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About TheDoctor

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  1. I'm interested in information about Philadelphia Steel Works following some research into a story from the Sheffield Telegraph in 1863 about a large steam hammer anvil that was transported from Rotherham to the Philadelphia Steel Works. Did any of the machinery survive? Are there any remains of the buildings. Are the any pictures of the buildings and interior?
  2. I am a model engineer interested in Traction Engines and found a newspaper article describing a momentous journey from Rotherham to Sheffield. This was published as part of a personnal webpage some years ago. I am looking to change web hosts so my page is not online at the moment. Below is an extract from ‘The Sheffield Daily Telegraph’ for November 12th 1863 that I hope you will find interesting. THE JOURNEY OF TWO TRACTION ENGINES FROM ROTHERHAM TO SHEFFIELD The following account of the journey from Rotherham to Sheffield, and the description of the two engines, have been forwarded to us by Mr. E. Edwards Hewett, of the locomotive department, Midland Railway:- The dray loaded with the castings was removed from the foundry of Messrs. Harris on Monday the 2nd of November, when the engine purchased by Messrs. Harris, was coupled to the dray, being under the able management of Mr. Batrick, superintendent engineer to Messrs. Burrell, Messrs. Harris accompanying and having charge of the dray. The journey to Sheffield was then commenced, the engine (proving itself quite equal to its task whilst on level and good roads) dragging its monster load to the bottom of Eccles-hill, where the road being steep and bad the engine was for the time overcome, and the dray sank. In this dilemma Messrs. Burrell were telegraphed to for further assistance who immediately sent off a second engine, which was unloaded at the Victoria Station on Friday afternoon, arriving at the scene of the disaster the same evening. In the meantime the dray had been raised by powerful hydraulic lifts, balks (sic) of timber and iron plates being placed under the wheels; the two engines and four horses having been coupled to the dray, a start was made, and the procession moved off a good pace until it arrived at the Canal Bridge, over which planks had been previously laid. The dray had only just been drawn over when the right leading wheel of the first engine left the track, which had been laid down by the South Yorkshire Railway Company on their bridge, and as some few minutes were lost in getting it on again, the dray had in the meantime sunk to such a depth as to necessitate the use of the lifts, thus occupying the remainder of the day in setting it to rights. On Monday, the Railway Bridge and the embankment leading to it were laid with sleepers, and the dray, having been raised to its proper level, the engines and horses were again coupled at 1.30p.m., when they showed by the speed which they attained the immense power they were able to exert, the horses being dispensed with when the hills were mounted, the engines doing the work themselves from Attercliffe Common to the Twelve o’Clock, where a halt was made for the night. On Tuesday morning the engines moved off with their load, accompanied by an immense concourse of people, turning the corners from the Wicker to Nursery-street, and thence over the Corporation bridge with greatest ease. In Corporation-street, at the corner of Spring-street, owing to the heavy state of the road the dray again sank, causing a further delay, but having passed into Spring-street the engine owned by Messrs. Harris proved its immense power by dragging the load, unaided by the other engine, as far as Bowling-green-street. Gilbraltar-street being in good repair, a first-rate speed was maintained, which was not allowed to decrease materially until the load was stopped opposite the works of Messrs. Butcher, at five o’clock. On Wednesday morning the casting was easily drawn into the yard and pulled by the engines to within a few yards of the hammer for which it is the anvil block, after which Messrs. Burrell’s engine commenced the return journey to Rotherham. The weight of the casting and dray is over 54 tons. The engine bought by Messrs. Harris was built by Messrs. Burrell in 1859, according to the original design by Mr. Boydell, the patentee of the endless railway for common roads. The length of the boiler is 7 feet, diameter 2ft. 6 in., the fire box is 1 ft. 11in. by 2ft. 5in., the fire box shell 2ft. 7½in. by 2ft. 1½in. by 2ft. 1½in., the dome is placed over the fire box, the bottom of which is 1ft. 3 in. From the top of the fire box. The boiler is multitubular, having in it 34 brass tubes 2½in. in diameter. The cylinders which are placed at the extreme end of the boiler and partly over the smoke box, are 7 in. In diameter, the centres being 1ft. 9 in., the stoke of the pistons is 12 in. The eccentric straps are of brass, the rods being bolted to them, the radius of the links is 1ft. 10½ in., the travel of the valves is 2 in., the lap in., and lead 1/16th in. The slide bars are of cast-iron, curved at the cylinder end to miss the glands, and having feet cast on them to bolt to the cylinder covers, the other ends of the bars are supported by pillars. The reversing shaft is carried by a high pillar; the radius links being worked by double lifting links, to the bottom of which they are coupled. The pump for feeding the boiler and that for filling the tank are placed close together and are worked by a double lever attached to a rod worked by an eccentric on the crank shaft. At each end of the crank shaft there is a small pinion having 11 teeth, working into a large spur wheel, having 108 teeth; the pinions have clutches cast on them, and by means of a loose clutch and lever can be thrown in and out of gear when pumping. &c. Behind the crank shaft there is a plain shaft carrying a small intermediate spur wheel, which is thrown in and out of gear by raising