Oldest Surviving Blackstone Engine


| August/September 1986


Woodside' Petersfield Road Monkwood Alresford, Hampshire England

This engine a Blackstone no. 21961, 5 HP, was built 14 November, 1899, and supplied to a wheelwright and carpenter to power all the woodworking machinery in his shop. It ceased to work in 1976, and it is believed to be the oldest surviving Blackstone engine.

Fuel is kerosene stored in the large base casting. It is pumped up to the vaporizer by a governor controlled piston pump. A continuous burning blowlamp heats both the vaporizer and the hot ignition tube. When I purchased the engine it had been converted to h. t. ignition. The six castings for the vaporizer were missing, but I was very fortunate. Another collector with a similar engine lent me his castings so that I could make a set of patterns and core boxes. A foundry made the castings and I then machined them in my own workshop.

After nine months of hard work the lamp was lit and after about 20 minutes' warm up, it fired first time only it went backwards with me trying to get out of the way of the large starting handle which was still attached to the crankshaft. Soon afterwards I got it to go in the right direction and it has run very well since.



Bore and stroke are 6' x 12', flywheel diameter 3' 6', weight 3,000 pounds.

The photograph was taken at the engine's first showing, at the Wessex Historic Tractor and Implement Club ploughing match, near Winchester, Hampshire in October of 1985.















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