Beam engine for organ blowing, 1870.

1870 in Greenwich
John Penn and Son

Beam engine made by John Penn and Sons, Greenwich 1870, for organ blowing, 2 cylinders side by side, 7 in. diam by 2 ft in stroke

This double beam engine was used to deliver the air supply to the organ installed in the Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences, London, in 1870, and working until 1920. Each cylinder has a steam cylinder at one end to provide a reciprocating motion, and at the other an air tub with piston within - the movement of the piston would force air into the system supplying ther organ. The engine was one a pair, the other being a horiztonal engine driving six large bellows. Its maker, John Penn and Sons, was a marine engineer, best known for constructing marine engines to drive steam ships - over 700 were constructed during the company's lifetime. They were known for smaller projects too, such as this beam engine and also for re-assembling and restoring William Symington's original marine engine of 1788 for the Science Museum (inventory no. 1857-52).


Motive Power
brass, iron and wood
steam engines
Council of the Royal Albert Hall