HOME
The Info List - Smethwick Engine


--- Advertisement ---



The Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine
Engine
is a Watt steam engine
Watt steam engine
made by Boulton and Watt, which was installed near Birmingham, England, and was brought into service in May 1779. Now at Thinktank, Birmingham
Thinktank, Birmingham
Science Museum, it is the oldest working steam engine[1][2] and the oldest working engine in the world.[3][4]

Contents

1 History 2 Points of interest 3 See also 4 References 5 External links

History[edit] Originally, it was one of two steam engines used to pump water back up to the 491 foot (150 m) summit level of the BCN Old Main Line ( Birmingham
Birmingham
Canal) canal at Smethwick, not far from the Soho Foundry where it was made. The other engine, also built by Boulton and Watt, was at the other end of the summit level at Spon Lane. In 1804 a second Boulton and Watt
Boulton and Watt
engine was added alongside the 1779 engine. The engines were needed because local water sources were insufficient to supply water to operate the six locks either side of the canal's original summit. The locks could have been avoided if a tunnel had been built, but the ground was too unstable for James Brindley
James Brindley
to build a tunnel using the techniques available at the time. In the 1780s, a cutting was constructed by John Smeaton, enabling three of the six locks on each side to be removed.

The Engine
Engine
Arm Aqueduct

In the 1820s, Thomas Telford
Thomas Telford
constructed a new canal parallel to the old in a deeper cutting, at the 453 ft Birmingham
Birmingham
Level, creating the largest man-made earthworks in the world at the time. It was spanned by the Galton Bridge. The engine was still needed, despite both these developments, and Thomas Telford
Thomas Telford
constructed the Engine
Engine
Arm Aqueduct carrying the Engine
Engine
Arm branch canal over his New Main Line so that coal could still be transported along the arm to feed the Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine.

New Smethwick
Smethwick
Pumping Station

In 1892, a replacement engine was built in a new pumping house, now Grade II listed,[5][6] next to Brasshouse Lane, as the original Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine
Engine
was considered uneconomic to repair. The original Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine
Engine
was then removed to British Waterways
British Waterways
Ocker Hill depot where it remained until acquired by Birmingham
Birmingham
City Council. It is now part of the collection of Birmingham
Birmingham
Museums and is on display at Thinktank, Birmingham
Thinktank, Birmingham
Science Museum at Millennium Point. It is the oldest working engine in the world.

Blue plaque
Blue plaque
at the site of the Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine

The engine house was demolished in 1897. Its original site and foundations can still be seen on Bridge Street North in Smethwick, just north of the junction with Rolfe Street. Tours of the site can be arranged through the Galton Valley Canal
Canal
Heritage Centre which is based in the New Smethwick
Smethwick
Pumping Station and regularly opened by Sandwell Museum Service and The Friends of Galton Valley. The pumping station was featured in an episode of The Water Boatman presented by Alan Herd on the Discovery Shed
Discovery Shed
TV channel in November 2011. Points of interest[edit]

Point Coordinates (Links to map resources) OS Grid Ref Notes

Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine
Engine
original pumphouse 52°29′52″N 1°57′44″W / 52.4977°N 1.9622°W / 52.4977; -1.9622 ( Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine
Engine
original pumphouse) SP025889 Bridge Street North, Smethwick

Engine
Engine
Arm Aqueduct 52°29′52″N 1°57′59″W / 52.4979°N 1.9665°W / 52.4979; -1.9665 ( Engine
Engine
Arm Aqueduct) SP022889

New Smethwick
Smethwick
Pumphouse 52°29′53″N 1°58′23″W / 52.4981°N 1.9731°W / 52.4981; -1.9731 (New Smethwick
Smethwick
Pumphouse) SP018889 Brasshouse Lane, Smethwick

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap · Google Maps

Download coordinates as: KML · GPX

See also[edit]

UK Waterways portal

Canals of the United Kingdom History of the British canal system Old Bess (beam engine)
Old Bess (beam engine)
– the oldest surviving Watt steam engine

References[edit]

^ "Oldest steam engine". guinnessworldrecords.com. Retrieved 19 March 2015.  ^ "Highlights - Thinktank - Birmingham
Birmingham
Museums". birminghammuseums.org.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2015.  ^ Holland, Julian (2012-05-01). Amazing & Extraordinary Facts Steam Age. David & Charles. pp. 18–. ISBN 9781446356197. Retrieved 9 March 2015.  ^ "Promoting engineering in the Midlands". 27 January 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.  ^ Historic England. " Smethwick
Smethwick
New Pumping House  (Grade II) (1077154)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 8 March 2015.  ^ Historic England. "New pumping house, Grade II (219213)". Images of England. Retrieved 23 April 2007. 

Birmingham's Canals, Ray Shill, 1999, 2002, ISBN 0-7509-2077-7

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine.

