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British Industrial History

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Medwin and Hall

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of Surrey Ironworks, 92, Blackfriars Road, London

Thomas Charles Medwin and Cresswell Hall, engineers, boiler makers, and portable engine manufacturers and copartners.

1853 Advertisements: 'STEAM BOILER EXPLOSIONS PREVENTED. MEDWIN'S PATENT WATER GAUGE is self-acting, simple, shows the exact quantity of water in a steam boiler, may be understood by the most inexperienced person, will prevent explosion or collapse of tubes for want of water, and whistles loudly when the water is too high or low. Several may be seen in operation, daily, on application to Messrs. Medwin and Hall, Engineers, Blackfriars-road, London.
STEAM ENGINES, SUITABLE for WIND and WATER MILLS, of 4-horse, 6-horse, 8-horse, 10-horse. 12-horse power, and upwards. These Engines and Boilers are portable. The Engines may be used without any connection with building, and the Boiler set to work without fixing, brickwork, or chimney ; are well adapted as an auxiliary to a wind or water mill. A 10-horse power Engine may be seen at work, daily, at Messrs. Medwin and Hall's, Engineers, &c, 92, Blackfriars road, London.'[1]

1854 Advertisement: 'Mining engines to be let HIRE, OR FOR SALE. Mining Engines may be set to work without fixing Chimney or Engine-bouse, and the value of the Mine tried at a small cost, by the Hire. MEDWIN and HALL'S Patent Portable Pumping and Winding Engines; are strong, simple-mounted, on broad Waggon Wheels, Horse-shafts to remove at pleasure. Several are ready for immediate delivery, either to be Let at Rental or Purchase, of 10, 12, 16, 25, to 40 horse power, and will be delivered, carriage free, at Dublin, Cork, or Limerick. For Terms and Prospectus apply to Messrs. Medwin and Hall, Engineers, 92, Blackfriar's-road, London.'[2]

1854 'Extension of the Welsh Collieries.—The spirit of speculation has lately taken a very promising turn in different parts of the Principality. Efforts are now daily making to lay open fresh mines of coal and anthracite, the latter being especially sought after in consequence of its smokeless qualities, and of the difficulties attending its combustion being at length surmounted. For surface exploration, and for the general purposes of mining, the new portable engines of Messrs. Medwin and Hall appear to be well adapted. That there is really something eminently good in this form of engine is evident from the papers now before us, from which it appears that, though the invention has only been before the public during three years, yet it is now in operation throughout the entire of England and in several parts of Wales, in France, Italy, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, the East Indies, Ceylon, North Australia, Van Dieman's Land, South Australia, and the extreme Antipodes, at Hudson's Bay, in California, and in the Brazils, almost every where in fact, and performing every description of mechanical labour according to circumstances, such as pumping, hauling, winding, stamping, crushing, sawing desiccating, ballasting, mill driving, dredging, &c, &c and in the rustic wilds of New Zealand it is clearing the land of its interminable forests. These are testimonials the force of which there is no denying, and which certainly tend to stamp the invention as one of the most useful of the day. It appears that the points principally aimed at by the patentees are, the production of an engine which should contain great power with extreme portability, and which at the same time should be capable of being worked with more than average economy. The statistics of its development as here given, than which nothing can well be stronger, will show how far their efforts have been crowned with success. We are very well aware that portable engines have been used before, but they have never been produced in so perfect a form. The boiler exposes an immense surface for evaporation without having any complexity of parts. The horizontal engine is placed on the top of the boiler and provided with the means for actuating every description of machinery. The whole arrangement is mounted on broad waggon wheels, so that it may transported from place to place by horses when steam locomotion is not available. It requires no setting whatever, and the patentees now always keep on hand a stock of about a hundred of various amounts of power, for sale or hire, any one can now have engine upon his premises or estate in little more than 24 hours' notice.' [3]

1855 'At South Zion, one of Medwin and Hall's Patent portable engines, calculated to be of sufficient power to put the mine down 40 fathoms, has been purchased under advantageous circumstances, with pumping gear,&c., complete, so that no time may be lost in proving the value of the lodes in depth.'[4]

1855 Advertisement: 'INVERNESS BRIDGE WORKS. SALE OF PLANT. TO CONTRACTORS, BUILDERS, AND WOOD MERCHANTS. To be Sold, by Public Auction, ..... The Whole of the extensive and valuable PLANT of the INVERNESS BRIDGE WORKS, consisting of One Medwin and Hall's improved Portable 12 H.P. STEAM ENGINE, fitted with Gearing for Pumping; a 5 H.P. Gough's PORTABLE ENGINE, with Drum and Gearing for Pile-Driving; One H.P. Do., with Mortar Mill attached, on Wheels; One Crosskill's LIME PULVERIZER, or BONE-MILL;.....'[5]

1855 Advertisement: 'Mining, pumping, and winding STEAM FNGINES to be LET on HIRE, by the month or the year.—MEDWIN'S PATENT PORTABLE PUMPING and WINDING STEAM ENGINES, with Reversing Gear of Ten horse, Twelve horse, Sixteen horse. Twenty horse, and Forty horse power, which may be set to work without Brickwork. Chimney Shaft, or any kind of fixing These Engines — strong, simple, applicable, and important in temporary Mining and other purposes, previous to the erection of permanent stationary engines — are successfully employed. Several are ready for immediate delivery, and will be forwarded to any part, carriage free, on application to Messrs. Medwin and Hall, engineers, Surrey Iron Works, 92, Blackfriars-road, London.'[6]

1857 Bankrupt: Thomas Charles Medwin and Cresswell Hall, Blackfriars Road, engineers[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Kentish Gazette, 19 July 1853
  2. Dublin Evening Mail, 20 October 1854
  3. Hereford Times, 2nd December 1854
  4. London Daily News, 4th October 1855
  5. Inverness Courier, 4th October 1855
  6. Liverpool Daily Post, 10th November 1855
  7. London Gazette, 7th March 1857