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Old April 18th, 2018, 04:36 PM   #1001
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Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology 1: The Site




The Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology occupies the site of Hamilton’s first waterworks.
The waterworks was constructed between 1856 and 1859, when Hamilton’s population was about 20,000.
The Museum’s highlights are its twin beam engines, formerly steam-driven.
They are the oldest engines of any kind in Canada remaining in their original location.




The Museum is in Hamilton’s industrial east end, close to Lake Ontario.
Before the construction of the waterworks, citizens depended on water from individual wells.
By the 1850s water from Burlington Bay (Hamilton Harbour) was seen as tainted by pollution.
There had been a deadly cholera outbreak in Hamilton in 1854.
So the new pumphouse drew water from a well fed directly by Lake Ontario.




The main ensemble: pumphouse, boilerhouse, and chimney.
By 1860 the pumps could move 11.3 million litres of water a day to a reservoir 5 km away on the Niagara Escarpment.
As this reservoir was about 65 m above the city, the water was piped to homes and businesses by gravity.




In the stone boilerhouse, coal was burned to heat water to make steam to drive the pumps.
The boilerhouse was a hot (45C on average), dark, and dirty place to work.
The boilers have long since been removed, and now this structure serves as a small museum gallery.




The chimney of the waterworks is 46 m tall and connected to the boilerhouse by underground flue.
It vented the smoke from the coal fires used to heat the water in the boilers.




The elegant stone pumphouse contains the pumping machinery.
The waterworks was replaced in 1910 by a more modern, electrically-driven one nearby.
More by chance than design, the original buildings and the pumping machinery avoided demolition.
Now they constitute a National Historic Site of Canada.




This fountain in this old photograph was constructed in 1860 in Gore Park, the centre of Hamilton.
It represented the city’s pride in having gained access to fresh, clean drinking water.




The same fountain in the same place still functions today!
Please see “Hamilton’s Old Pump House” by Prof. William James for more information.

[To be concluded]

For more images from Hamilton, Ontario, please check out my Flickr album.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 04:45 PM   #1002
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Grand, old industrial architecture. From the days of civic and professional pride.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 05:54 PM   #1003
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I like the (stone) architecture of this complex.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 06:41 PM   #1004
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beautiful panorama and the silhouette of skylines in the horizon is a lovely sight .
Likewise, the massive waterworks buildings and the old but still functional fountain are worthwhile heritage.
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Old April 18th, 2018, 10:27 PM   #1005
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These historic waterworks were a milestone for the health and convenience
of the people! Thank you for this great report, Nick!
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Old April 18th, 2018, 11:33 PM   #1006
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Very nice new set, Nick!
The museum building itself is beautiful!
I love that the fountain still works after so long. Lovely!
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Old April 19th, 2018, 10:18 AM   #1007
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Good story, Nick. I like that the buildings were preserved & serves as museum. And twice so, that the old fountain is still working
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Old April 19th, 2018, 10:26 AM   #1008
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Why-why, the building that you show are very beautiful! I love the chimney (look like an obelisk! ) and anciant reservoir. The comparative shots of the fountain and surrounding illustrate very well the evolution! Great set!
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Old April 19th, 2018, 12:51 PM   #1009
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I'm fascinated by industrial heritage, so the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology is an absolute delight to learn about. Looking forward to more.
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Old April 19th, 2018, 03:01 PM   #1010
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What a wonderful set of industrial buildings: thanks for explanation, and it's impressive to see how Canada was updated with modern industrial world around 1860

The fountain is lovely, and I feel joy seeing how it is in same place, still bringing beauty to community
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Old April 21st, 2018, 11:38 PM   #1011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by openlyJane View Post
Grand, old industrial architecture. From the days of civic and professional pride.
Quote:
Originally Posted by capricorn2000 View Post
the massive waterworks buildings and the old but still functional fountain are worthwhile heritage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by yansa View Post
These historic waterworks were a milestone for the health and convenience of the people!
Quote:
Originally Posted by shik2005 View Post
I like that the buildings were preserved & serves as museum. And twice so, that the old fountain is still working
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eduarqui View Post
What a wonderful set of industrial buildings: thanks for explanation, and it's impressive to see how Canada was updated with modern industrial world around 1860. The fountain is lovely, and I feel joy seeing how it is in same place, still bringing beauty to community
Absolutely right, Jane, capricorn, Silvia, Igor, and Eduardo!
Those Victorian sanitary engineers were heroes who saved countless lives, and their legacy should not be forgotten.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Skopje/Скопје View Post
I like the (stone) architecture of this complex.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gratteciel View Post
Very nice new set, Nick!
The museum building itself is beautiful!
I love that the fountain still works after so long. Lovely!
Quote:
Originally Posted by General Electric View Post
Why-why, the building that you show are very beautiful! I love the chimney (look like an obelisk! ) and ancient reservoir.
Thanks, George, Roberto, and GE!
The pumphouse is a beautiful structure, and it is also well built ...
... so well built that apparently it was too much trouble to demolish it when the newer pumphouse came on stream.
And that's why it survives today!


Quote:
Originally Posted by skymantle View Post
I'm fascinated by industrial heritage, so the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology is an absolute delight to learn about. Looking forward to more.
Me too, skymantle! Definitely more to come.

So here goes ...


Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology 2: The Interior




We enter the Museum by the boilerhouse.
This plaque notes that the waterworks’ boilers were rebuilt in 1882 by a Hamilton firm.
The new return-tube boilers doubled the capacity of the pumphouse to 22 million litres of water per day.




The engineers’ corridor takes us from the boilerhouse to the lowest level of the pumphouse.
Under the pumphouse, one-metre-thick limestone slabs support the two 64,000 kg engines.
The massive stonework would help contain an explosion, always a possibility with this kind of steam engine.




One level up, the engine deck of the pumphouse is almost unchanged since 1860.
Fluted green-painted iron columns support the “walking beams” on the beam deck two levels up.
The vertical grey pump rods, also fluted, can be seen nearer the foreground.
The nearest rods, not fluted, are the piston rods emerging from the engines.
They also connect the axles of the flywheels to the walking beams.




A brass plaque on one of the cylinders on the engine deck.
Gartshore Foundry (established in 1838) was a celebrated ironworks in Dundas.
(Little Dundas was an industrial powerhouse before the rise of Hamilton later in the 19th century.)
C.W. stands for “Canada West,” the name for southern Ontario between 1841 and 1867.




One of the pair of cast-iron flywheels, each about 8 m in diameter, on the engine deck.
Engineers would turn these manually until the engine had enough momentum to keep itself going.
Rotating up to 14 times per minute, they helped smooth the vibration of the engines.
This machinery still works when powered by an electric motor for demonstration purposes only.




The top of an engine cylinder on the mezzanine-level packing deck.
The packing deck is where the oilers worked continually to keep the machinery well lubricated.
A piston rod emerges from the cylinder, to connect with the beam on the topmost level.




Walking beams connect the piston rods to the pump rods.
These 10-metre-long cast-iron beams are in the top beam deck of the pumphouse (sadly, not open when I visited.)
(You can glimpse the lower portion of a green-painted beam here.)
This mechanism converts the up-and-down motion of the piston rods to the rocking motion of the beams.




An antique light bulb in the pumphouse.
The pumphouse was eventually wired for electricity, and the original wiring remains in place.




An oiler’s hat and oil can on the packing deck. There are 105 lubrication points on each engine.
The square paper hat was worn high on the head.
It gave protection from dripping oil, and if you heard it crumple ...
... you had a split second’s warning that your head was too close to moving engine parts!


For more images from Hamilton, Ontario, please check out my Flickr album.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 06:56 AM   #1012
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Great photos of the Museum of Steam and Technology, Nick!
This is a really interesting museum. Thank you for continuing with the tour.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 08:27 AM   #1013
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It is interesting, that much more technologically advanced decisions looks less complex. Just compare all these steam engines and electric, especially modern ones. Or Tesla vehicles and, say, Ford T... Of course, I'm talking about a superficial impression.
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 08:29 AM   #1014
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Wonderful pictures and interesting commentary, Nick!
I pick out two of my favourites:

Quote:
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Old April 22nd, 2018, 08:33 AM   #1015
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It is interesting, that much more technologically advanced decisions looks less complex. Just compare all these steam engines and electric, especially modern ones. Or Tesla vehicles and, say, Ford T... Of course, I'm talking about a superficial impression.
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Old April 23rd, 2018, 08:59 PM   #1016
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wow! what a well maintained museum. I could imagine the good benefits
of this advanced tech for people in that area in the 19th century.
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Old April 24th, 2018, 07:47 PM   #1017
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Very impressive shots of XIXth Century machines, they have a kind of poetic construction, almost like living beings

Now I understand why Brazilian Government asked to include Canada as investor, on same conditions of Great Britain, when creating our The Light and Power Company in Rio de Janeiro
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Old April 25th, 2018, 02:16 AM   #1018
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nice photos of a beautiful city.
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Old April 25th, 2018, 05:44 PM   #1019
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Thanks for your kind words and continuing support, Roberto, Silvia, and charliewong!

Quote:
Originally Posted by shik2005 View Post
It is interesting, that much more technologically advanced decisions looks less complex. Just compare all these steam engines and electric, especially modern ones. Or Tesla vehicles and, say, Ford T... Of course, I'm talking about a superficial impression.
I think you're right, Igor. Back in the 19C there was a positive delight in the monumentality of the machines. Now the aim seems to be to conceal the workings of complex machines in simple, streamlined shapes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capricorn2000 View Post
wow! what a well maintained museum. I could imagine the good benefits of this advanced tech for people in that area in the 19th century.
There were huge benefits from this machine, capricorn ... the lives of thousands who would have died from diseases carried in contaminated water. I wish that I could report that the original building and machinery were saved in recognition of this fact. But it would seem that they survived because they were so massive and well built that it was too much trouble to demolish them!

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Originally Posted by Eduarqui View Post
Very impressive shots of XIXth Century machines, they have a kind of poetic construction, almost like living beings
Now I understand why Brazilian Government asked to include Canada as investor, on same conditions of Great Britain, when creating our The Light and Power Company in Rio de Janeiro
Yes, Eduardo, I was thinking of your "Light" in Rio when researching the Hamilton Waterworks. There is definitely a beauty and poetry about these great engines that delivered such wonderful improvements to the people of the time.
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Old April 25th, 2018, 05:45 PM   #1020
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And now for something completely different.

But first let's turn the page ...
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