“WayBack Wednesday” A Look Back at One of Your Favorites: Feb 10, 2016

The Great and the Insignificant.



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4 responses to ““WayBack Wednesday” A Look Back at One of Your Favorites: Feb 10, 2016

  1. Hi Joe,
    You mention the Great lake Historical Museum Ohio of a triple form a tug boat which dose not work. You must of hear of the Cincinnati Water Works triple expansion which claims to be the largest triple ever made! Although the Manhattan used in the subway system in New York also have a claim of the largest triple ever made too! I see both were made by Allis Chambers. The last I heard of the Cincinnati engine is they are not working and talk of getting one to run again? The longer you leave a engine not running the harder it becomes to get it up and running again. As experienced at Kempton Museum too? The engine was not running for 20 years from 1980 -2000. The rust and corrosion well set in and took a good 4-5 years to short out the mess! The Cincinnati is a bigger engine than Kempton but the cylinder bores are the same size. The Cincinnati engine has a longer stroke than Kempton engine. Both were doing the same job pumping water. However there is another triple expansion engine still working in a ship called the SS Shiedhall base at Southampton docks. She like Kempton steams up 7 times a year and sails around the Southampton waters. She has two triples and built in 1954? That is another story why she was to have out of date engine installed in the first place? The engines are smaller, I have been on her a few times now were you are aloud to walk around the engine room and that smell of hot steam with hot oil aroma. The heat down there is quite some else ever she is only has oil fired boilers. To think of the days when those poor guys were shoving coal into boilers and the heat was over 140 degrees! Not to mention the coal dust was killing them too! Yes the good old days! The this ship can be found on the website too.
    My research on William Perrie is still on going and finding more money been spent on projects which do not pay? Building ships at 5% above cost which is a poor profit for a private company. Where the hell is the money coming from and to pay for his extravagant life style too!


    • I know 5% does not sound like much, but remember that is net profit not gross. The wages and salaries are included in the cost and add to that 5%. Something else, in 1912 dollars the Titanic cost $7,500,000. That is pure profit to the company of $375,000 at a time when the average man made $500 a year. Just the profit alone from the Titanic was enough to pay the salaries of 750 men for a year. Large corporations do not have a very high profit margin, but because their gross income is so large their net profit sounds like it is huge.
      There are those who complain about the high profits that big companies make, but the forget how much money they invest to make that profit.
      In the case of the Titanic 7.5 million dollars invested to get 375 thousand dollars.
      Then when you add all the other ships H&W were building at the same time, and the repair work on other ships, and the overhauls they were doing on other ships – well you can see they had huge sums of money flowing through that shipyard, so while 5% is not a good investment return, at the end of the day it is still one large stack of money.


  2. Hi Joe,
    I know the UK is a long away for you. If you do come to the UK there is a very large working triple expansion engine only about 3/4 mile from me. Under the name of Kempton Steam Museum. Which can be found on the website. The steam engine is the worlds biggest working steam engine still working! The engines were used for pumping water to London.
    The engine is the same type of as used on the Olympic & Titanic ships. It give you a good idea how big the sizes of these engines were. At the museum there are two of them, but just the one is steam up 7 times a year. The other one is use in the guided tour where you can climb up 3 storeys high and two further storey underneath the engine. The height of the engine is 60 feet which includes the water pump. What was used in the Titanic for capacity sizes were 21/2 times bigger! The Titanic engine were a four cylinder as against the 3 cylinder at Kempton. The workings of the triple expansion whether 3 or 4 cylinders are the same. This engine run with a very heavy flywheels of 64 tons as the Titanic had a very light flywheel using the propeller as the flywheel.
    I work there as a volunteer helping out on the guide tours days. The museum also have two large steam turbine engines not working. But give you a good idea how much smaller there were to a triple. Always coal fired boilers right up to 1980. The museum is not far from Heathrow airport about 6 miles. So Joe if you are over this way any time give me a call and only too willing to give you a guided tour!


    • I have family and friends in the United Kingdom, but it will be 2018 at the earliest before I might get a chance to go. I will definitely look you up. I would love to meet you and see the museum.
      If you would like you could do something to promote the museum on our blog. We are a big supporter of museums, libraries, and bookstores.
      At the Great Lakes Historical Museum in Ohio they have a triple expansion engine on display. It does not work and it came from a tug boat so it is much smaller. I would really enjoy seeing your steam engine.