 165-6.
A solar-powered Stirling engine. 187-8. Disc. 187-8.
Volume 55 (1983-84)
Carling, D.R. A brief history of the counter-pressure
brake for steam locomotives. 1-32.
Author was involved with fitting system to Beyer-Garratt locomotives supplied to Ecuador and to the Central Railway of Peru, and later was involved in testing the B17 and K3 classes on the LNER (ex-NER 4-6-0) using the test locomotive. P.N.D. Porter noted a Railway Magazine article (incomplete citation: 1933 p. 43) by S.R. Yates: notes on Scottish locomotives and railway working wherein it was noted that Jones used the Chatelier system of counter-pressure water braking on his 4-4-0s. Paper includes biographies of several significant engineers not in Marshall. In 1870 the LNWR fitted twenty locomotives (probably special tanks) with the Chatelier brake. William Bouch invented a steam retarder used on the Stockton & Darlington Railway/NER, including No. 1263 (Dubs/1874)..
F.B. Behr's development of the Lartigue Monorail: from
country crawler to electric express. D.G. Tucker. 131-49. Disc.:
D.R. Carling (152) noted that a Palmer (Henry Rolanson Palmer patented) monorail connected a quarry to the River Ouse at Offam near Lewes in Sussex. K. Cantlie (151) noted the Brennan monorail..
Volume 56 (1984-85)
Thomas Longridge Gooch., 1808-1882. Michael Robbins.
59-68. Disc.: 68-9.
Material used for brief biography Robbins based this paper on manuscript material held in the Library of the Institution of Civil Engineers, notably an autobiographical essay and six pocket-book diaries covering thhe period 1823 to 1833. Robbins considered that the material had been worked over "a good deal" in the quest for information about locomotives, but little is contained within these records.
Volume 57 (1985-86)
Travelling in comfort. Neville S. Billington.19-29.
L.R. Day (29); E.F. Clark (29-30) commented on amount of fuel used in steam heating: cited F.J. Pepper Some considerations on the problem of the heating of British Railways carriages. D.H.W. Hayton asked about extra cost of tobacco smoking: London Transport estimated about £5000 per compartment.
Engerth and similar locomotives. D.R. Carling.
31-56. Disc. 57-8.
Semmering locomotive: G.W. Carpenter (57) gave some information on the Giesl ejector.
The Uniflow engine: a reappraisal. R.I. Hills.
59-73. Disc.: 73-7.
Lists J. Stumpf's patents. Note comments by L.J. Todd (p. 72).
Duffy, M.C. The American steam-turbine-electric
locomotive. 79-96. Disc.: 96-9.
Identified two periods in the development of the steam-electric locomotive: 1893-1923 attempts in France and Britain to develop a new form of locomotive, and the period 1936-1958 when endeavours were made in the United States to develop a coal-fied competitor to the diesel electric locomotive. Considers locomotives constructed by Baldwin for the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad.
Wilson, E.H. William Adams (1823-1904). 125-46.
A very thorough examination of Adams' locomotive designs on the NLR, GER and LSWR. W.O. Skeat (147) had asked Chapelon his opinion about British locomotive engineers, and he had replied that he was impressed by the Stirling eight-foot singles and the Adams' 4-4-0s of the LSWR. A Hall-Patch noted that Adams' locomotives combined simplicity with robustness. George W. Carpenter (147) noted that Chapelon had described the Vortex draughting system to be a notable one leading to a smooth and even draught. J.V. Vickers queried the accuracy of Pettigrew's test figures for indicated horsepower and the author stated that the calculations were correct provided the data were correct. Van Riemsdijk stated that Adams' cylinders were partly heated by the steam chest, whereas Drummond's on the Caledonian werepartly jacketed by the exhaust.
Volume 58 (1986-87)
Carpenter, G.W. André Chapelon: master of steam
locomotive development. 1-6.
Both this and the next two papers formed part of the Society's symposium entitled.André Chapelon, Locomotive Engineer: a Survey of his Work.
André Chapelon: the French context. J.T. van Riemsdijk. 7-10.
André Chapelon: thermodynamics and the steam locomotive. M.C. Duffy. 11-26.
Allen, John S. The history of the Horseley Company
to 1865. 113-38.
