Ransome & May Horizontal Mill Engine

Ransomes, founded in 1799, made their name in chilled-cast ploughshares before entering the steam markets in the early 1840's.  This 8nhp mill engine was demonstrated at the Great Exhibition of London in 1851 with a size and functionality that set the Ransome brand apart throughout both the British and Russian Empires.  The print to the right shows a portable (towable) version!    

The Ransome family of Ipswich, like the Cadburys, the Clarks, the Lloyds, the Wedgewoods and the Darbys set out with their Quaker beliefs to do genuine good rather than simply to make money.    In 1849 James Ransome erected a Workman's Hall to house "single men and lads....with a cheerful room to spend his evenings in and to prevent a too early and therefore improvident marriage, in order to escape from the discomfort attending a solitary existence".     

Geoffrey King, a professional Engineer and member of the Newcomen Society, designed this 1/12th scale replica in 1958 from an example which was in service until 1921.  With a bore x stroke of ¾" x 1½", the engine has a double acting slide valve with 4 bar guides, a marine type big-end, an eccentric driven feed pump, a hand cranked stop valve and a Watts type governor, driven by ordinary chain running in grooved pulleys.  Under steam the engine is a delight, especially with its governor weighted for slow running.  The engine sits on a bedplate measuring 9 1/8" x 2 ¼" with a flywheel diameter of 7".   

Whilst construction is somewhat more involved than say a Stuart Victoria engine, the Ransome & May replica pays-off handsomely with elegant gunmetal adopted for all of the major mechanisms.

The Ransome & May in Action


Ransome & May Mill Engine - Material Kit

Ransome & May Mill Engine - Material KitFrom:  £250.15

Ransome & May Mill Engine - Drawings & Notes

Ransome & May Mill Engine - Drawings & Notes£32.20