Kittoe and Brotherhood Steam Engine

Kittoe and Brotherhood Steam Engine

Built for the Albion Brewery and saved from scrap it now brings life to the once empty Beam Engine House.

Through the doorway from the boiler house you will see the beam engine. This engine built in 1867 by Kittoe and Brotherhood is a fine example contemporary with the first steam engine on this site dated 1865.

The design employs several concepts used in early engines, the most obvious is the sway beam and upright cylinder. Early designers thought that the weight of the piston would wear its way through the bottom of a horizontal cylinder, this may not be too far from reality as early lubrication methods and materials were very crude.

This engine employs a throttle valve to control its speed whereas later engines varied the point at which the steam was cut off along the stroke of the piston. In the Pollit and Wigzell engine the inlet and exhaust valves are separate and run at different temperatures but in this engine the steam goes in and out of the cylinder through the same passages and valve thus trying to heat it up and cool it down constantly, leading to inefficiency.

This engine has an excellent example of a watt type governor controlling its speed and his very elegant parallel motion keeping the piston rod moving in a straight line while the end of the sway beam moves in an arc. Bearing lubrication is by sight glasses and siphon pots while the piston is fed with heavier oil by a “Beddoes” displacement lubricator with a hydrostatic sight glass. Unlike the original engine this is not a condensing engine as the exhaust steam used to be used in the brewery to heat products in the brewing process.