Presidential Address: also author of A history of Horseley, Tipton: 200 years of engineering progress (Landmar, 2000).
Bailey. M.R. Robert Stephenson and the Horseley Company.
In the 1830s when there were problems with the quality of copper plate for the construction of locomotive fireboxes, especially for the Leicester & Swannington Railway, Stephenson recorded that the Horsley Company, and especially its boilermaker, Isaac Horton, turned out high quality products.
The treatise 'On Draught' in William Youatt's book The Horse: an anonymous publication of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Werner Fröhling. 141-51.
Volume 59 (1987-88)
Duffy, M.C. The Still engine and railway traction.
31-53. Disc.: 53-9. 41 refs.
Argues that the Still engine was an example of technology transfer in this case from marine to railway service and is a particular interesting example of failure; also notes that power house technology as developed by Willans was transferred without success to the Heilmann and Paget locomotives. D.R. Carling (53-4) had seen the Kitson-Still locomotive under construction whilst he was at Kitson's and observed the lack of finance for the project. G.W. Carpenter (55) noted that the specific gravity of the fuel was 0.95 and that extensive trials had been conducted under Gresley's authority, E.F. Clark (55-9) noted that E. Kitson Clark had been his grandfather (who had been a Member of the Newcomen Society) and gave a concise history of the company which had been founded by James Kitson.
Wood, J.L. The Sulzer steam engine comes to Britain. 129-52.
Transfer of stationary engine technology from Switzerland to Britain from about 1900 via Belgian companies.
Volume 60 (1988/1989)
Winship, Ian R. The decline in locomotive boiler
explosions in Britain, 1850-1900. 73-94. 78 refs.
During this period the North Eastern Railway and its constituents had the highest incidence: 24; the Great Western Railway had nine; the LYR eight; and the LNWR, Midland Railway and NBR each had three. The most frequent cause was corossion of the boiler plates. Tampering with the safety valves ony caused 6% of the explosions. Stay failure accounted for about 10%.
Volume 61 (1989/1990)
Duffy, M.C. Waste heat recovery and steam locomotive
design. 15-30. Disc.: 30-1.
Air heaters fitted to Gresley No. 10000; economisers fitted to Irish turf (peat) burning locomotive; Franco-Crosti system; exhaust steam feed water heaters (exhaust steam injectors); ACFI, Dabeg and Worthington feed-water heaters; Sturrock steam tenders, and SR locomotive A816 (compression condensing). Incorrect spelling of name Millholland (Milholland incorrect)
Volume 62 (1990/1991)
Szontagh, Gáspár. Brotan and Brotan-Deffner
type fireboxes and fireboxes applied to steam locomotives. 21-51.
Brotan was born at Kattau near Pilsen in Bohemia on 24 June 1843 and died in Vienna on 20 November 1923. Ernst Deffner was a Swiss mechanical engineer who developed the boiler for locomotives in 1907: over a thousand such boilers were used in Hungary. Béla Fialovits (1885-1968), Chief Mechanical Engineer of the Hungarian State Railways further developed this type of boiler.
Gould, Michael Henry. Effect of Government policy
on railway building in Ireland. 81-96.
The expansion of the railway network in Ireland was very slow and the British Government established a Royal Commission to investigate ways in which progress could be accelerated.
Mosse, John. The Firefly locomotive of 1839.
Gooch's seminal design for the broad gauge.
Carling, D.R. Babbage and the dynamometer car. presented at Babbage-Faraday Bicentenary Conference - Cambridge, 5-7 July 1991. 143-56 (Carling page 145)
Volume 63 (1991/1992)
Duffy, M.C. The Schmidt high pressure locomotive
and its influence on American and European locomotive design. 103-32.
Includes No. 6399. Fury F.C. Lea of Sheffield University reported on the boiler failure which took place at Carstairs.
Volume 64 (1992/1993)
Turner, John R. Sir Walter Scott (1826-1910), civil
engineering contractor. 1-19.
A full biography of stone mason who established his own business by age of 23.
Volume 65 (1993/1994)
Duffy, M.C. The coal-burning locomotive gas turbine
National Coal Board/Ministry of Fuel & Power project: at the time of its instigation Britain was a world-leader in gas turbine technology. Side elevation.
