A FINE AND RARE MODEL OF A TWIN CYLINDER PADDLE STEAMER ENGINE BY MAUDSLAY & SON OF CIRCA 1840,

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Lot 79
A FINE AND RARE MODEL OF A TWIN CYLINDER PADDLE STEAMER ENGINE BY MAUDSLAY & SON OF CIRCA 1840,

Sold for £ 36,250 (US$ 45,147) inc. premium
A FINE AND RARE MODEL OF A TWIN CYLINDER PADDLE STEAMER ENGINE BY MAUDSLAY & SON OF CIRCA 1840,
Brass bound twin rocking cylinders with mounted valve chests, the crank shaft supported in trunnions mounted on circular braced A-frames, with end mounted large 15.5" spoked flywheel, the whole mounted on a mahogany base. 12 1/2 ins (31cm) long x 15 1/2 ins (40cm) wide x 19 ins (48cm) high

Footnotes

  • Henry Maudslay (1771-1831) is generally recognised to have had the finest and most delicate design sense of any engineer of the early part of 19th century. Being commissioned from Rio de Janeiro to Istanbul he marked a new direction in the industrial world. We know this because of the many beautiful models of the company's work at the Museum of Science and Industry in London, one of which is a replica of this oscillating engine model made by J. Spiller of Battersea, c.1820.

    In 1827, Maudsley built the first patented oscillating engine. Designed to achieve further reductions in engine size and weight, the engine cylinders were not immobile as usually seen in most engines, but pivoted back and forth as the crankshaft rotated in an oscillating motion.

    It is thought an oscillating engine such as what this model is based on was used on Brunel's SS Great Western of 1837, the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic. Here the diagonal oscillating engines were placed in the bottom of the ship below the paddleshaft and drove it directly from the piston rod with no connecting rod.

    Maudslay had these models built by the apprentices, for training, exhibiting and indeed, for recording the innovative development of the company's products. They were a popular type of marine engine and in general, 19th century models often followed this tradition and use. The highly polished appearance of this model illustrates the pride he took over his work.

    Liteature: Inkster, 'History of Technology', Vol 25, p 192.
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