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Steam Engines and Pumps

Status: Operational and awaiting restoration

Bellis & Morcom enclosed high-speed steam engine #9043

BellisThe largest stationary steam engine preserved at the ATT is a Bellis & Morcom enclosed high-speed steam engine formerly used in the Ruoak Timbers Pty Ltd sawmill at Alexandra.  This represents the most modern steam engine preserved at the ATT.  With its mechanism operating in an enclosed “sump” similar to that of a modern motor vehicle, lubrication was enhanced and wear reduced as the moving parts were protected from the ingress of dust and grit.  This particular engine, builder’s number 9043, was donated to the ATT by J. L Gould Sawmills Pty Ltd, and was delivered with a Trevor packaged oil-fired boiler.  This machinery will be installed under cover and returned to service when time and finances permit.

A. G. Mumford “banjo” donkey pump #9682

Historical PhotoAt the opposite end of the size scale is a small A. G. Mumford “Favourite” brand “donkey” pump.  The rotative direct-acting donkey pump was very popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  In this type of pump, the piston rod is directly connected to the pump plunger, with valve motion being generated from an eccentric on the crankshaft with a flywheel to carry the pump over its centres.  This type of pump is often known as a “banjo” pump from the shape of the crank mechanism.  Rotative direct-acting pumps produced by Alex. Wilson & Coy., Frank Pearn & Coy, Ransome Sims & Jeffries and A. G. Mumford in the United Kingdom remained popular into the twentieth century.

Recent PhotoThe pump preserved at Alexandra is similar to those pictured in an A. G. Mumford catalogue illustration of 1906, and came from an old sawmill in the Dorrigo (NSW) area.  It carries the number 9682 stamped on the cylinder end cover, possibly the builder’s number.  It has a bore of 2½-inches and a stroke of 2½-inches at the steam end, and a bore of 1¼-inches and a stroke of 2½-inches at the water end.  At least four Mumford donkey pumps are known to survive in Victoria, two of this size and two of the slightly larger “No.3”.

The ATT has a large range of horizontal direct-acting duplex steam pumps and vertical direct-acting simplex steam pumps awaiting restoration.