Cardwell, D.S.L. Steam engine theory in the 19th
Century: from duty to thermal efficiency; from Parkes to Sankey. 117-28
Includes an examination of D.K. Clark's Railway machinery and the results of experiments therein, mainly on steam condensation within cylinders. Notes that stimulus for significant new innovations frequently comes from outside a particular industry or skill and cites the influence of railwaqys and ships on the steam engine, and later the demand for electricity led to the high speed engine, as designed by Peter Willans..
Bailey, Michael R. The Tracked Hovercraft Project. 129-46.
Quellmalz, J. Thermodynamic aspects of the design
of German Standard steam locomotives: compound vs. simple expansion.
165-198. Discussion: 199-202.
Paper read by G.W. Carpenter who opened the discussion by noting the significance of Robert Garbe of the Prussian State Railways who in his later policy advocated superheating coupled with simplicity: two cylinder simples. J. Cliffe contributed to the discussion by noting that re-superheat could be employed in compound engines and that compounding really required higher working pressures and the abandonmenmt of the Stephenson boiler..
Volume 66 (1994/1995)
Duffy, M.C. Solid state electronics, asynchronous motors
and the electric locomotive. 1-26.
The asynchronous induction motor was considered as a potential railway traction motor from the late 1880s onwards. It was simple, and could be used in conjunction with the three-phase electrical distribution system which could transmit power relatively long distances without high losses. By 1890, the basic components of the polyphase electric power system (transformers, motors, generators, etc.) had been developed by Tesla, Westinghouse and Steinmetz, so that alternating current (AC) power and traction. single-phase and polyphase, was a potential alternative to direct current (DC) traction. The experiments in the 1890s of J.I. Heilmann and C.E.L. Brown with three steam-electric locomotives, and DC electric locomotives using conductor rail and overhead contact wire, examined the alternative electric traction systems in general terms, and Heilmann recommended low voltage DC traction as best suited to immediate development. Heilmann and Brown tested three-phase motors, with the idea of achieving speed variation by changing the rate of the driving steam engine, but this was discarded from the thermal-electric project on the grounds that the engine should run at the steady speed best suited to efficiency. Brown continued to develop the three-phase traction motor for use with three-phase supply, with the contact system having two wires, one for each phase, and the rails taking the third phase. In this 'simple' three-phase system, three-phase supply was generated, transformed and transmitted, and three-phase motors were used. The first railway use of this three-phase system, with induction motors, was on the Lugarno tramway in 1896 with a 40 Hz supply. In 1897, the narrow gauge line up the Gornerat mountain was electrified. Other lines followed, sometimes with low frequencies, such as 15 Hz. Of very great importance for the simple three-phase scheme was the electrification of the Giovi line of the Italian State Railway in 1910, which had several tunnels and gradients of 1 in 29 and after the 1914-1918 war the Italians accepted three-phase traction for general electrification using 10 kV, 45 Hz. This was extended until 1933 but, after widespread wreckage in the Second World War, it was replaced by 3000 V DC during the reconstruction period. The Simplon Tunnel line, opened in 1906, used a Brown Boveri system with 3000 V AC, 16 Hz, though it was converted in 1930 to match the single-phase AC system common in the rest of Switzerland. The drawback of these systems was the very limited speed range of the motors: speed could only be varied by pole changing and concatenation (linking rotor of one motor to stator of the next). The Simplon locomotives had only two running speeds. This was not too severe a disadvantage on short tunnel lines, or steep branch lines, or on mountain railways where speed control was useful, but it detracted from the system when in general use. The Italian network enjoyed a good reputation, but the two-wire overhead distribution was expensive to maintain.
Clow, D.G. Pneumatic tube communication systems in London. 97-120.
Employed for passing telegraphic messages both within telegraph offices, operated by the Post Office, between offices and to customers in ducts under the streets.
Bolten, J.R. The Parsons-North British coal-burning
gas turbine locomotive. 121-45.
Had the problems been solved within the time constraints here is no reason to think that the locomotive would not have performed satisfacorily on the rails, although it would have been heavier and less powerful than envisaged. Factors weighing against commercial success included the power being restricted to 1550 hp at the turbine coupling and 1400 hp at drawbar. The weight would have been 150 tons. Tests ended in December 1958 and all work ceased in March 1959. The plan to use fluidized coal was far too ambitious. 20 diagrams.
