Oldest Surviving Blackstone Engine

By Staff
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Woodside’ Petersfield Road Monkwood Alresford, Hampshire

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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