Model 0.1cc internal combustion engine

Made:
1945
maker:
Bert Martin

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Model internal combustion engine, 0.1cc, by Bert Martin, Southampton, Hampshire, England, 1945

This model represent amateur approaches to larger-scale engineering matters, and a forgotten (or greatly-reduced) world of highly innovative amateur mechanics.

The model is of a very small internal combustion engine, inspired by news of new designs (not requiring a conventional ignition system to touch off the fuel/air mix) coming out of Switzerland after the Second World War. It is extremely small, measuring approximately 3cm in height, but hugely powerful (blowing all the papers off a desk when it first ran) and running at approx 18,000rpm.

The model is an impressive feat of miniature engineering, being developed by a man who worked on Spitfire aircraft during the Second World War, and who gained three silver medals from the Model Engineer for his work. It points to the approaches to engineering undertaken in parallel to that centred on industry, where people with the right skills and mind-set had an innate tendency to turn a problem over and develop technical responses to it simply as a matter of inquisitiveness – effectively, because they could! They also point to a world which we seem to have lost, but which at the time was novel: a world where, for the first time, people had decent incomes, stable jobs, and leisure time and who, once the day’s work was done, could retreat to the shed or home workshop and spend an evening pursuing projects like this.

Details

Category:
Motive Power
Object Number:
2014-510
Materials:
aluminium alloy, brass (copper, zinc alloy), mahogany (wood) and steel (metal)
Measurements:
overall (prop standing vertically): Height = 140 mm x Diameter = 50 mm
type:
model - representation
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication

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