Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Isaiah Davies

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1848 Engineer of 44 Bromsgrove Street, Birmingham

(From the Birmingham Journal.)
A few days ago, by the kindness of Mr. Thomas Gibbins of the Battery Works, we were introduced to the inventor of the engine under notice. Mr. Isaiah Davies, Bromsgrove Street, a practical engineer. After having inspected a model of his rotary engine, a locomotive on the same principle, and a skeleton model of a double action engine, intended to work expansively, we proceeded to the pin manufactory of Messrs. Edelsten and Williams, George Street, Parade, where Mr. Davies' engine is in daily operation. On entering a small room at the back or end of the manufactory, a cylinder is seen, resting on a metal plate, fastened to a granite pediment; in front two spindle rods are playing and at each end of the cylinder the shaft is revolving, communicating a direct action to the machinery connected with it. The simplicity of it, and absence of magnitude and noise, are apt to convey an erroneous notion of the power of the engine, but a practical test of its working capability at once dispels all doubt about the complete success of the invention. Recollecting the strong objection made to engines on this principle, viz., the impossibility of packing, we at once examined the part, and so far as external appearances are concerned, the theoretical impossibility has been conquered. Not a breath of steam escapes, and the principle of the stuffing box used renders friction a purely theoretical difficulty. Before attempting a description of the engine,......'[1]

The Practical Mechanic's Journal of April 1849 provided a detailed and positive account of Davies's rotatory engine. The engine, at the works of Edelsten and Williams, was developing 12 HP at 70 rpm with steam at 22.5 psi, driving pin-heading machines, scouring machines, and wire-drawing benches. It had been running 10 hours a day for 15 months without trouble. The article noted that Davies had first patented such an engine in 1844.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Glasgow Herald, 9 April 1849