Evans, F.T. The Maudslay touch: Henry Maudslay, product
of the past and maker of the future. 153-74.
"He had a great reputation as an ingenious craftsman"
Clark, E.F. The evils of break of gauge.
Author was great great grandson of George Parker Bidder and grandson of E. Kitson Clark.
Volume 68 (1996/1997)
Bailey, Michael R. Learning through replication:
the Planet locomotive project. 109-34. Disc.: 135-6.
Presidential Address. A good deal of discussion on replicas as such, including the definition of them. R.F. Clark contributed to this discussion, as well as observing that smokeless fuel performed well, and that the thrusts on the end of axles was high. R.J. Law commented on pressure definitions. Goodall noted the poor blast performance and Sutherland asked why a welded boiler had been used and was informed that this was to meet the requirements of the Boiler Inspectorate.
Tayler, A.T.H. 600/750V DC electric and electro-diesel
locomotives of the Southern Railway and its successors. 231-65.
The design was originally envisage as a Bo-Bo electric locomotive and was intended (1) haul loose-coupled unfitted. freight trains of 800 tons at a maximum speed of 35 mile/h; (2) haul vacuum braked passenger trains of 425 tons at 65 mile/h on level track with a maximum speed of 75 mile/h; (3) work in goods yards using an overhead supply at 600/660 volts and/or a traction battery; (4) maintain a drawbar pull when the conductor rail supply was interrupted, e.g. at conductor rail gaps. The English Electric Company collaborated in the design of electrical equipment on the broad principles of motor-generator control based on Ward-Leonard system. The motor-generator sets would incorporate flywheels weighing about 2000 Ib and the kinetic energy in the flywheels would be used in the absence of a third rail supply.This stage had been reached in 1937 when Richard Maunsell retired and was succeeded by Oliver Bulleid. Herbert Jones retired early in 1938 and Alfred Raworth was appointed Chief Electrical Engineer. For a time Raworth continued the Jones tradition of baiting the CME but BuIleid did not take it seriously and wasted no time in finding out what was in hand. He suggested that a six-axle locomotive with a weight of about 100 tons would be more useful and this was accepted by Raworth. A Co-Co locomotive was schemed out by the Waterloo drawing office and it was established that the booster sets intended for the Bo-Bo locomotive were equally suitable for use with three traction motors. In 1938 the Southern Railway Board approved the building of two locomotives and Bulleid decided the mechanical parts should be built at Ashford Works. Work proceeded too slowly for Bullid's and Raworth's liking so Percy BolIen was sent to Ashford as temporary Chief Draughtsman to speed things along. Percy Bollen was destined to remain at Ashford until 1955 during which time he was promoted to Chief Draughtsman. Much of the so-called Bulleid 'segmental' bogie design was his idea but Bulleid as the Chief was given the credit.
Volume 69 (1997-98)
Smith, Denis. James Walker (1781-1862): civil
Born Falkirk in 1781. Died London on 8 November 1862. Worked on docks and bridges. Built Hull & Selby and Leeds & Selby Railways. Reported with Raistrick on traction for Liverpool & Manchester Railway.
Comyns-Carr, C A. The application of the Doble steam
power concept to coal-fuelled rail traction. 177-99. Discussion: 200-3.
Includes account of the three Doble Sentinel metre gauge bogie locomotives built for Colombia with Woolnough boilers rated at 550 pis and producing about 600 hp, and of the steam raibus constructed for the Southern Railway: claims that this latter had a compound engine. Henschel developed a 1-Co-2 for the Lubeck-Buchenner Railway in 1937 and a 1-Do-1 for the DR in 1941 driven by V2 simple expansion engines. Rich (202) noted that Doble had visited Gresley at King's Cross in an attempt to interest him in his steam generation and engine units. Rich was informed that the only 2 or 3 quarts of water were in circulation and a tube burst would not endanger the footplate crew. Cox (202) asked about the reversing and starting arrangements.
Booth, L.G. Thomas Tredgold (1789-1829): some further
aspects of his life and work. 237-48.
Notes that more now known about family including some of the variant spellings of the surname.
Bowman, Don. The Rainton to Seaham Railway. 1820-1840. 249-270.
Volume 70 (1998-99)
Evans, F.T. Steam road carriages of the 1830s: why
did they fail? 1-25.
