Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Loam and Son

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1866. Blowing engine named 'Darby', Ebbw Vale Ironworks.

of Perran Foundry, Perranarworthal, near Falmouth, Cornwall, and later of Liskeard. Same firm? Some confusion to be resolved here.

1863 THE CARADON UNITED MINES. This development of mining in the Liskeard district steadily progresses;..... The engine has been erected, and Wednesday last was the day appointed for setting her to work. On this occasion, about fifty shareholders were on the mine to inaugurate this auspicious event, and well were the expectations of all realised. The engine was erected under the superintendence of the eminent firm of Loam and Son, Mr. Michael Loam being on the spot to put her going. She went off in first-rate style, accomplishing at the time twenty-three strokes per minute, though capable of doing much more. The size of the engine is a 25-inch cylinder, and will drain the mine 60 fathoms; Messrs. Thomas and Son, of Charleston, being the contractors, who have given the greatest satisfaction. ....' [1]

1866 Made (designed?) a very large blowing engine for the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Co (see illustration). 12 ft dia blowing cylinder, 6 ft steam cylinder, 12 ft stroke. To facilitate transportation, the air cylinder was made in two halves, bolted together with flanges at mid height. 30 ft dia flywheel. Main shaft 19" square, weight 8 tons. Beam 40 ft long, 7 ft 6" deep at centre, made from Pontypool cold-blast iron. Air pressure 4 psi. Designed by E. Windsor Richards of the Ebbw Vale Co (in conjunction with Loam and Son?)[2] [3] [4]. See illustration.

1879-81 Loam & Son of Liskeard were advertising the Barrow Rock Drill Company's rock drills, air compressors, etc. [5]

Note: In 1881 a prospectus was issued for Matthew Loam and Son of Liskeard, to establish a company to acquire and work some silver-lead lodes known as 'Old Shepherds Mine'. [6]. Was this the same Loam and Son?

1884 Loam & Son designed and erected a 100 HP engine to drive stamps made by Harvey at Owen Vean and Tregurtha Downs Mine, for which company M. Loam was the engineer.[7]

1889 Extract form letter about the Wheal Agar engine: 'This bob was "designed, drawn and calculated", by one of the best firms engineers ever known in the county of Cornwall, viz., Loam and Son, whose names are on the bob. It was made by the firm of Harvey and Co., of Hayle, and their names are also on the bob. ....' [8]


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Sources of Information

  1. Cornish Times - Saturday 29 August 1863
  2. [1] Engineering, 10 Aug 1866, p.93
  3. [2] Engineering, 7 Sept 1866, pp.166-7
  4. [3] Engineering, 14 Sept 1866, p.179
  5. The Cornish Telegraph - Wednesday 18 August 1880
  6. Dublin Daily Express - Tuesday 5 April 1881
  7. Cornishman - Thursday 19 June 1884
  8. West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser - Thursday 11 April 1889