Titanic's generating sets

Rancor

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Jun 23, 2017
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Hry
Hi I'm David Arnfield from radcliffe UK, I own a W. H. Allen generating set built in 1911,according to w.h.allens it is the only close relative of the titanics generating set known to survive, I took the engine out of a cotton mill near Holmfirth in 2004.please see attached picture
Hey David,

Great find. Was it still in use at the mill in 2004, even as a standby generating set? If so that's a lifespan of 93 years which is amazing!

Have you been able to keep it in steam occasionally?
 
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Apr 30, 2019
13
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Radcliffe manchester
Hry


Hey David,

Great find. Was it still in use at the mill in 2004, even as a standby generating set? If so that's a lifespan of 93 years which is amazing!

Have you been able to keep it in steam occasionally?
I believe the engine ran till late 1970s but I ran it before removal in 2004.I loaned the engine to ellenroad steam museum where it has stood outside covered by tarps since at present I am pushing to have it restored, and Allen's have offered their assistance.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
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Hi I'm David Arnfield from radcliffe UK, I own a W. H. Allen generating set built in 1911,according to w.h.allens it is the only close relative of the titanics generating set known to survive, I took the engine out of a cotton mill near Holmfirth in 2004.please see attached picture
A great find. Is it a two cylinder or three cylinder engine?
 

Doug Criner

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Dec 2, 2009
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I would be very interested in seeing photos of the machine's nameplates - engine and generator. Thanks.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
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Whether its coincident or not I am doing research into WH Allen company in Bedford England, with steam turbines driving water pumps.
I can see this company certainly move with times for new technology.
What does surprise me the engine is a compound design! As Allen is well into triple expansion engines and by 1906-07 have a licence from Charles Parsons to build turbines.
As for Olympic, Titanic and Britannic the company did supply there generators with triple expansion engines. As for Lusitania and Mauritania they were turbine generators!
Can you think of any reason why a compound engines is used? Cost may be cheaper to build?
There is a H&W connection with Allen company. As the Chief electrical engineer John Kempster from Allen joined H&W in 1902.
No doubt had a strong influence to use Allen engines, pumps and ventilation fans to.
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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hi attached some pics,and notes on engine I had to take the pic of plate off movei of engine as the plate was stolen on removal from wildspur mill hope this helps
Yes I can see that gen needs some maintenance but I've seen worse. I hope they are able to restore the set.
 
Last edited:
Nov 14, 2005
641
241
113
Whether its coincident or not I am doing research into WH Allen company in Bedford England, with steam turbines driving water pumps.
I can see this company certainly move with times for new technology.
What does surprise me the engine is a compound design! As Allen is well into triple expansion engines and by 1906-07 have a licence from Charles Parsons to build turbines.
As for Olympic, Titanic and Britannic the company did supply there generators with triple expansion engines. As for Lusitania and Mauritania they were turbine generators!
Can you think of any reason why a compound engines is used? Cost may be cheaper to build?
There is a H&W connection with Allen company. As the Chief electrical engineer John Kempster from Allen joined H&W in 1902.
No doubt had a strong influence to use Allen engines, pumps and ventilation fans to.
That should be some interesting research. Powered driven water pumps was one of the things that kicked off the industrial revolution. I think one of the first steam driven engines was developed to run a pump to clear some flooded mines in England. But I would have to check on that one. Good luck with your research.
 

Mike Spooner

Member
Jan 31, 2018
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Yes the two emergency generators were compounds. I presume only used as back ups they were cheaper than triples. Never less they took no chances to make sure they did worked by running them ever night for lighting purposes.

Why was so many machines in those days and even into the ninety too, painted green? Rather like Henry Ford T model you can any colour you like as long its black!
Good luck with the engine and lets us known when running again. I known it will take time and money to!
 

Rancor

Member
Jun 23, 2017
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Did you have to do much work for your test run at the mill or was it just a matter of putting some oil in it, turning on the steam and off it went?
 
Apr 30, 2019
13
9
3
Radcliffe manchester
Yes the two emergency generators were compounds. I presume only used as back ups they were cheaper than triples. Never less they took no chances to make sure they did worked by running them ever night for lighting purposes.

Why was so many machines in those days and even into the ninety too, painted green? Rather like Henry Ford T model you can any colour you like as long its black!
Good luck with the engine and lets us known when running again. I known it will take time and money to!
I really don't know why most engines were green, but I will keep posted on progress