"The failure of the steam carriages was not a social and economic problem. They were simply not good enough technically to do the jobs they were designed for." Includes Walter Hancock.
Duffy, M.C. The gas turbine in railway traction. 27-55. Discussion:
Asserts that Brown Boveeri's development of the Velox boiler, which had to use liquid fuel, led to the Company's involvement in gas turbine locomotives. Gotaverken in Sweden began research
Lee, A.S. The English Electric gas turbine locomotive, GT3. 59-88.
Posthumous paper (Alan Lee died on 9 October 1998): cites paper by John Hughes J. Instn Loco Engrs Paper 633: this paper concentrates on gas turbine rather than on transmission and control gear.
Watson, W.F. The invention of the miners' safety
lamp: a reappraisal. 135-42.
Includes George Stephenson's contribution.
Rennison, R.W. Richard Cail (1812-1893): Victorian
contractor and man of many parts. 161-84.
Born 11 May 1812; died 18 October 1893: brief biography.
Fox, Robert. Diversity and diffusion: the transfer of technologies
in the Industrial Age. 185-96.
23rd Dickinson Memorial Lecture: does not appear to cover railways in any depth. Includes industrial espionage and the extent to which industrialists would go to protect their know-how.
Volume 71 (1999-2000)
Vickers, R.L. The beginnings of diesel electric traction. 115-27.
He had not been able to access Doherty's paper (558) in J. Instn Loco. Engrs, but used that in Ransome-Wallis's Encyclopaedia as his basis for his assessment
Duffy, M.C. The Velox boiler and its application
to railway traction. 229-56.
Developed in the 1930s by Brown-Boveri to be capable of starting from cold within a few minutes; to be able to burn low grade fuel oils and respond immediately to changes in load. Developed as part of research into gas turbines, experimental heat transfer rigs, supercharged diesel engines and constant volume combustion chambers. The only Velox-powered locomotive to run was 230 E 93 and this avoided the complications of condensers and electric drive in favour of what Duffy termed steam motors. As the Velox-boiler required to be oil-fired it was bound to be less efficient than a diesel engine, and this restricted its further development..
Volume 72a (2001)
Heywood, A.J. Iu. V. Lomonosov and the
science of locomotive testing in Russia: first steps, 1895-1901. 1-15.
See also brief biographical entry
Woodward, G. Trubshaw, Hartley and Harrison : early
nineteenth century engineers and architects. 77-90.
James Trubshaw was born in Colwich, Staffordshire on 13 February 1877. He was engineer to the Trent & Mersey Canal and built the Grosvenor Bridge in Chester. He worked with Locke being responsible for 14 miles of the Birmingham Grand Junction Railway, and surveyed and constructed the Shipton on Stour branch.
Volume 72b (2001)
Rennison, R.W. The Newcastle and Carlisle Railway
and its engineers; 18291862. 203-33.
Includes brief biographies of Nicholas Wood, T.E. and J.T. Harrison and Peter Tate: the last was designer of turntable and level crossing gate mechanism.
Duffy, M.C. The Metadyne in railway traction.
Cited Bruce within the paper, noting that he had claimed that the London Transport O stock for use on the Metropolitan line was the first in the world to employ regenerative braking on multiple units. J.G. Bruce (by time of publication, deceased) added his personal experince.
Yeomans, K.A. An introduction to the Metadyne. 265-8.
Heywood, A.J. Iu. V. Lomonosov and the
science of locomotive testing in Russia: consolidation, methodology and impact,
Mentions the influence of Lomonsov's methodology on controlled road testing under Ell and the work of Hellewell
Otter, Robert A. and Thomas, James
H. William and Edward Mackenzie as railway contractors: the
evidence of J. H. Watel's Office Diaries from 1849 and 1850. 319-32.
Volume 73A (2002)
Shelton, P.W., Clark, E.F., Heward, P. and Almond, J.K. Metallurgical
evaluation of the tyre of Lion locomotive. 71-94
Concluded that tyre is undoubtedly of 'Best Yorkshire' origin and almost certainly from Low Moor itself. It was probably rolled and/or welded by the same source, to specifications supplied by the London and North Western Railway. The mechanical properties of the tyre material are fully compatible with the 'Best Yorkshire' product, exceeding the 24 tons/in2 specified in the B.S.26 The Bolt is of more questionable origin, containing regions which by analysis and microstructure originate from the 'Best Yorkshire' Foundries. There is also evidence of small amounts of pearlitic material, and of some other regions of very pure iron, exhibiting little or no slag. It is proposed that this material, with variable mechanical properties, is a composite of forged scrap or 'ends'. The source of these is unknown, but could have been produced by the LNWR's own workshop at Crewe or by another barstock supplier.
