View Full Version : Ellenroad Engine House The Other Parts !

captain cave man
16-05-2011, 04:19 PM
In November of 1841 Mr John Petrie & Company of Rochdale delivered their 47th Beam engine to a Mr John Hurst owner of the Whitelees Mill, Littleborough, this engine kept running through the day and night for long spells up until the mid 1942, during this period the original Petrie engine work had been aquired by Holroyd Greater Works, the Whitelees MIll also changed hands and in 1957 was now owned by CWS who decided to dispose of the old engine, within this year Holroyds took the engine back to its birthplace and re built it in a glass annex to there factory and motorised it so passing people who passed could see there great machine.

In 1986 the Whitelees Beam Engine was bought by The Ellenroad Trust and again stripped/moved and re-built within the original Boiler House at Ellenroad by 1992. Apart form the age of the engine the second main feature is that in all main respects it is in its original form having escaped the almost uniform practice of compounding popularly known as 'McNaughting'.

'Compounding' the additional use of a second cylinder to the Beam was introduced way back in 1845 as boiler technology improved giving greater pressure to 60-70lb/in2. Petrie,s were very conservative in there use of steam favouring a mere 20lb/in2 until 1850 when the pressure increased to 30lb/in2 was then used. by 1870 the pressure had increased again to 40lb/in2 at this pressure the Whitelees Engine would have developed 170 indicated horse power and running at 34 RPM.

The single vertical cylinder has a 5 foot stroke length and 25.5 inch bore, this has a twist movement to eliminate scoring of the faces, the valves are a round-seated type.




The engine also has a single condenser with air pump, a flywheel of 18 feet diameter, a Porter governor,


A Watt's classical parallel motion in the beam above the cylinder. The centrifugal governor controls speed through a throttle valve, as the engine speed increased the governor ball are opened by the centrifugal force and as the balls move outwards a push rod is lifted moving a further amount of rods to then transmit the movement to the throttle valve reducing the steam supply until the speed is established, if the speed decreased then the balls come inwards moving the same rods in the opposite direction letting in more steam via the throttle valve.

It was stated that the parallel motion mechanism was the device of James Watt was most proud, this assembly is of rods and links situated on the ends of the beam above the steam cylinder, this allows the piston to rise and fall in a straight line even though the ends of the beam are moving in an arc formation whilst moving up and down.This elegant device was used uniformly in the beam engine and is very well shown to good effect above the main cylinder of the Whitelees Engine.



In the pit below the floor level is the condenser and air pump units and this was Watt's most famous invention as its introduction transformed the steam engine from a primitive and very expensive to run device to an economical and more powerful engine.

Steam exhausts the power cylinder through the large pipe in the base of the valve chest and enters the iron vessel within the pit where cold water is sprayed to condense the steam which creates a vacuum. The vacuum draws draws steam from the cylinder on one side of the piston while steam pressure on the other side of the piston increases this method gives greater power than would be possible normally. The pump situated next to the condenser removes the air formed by the condensed steam along with the river water used in cooling the condenser unit.


The flywheel of this engine is 18 feet in diameter and has a series of teeth on the outside diameter of the rim. In the Whitelees Mill the driver was transmitted from a spur gear in mesh with the flywheel to a bevel gear and then through a transmission shaft going vertical into the mill, Due to the ratios of the gears within the mill the line shaft as well as the engine room had a shaft speed of 300 RPM to power the machinery within the mill.

The next engine I am still researching so just pictures i'm afraid for now.

Pictures from when this engine was in pieces and bad with rust needing attention.









A few pictures for the oil can buffs !




16-05-2011, 08:53 PM
Awesome stuff :thumb

mr beardy
17-05-2011, 12:15 AM
you want to get your bum up to industrial museum up bradford there's machines there :thumb

17-05-2011, 12:39 AM
Industrial museum is ace, I do want to see this place though.

Banging pic....


17-05-2011, 08:31 AM
Great pics