This Lancashire boiler was made in Manchester by W & J Galloway & Sons Ltd in 1889. It was used by bedding manufacturers John Sawtell & Co, where the steam was used to curl feathers for stuffing pillows. Lancashire boilers were often used to power steam engines, but could be used for any task where steam was required.
The Lancashire boiler was developed by William Fairbairn in 1844, in an attempt to create a boiler where as much heat as possible from the fire was transferred to the water, and not lost. Two furnace tubes run through the boiler, where the fires would be stoked, and these were surrounded with water for maximum heat transfer.
Manchester firm Galloways, who made this boiler, made their boilers even more efficient by adding extra tubes which crossed the furnace tubes to allow more heat transfer. A typical Lancashire boiler would consume six tons of coal per day. Water levels had to be carefully maintained, otherwise the pressure would get too high and cause an explosion.