Volume: 73B (2002)
Inkster, Ian. Patents as indicators of technological
change and innovation an historical analysis of the patent data
It is unnecessary to believe that every patent was worthwhile, nor that all patents were ever equal many were outrageous, others were epochal. But much the same might be said, for instance, of all capital investments. The latter fact has never stopped economists or economic historians from counting rates of investment or from examining broad trends in capital formation. The four themes here isolated are those of; Patents as Measures of Something Significant; Patents and Sites of Inventive Activity; Patents as Guides to Inventors and their Worlds; and Patents as Things that may be Valued (as well as Counted). These themes are complementary to other work resulting from this and earlier research projects. Notes the rise in international patenting, both by the French and Germans in Britain, and by British inventors abroad: notes that Neilson's steam hammer, Fairlie's locomotive and the Bessemer steel process were the subject of Belgian patents. Note 22 records that Haseltine, Lake was the largest British agency in the 1870s..
Volume: 74A (2004)
Schofield, R.B. and Martin, Lynda A. On ship motions and waves in navigable channels with particular reference to the experiments of John Scott Russell: 1834-1835. 109-29.
Volume: 74B (2004)
Cannadine, David. Cannadine Engineering history, or the history of
engineering? Re-writing the technological past. 163-80. (twenty-fifth Dickenson
Challenges some of the traditional views of British technological history.
White, John H. Some notes on early railway lubrication.
Covers period prior to 1870 and surveys British and American literature: does not mention force-feed lubrication. Author was author of American locomotives 1830-1880. John Hopkins, 1997. Notes involvement of Wilson Eddy in USA and John Ramsbottom in UK. Also notes the difficulty of searching for early US Patents..
Volume 75 (2005)
Cossons, Neil. Capturing the Age of Industry.
Twenty-fourth Dickinson Memorial Lecture read at Science Museum, London on Wednesday 9 May 2001. Notes the North American influence upon British open air museums, notably the North of England Open Air Museum at Beamish and the Ironbridge Gorge Museum and the Black Country Museum at Dudley as well as the Museum of Welsh Life and the Ulster Folk Musuem.
Volume 76 (2006)
Divall, Colin. From waggonway to Bullet Train: railway
engineering through the Millennium. 193-205.
Read at the Science Museum, London, September 2000. Some small part of what it means to be English and perhaps British has long been tied up with the idea that, in G.M. Trevelyan's words, "Railways were England's gift to the world". Trevelyan was writing in the 1940s but similar nationalist sentiments were commonplace from the mid-nineteenth century onwards as Britons celebrated their leadership of the industrial world. For writers such as Samuel Smiles (a Scot) and John A. Francis, railways were a pre-eminent symbol of national achievement and the railways' so-called creators, engineers such as George and Robert Stephenson, were heroic figures marking native genius and strength of character. The reverse of the 1990 version of the Bank of England's five-pound note suggests that railways and their engineers can still excite patriotic fervour. There is George Stephenson set against what are still popularly supposed to be his achievements: the Rocket locomotive of 1829, and a train of coal wagons pulled by Locomotion crossing Skerne Bridge on the Stockton & Darlington Railway of 1825. Rocket's iconic status was confirmed by the Science Museum in 2000 when it mounted the much-modified remains of the original as the key exhibit in a new permanent exhibition, 'The Making of the Modern World'.
Popular accounts of the past and historical scholarship are often at odds with one another, and recent historiography leaves no doubt about the shortcomings of these myths of English/British technological leadership and achievement. We know for instance just as many Victorian engineers knew perfectly well that Rocket's design and construction owed considerably more to Robert Stephenson than to his father, while a similar remark applies to Locomotion and Timothy Hackworth. Yet traces of these founding-father myths regrettably survive in some works of scholarship. Take, for instance, Charles More's The Industrial Age: Economy and Society in Britain 1750-1995, an undergraduate textbook published in a second edition in 1997. More sketches the emergence of the steam railway in Britain during the l820s and l830s, attributes both Locomotion and Rocket solely to George Stephenson, and suggests that they underpinned his being remembered as 'the "Father of Railways'''. Admittedly, More argues that 'if Stephenson had not built locomotives successfully, no doubt someone else would have done'. But this is hardly to break free of the idea of the founding-father.
