Model steam hammer

1860-1891 in Openshaw

model of steam hammer, scale 1:12, by B. and S. Massey, Manchester

Although the steam hammer is most closely associated in the UK with Nasmyth, also of Manchester, B and S Massey of Openshaw were also prominent makers of this significant machine, which was widely used in engineering works to manipulate wrought iron and later steel at a wide variety of scales.

This working model shows a form of double-acting steam hammer, intended for general smith-work. By the use of an overhanging framing the hammer is rendered accessible for work on three sides, but for the heavier types this form of framing is not adopted.

The cast-iron side frames carry the steam cylinder, and form also the guides for the hammer head, which may be of forged iron or steel. The base plate carries the frames, and through a bored hole in it, passes the turned circular anvil block, which transmits the unabsorbed portion of the blow to the foundations shown below. The equilibrium working valve is of the piston type, with the steam in the middle and the exhaust at each end. A lever for working the valve by hand is carried backwards between the frames, and a swinging lever. actuated by the tup and carried on an adjustable fulcrum for varying the stroke, is arranged to move the valve automatically when rapid or regular blows are desired. Owing to the heavy shocks, the piston is forged solid with the rod, but the hammer and anvil faces are removable.


Hand and Machine Tools
Object Number:
wood (unidentified), cast iron and paint
B and S Massey