and lowering it. The driving wheels which are 7 feet in diameter, are of wood, strengthened by iron bands, every alternate spoke being bolted to a projection cast on an arm of the spur wheel. The tyres are of wrought iron, being 4 inch by 1 inch in section, and fastened to the wheel by countersunk bolts. The wheels are provided with six shoes, to each of which is fastened an iron link; this link works easily in a long slotted bracket, bolted on the outside of the rim, having a pin though the top, which slides on the circular side of the bracket. Each shoe is further provided with a rail 3 feet 6 inches by 3½ inches by 1¼ inch, on which the driving wheel revolves, and is strengthened and made more durable by iron plates bolted across the under side. In descending, the shoe is held in its proper place by a wrought iron finger bolted to the side of the rim, and the ends of the shoes are rounded off, so as to lower on to and leave the road easily. The right driving wheel is keyed fast on the axle; but on the left the boss of the driving wheel is provided with a clutch, and by means of a loose clutch is thrown in and out of gear. This loose clutch is moved by a lever which is worked by a screw and wheel bracketed to the side of the fire-box. The leading wheels are of cast iron, with wrought-iron tyres. The boiler can be easily lowered, when ascending an incline, and raised when descending one, by suitable gearing worked from this steering platform. The steering apparatus consists of a toothed segment, bolted on the inside of the leading axle (which is of wood), which is turned right and left by a pinion on a spindle, which has a spur wheel keyed on the top, worked by a small pinion and large steering wheel. The tank is placed under the boiler, the height of water in it being indexed by a float and rod. The engine, with its full complement of coal and water, weighs about 12 tons. The pressure of steam under which the engine works is 100lbs. per square inch. When about to turn sharp angles the left driving wheel is thrown out of gear by the arrangement of the loose clutch described above. When the boiler requires refilling both the working pinions are thrown out of gear; and when a quick speed is required the small intermediate spur wheel is thrown out of gear and the driving spur wheels are worked direct. The engine sent by Messrs. Burrell was built in 1862, and then by them exhibited in the International Exhibition. The boiler contains 72 tubes, 1¾ inch in diameter, fire box, 2 feet 5 inches by 2 feet 5 by 2feet 5 inches in height. Considerable saving and a greater compactness is noticed in the engine. The driving wheels are of wrought iron, the rims, spokes and boss being welded into one solid mass. The links attached to the shoes work through slots in the face of the wheel. There are also two rails laid on each shoe instead of one, giving increased bearing surface. The driving spur wheels are of wrought iron case hardened. Considerable improvement has also been introduced in the arrangement for the gearing of the driving wheels. The large wheel guards and the raising and lowering apparatus for the boiler have been dispensed with. The steering gear has also been much simplified, and the leading wheels so connected that a difference in their level does not affect the boiler. This engine, with its full complement of coal and water, weighs only seven tons five cwt. Although this engine is a great improvement on the other, yet on account of the cylinders having been placed 2ft. 3 in. from the centre of the smoke box, and the driving wheels being so near to the fire box nearly all the dead weight is thrown at the back of the engine, and consequently when much strain is put upon her she begins to rear, otherwise this engine is under the most perfect control of the driver
  3. Many thanks for your reply Edmund, that fills in details that I was not aware of. I have read that a ship carrying Hutchinsons medical equipment ran aground during the American civil war and have infered from that, and from your information that they were quite a large enterprise.
  4. My name is Brian Hutchings and I live near Alfreton in Derbyshire. My interest in Sheffield at the moment concerns a surgical instrument manufacturer named W&H Hutchinson. I should first point out I that the reason for my interest is that I do 1940’s re-enactments as a civilian doctor and I have a surgical post mortem set, parts of which are stamped with the name Hutchinson. Pictures of this can be found on the ‘Made in Sheffield’ forum. The reason for the post mortem set is because in those days doctors performed post mortems on deceased patients to find out if their diagnosis and treatment was appropriate. My first visits to Sheffield were many years ago to a laboratory to carry out analysis on steels for use in aircraft and then later, with a different company, to inspect the installation of road signs for the new tram system. Other visits were made to research the delivery by traction engine of a large steam hammer anvil (or possibly a tilt hammer anvil) from Rotherham to the Butcher Brothers Philadelphia Works. This epic journey was well recorded in The Sheffield Daily Telegraph in 1863. Since we have retired my wife and I have discovered the antique quarter, although we haven’t fully investigated all the shops yet.
  5. I have a Post Mortem set in a wooden case with 2 of the items stamped "Hutchinson". I have established that they were a Sheffield company through 2 flyers advertising their products, and they appear to have been a supplier of surgical equipment to the Confederates during the American civil war. Sheffield Museums have no other information on this company. Does any subscriber to these forums have any information? (PS: Some items have been added to fill the spaces in the box but are no items by Hutchinson. e.g scissors, tweezers & scalpels The chain with hooks and the needles are probably supplied by Hutchinson but not made by them) Thank you Brian Hutchings