Here I concentrate on the wider claims made for the global significance of British railway engineering. Few, if any, scholars are nowadays quite as extravagant in their praise as Trevelyan. Nevertheless one hears strong echoes in, for example, Anthony Burton's The railway empire.
Yeomans, David. Reconstructions as an aid to history. 271-89.
Read at the Science Museum, London, April 2005. The working definition adopted here is simply that a reconstruction is an experiment that provides data on aspects of a technology that are not provided by the historical or archaeological data alone. This rather broad definition does not even require the construction of a physical object; an experiment might be no more than a thought experiment. But broad though it is not all reconstructions fall within this definition. It requires that there be a clear purpose, i.e. that there are specific historical questions being addressed. This assumes that questions have been asked in the first place, which is not always the case. For the antiquarian the assembly of facts is the motivation, a form of stamp collecting that has undoubted value, often producing valuable data for the historian, but not to be confused with history as no historical questions are being asked. The temptation of reconstructions without asking historical questions is even greater because they have entertainment value, which is clear from the many television programmes based on them; the entertainment often being more important than any questions. This is a pity because there is a practical issue here; reconstructions are expensive and the funding available for their entertainment value might be put to better use if we could establish some simple ground rules for their conduct.
Includes reference to Michael Bailey' reconstruction of the Planet locomotive and the need to incorporate contemporary demands for health and safety and consideration of the ready availability of modern tools and materials.
Volume 76 (2006)
Hills, Richard L. The importance of steam power during the nineteenth
Begins with the drainage of the Fens.
Volume 78 (2008)
Bailey, Michael. I.K. Brunel exploding the
A brief, but searching review of Brunel's career, in which it is observed that Brunel left a large archive, but a limited professional legacy. Like Robert Stephenson, his vision and engineering interests were wide-ranging, and his professional reputation thus broadly based. In sharp contrast to Stephenson, however, he neither wrote papers nor sponsored other published material and thus was no exemplar to the profession. Unlike his fellow engineers, he maintained absolute control over his projects, achieved only through the dedication of his loyal, but un-acclaimed, assistants.
Although the scope of his land-based projects is impressive, Brunel was less innovative than some of his contemporaries in the strict sense of the term: that is the introduction of engineering practices that were adopted thereafter by the wider profession. An obvious example here was Robert Stephenson's development work on the steam locomotive that made possible the very development of main line railways the world over. Bailey is especially damning of Brunel as locomotive and traction (atmospheric) engineer.
In spite of Brunel's 'personal partialities and obstinate adherence' to the broad gauge, it would inevitably decline in favour of the standard gauge indeed, the first standard gauge trains were running into Paddington two years after his death. He was the first to acknowledge that his transom track was not novel and had been used on early wagonways, and even he later adopted William Barlow's track fonn. Brunel has not left us with extraordinary railway routes (Bailey was postulating as in the Ghats Inclines in India), but he does stand out from his contemporaries in providing fine architectural features for his stations and other structures.
Brunel was not daunted by scale, and it is with his marine engineering that we remain in awe. Adapting known iron structural techniques to marine vessels and pursuing, so vigorously improvements to the screw propeller, marked him out as being a progenitor in ship design.
This is an important paper as it throws light on several other contemporaneous engineers and on the biography of engineers per se. In the Transactions it is accompanied by four further studies on Brunel's achievements.
Brindle, Steven. I.K. Brunel first among equals? 11-23.
Brindle, Steven and Tucker, Malcolm. I.K. Brunel's first cast iron bridges and the Uxbridge Road fiasco. 25-45.
Perrett, David I.K. Brunel in London. 47-52.
Sheldrake, John I.K. Brunel and the famous half sovereign: the surgeon's story. 53-5.
Geraghty, P.J. Sir John Macneill (1793-1880): king of the Irish railways. 207-34.
Last revised: 2013-10-28