Model of the Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine The Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine
Engine
at Thinktank, Birmingham
Thinktank, Birmingham
science museum

v t e

Thinktank, Birmingham
Thinktank, Birmingham
Science Museum

Building

Millennium Point

Collection

LMS 6235 City of Birmingham Lanchester petrol-electric car Murray's Hypocycloidal Engine Railton Special Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine Woolrich Electrical Generator

v t e

Birmingham
Birmingham
Canal
Canal
Navigations

Navigable

BCN Main Line Birmingham
Birmingham
and Fazeley Canal Bumble Hole Branch Canal Cannock Extension Canal Digbeth Branch Canal Dudley Canal Engine
Engine
Arm Gower Branch Canal Icknield Port Loop Netherton Tunnel Branch Canal Rushall Canal Soho Loop Spon Lane Locks Branch Tame Valley Canal Titford Canal Walsall Canal Wednesbury Oak Loop Wednesbury Old Canal Wyrley and Essington Canal

Unnavigable

Anson Branch Bentley Canal Bradley Branch Lichfield Canal Ridgacre Branch Tipton Green and Toll End Canals

Junctions

Aldersley Junction Aston Junction Birchills Junction Bromford Junction Catshill Junction Fazeley Junction Horseley Fields Junction Huddlesford Junction Ogley Junction Old Turn Junction Pelsall Junction Rumer Hill Junction Rushall Junction Salford Junction Smethwick
Smethwick
Junction Spon Lane Junction Tame Valley Junction

Reservoirs

Chasewater Edgbaston Reservoir Netherton Reservoir

Tunnels

Dudley Tunnel Lapal Tunnel

Aqueducts

Engine
Engine
Arm Aqueduct Stewart Aqueduct

Bridges and viaducts

Galton Bridge Parkhead Viaduct

Pumping stations

Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine

Locks

Delph Locks

Basins

Gas Street Basin

Adjoining canals

Coventry Canal Grand Union Canal Pensnett Canal Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Stourbridge Canal Worcester and Birmingham
Birmingham
Canal

Other

Water levels of the Birmingham
Birmingham
Canal
Canal
Navigations

v t e

Steam engines

Operating cycle

Atmospheric Watt Cornish Compound Uniflow

Valves

Valves

Slide

D slide

Piston Drop Corliss Poppet Sleeve Bash

Valve
Valve
gear

Gab Stephenson link Joy Walschaerts Allan Baker Corliss Lentz Caprotti Gresley conjugated Southern

Mechanisms

Beam Cataract Centrifugal governor Connecting rod Crank Crankshaft Hypocycloidal gear Link chain Parallel motion Plate chain Rotative beam Sun and planet gear Watt's linkage

Boilers

Simple boilers

Haystack Wagon Egg-ended Box Flued Cornish Lancashire

Fire-tube boilers

Locomotive Scotch Launch

Water-tube boilers

Babcock & Wilcox Field-tube Sentinel Stirling Thimble tube Three-drum Yarrow

Boiler
Boiler
feed

Feedwater heater Feedwater pump Injector

Cylinder

Locomotive Oscillating Single- and double-acting

Condenser

Condensing steam locomotive Jet Kirchweger Watt's separate "Pickle-pot" Surface

Other

Crosshead Cutoff Expansion valve Hydrolock Piston Reciprocating engine Return connecting rod engine Six-column beam engine Steeple engine Safety valve Steeple compound engine Stroke Working fluid

History

Precursors

Savery Engine
Engine
(1698)

Newcomen engine

Newcomen Memorial Engine
Engine
(1725) Fairbottom Bobs
Fairbottom Bobs
(1760) Elsecar Engine
Engine
(1795)

Watt engine

Beam

Kinneil Engine
Engine
(1768) Old Bess (1777) Chacewater Mine engine (1778) Smethwick
Smethwick
Engine
Engine
(1779) Resolution (1781)

Rotative beam

Soho Manufactory engine (1782) Bradley Works engine (1783) Whitbread Engine
Engine
(1785) National Museum of Scotland engine (1786) Lap Engine
Engine
(1788)

High-pressure

Richard Trevithick

Puffing Devil (1801) London Steam Carriage (1803) "Coalbrookdale Locomotive" (1803) "Pen-y-Darren" locomotive (1804)

Compound

Woolf's compound engine (1803)

Murray

Murray's Hypocycloidal Engine
Engine
(1805) Salamanca (1812)

High-speed

Porter-Allen (1862) Ljungström (1908)

See also

Glossary of steam locomotive components History of steam road vehicles

Cugnot's fardier à vapeur (1769) Murdoch's model steam carriage (1784)

Lean's Engine
Engine
Reporter List of steam technology patents Modern steam Stationary steam engine Timeline of steam power Wate

.