Model of Murray's portable beam engine


Model representing Murray's portable beam engine, by James Fox, Derby, 1808

Matthew Murray of Leeds was the great rival to Boulton & Watt of Birmingham, and he developed this form of self-contained beam engine in 1805. It offered great advantages over the then-prevalent house-built beam engine, which was integral to a sizeable engine house. Murray's design was influential enough to have this model built by Fox, who was also a prominent mechanician. Relatively few engines of Murray's design were made, but a similar form, the side-lever engine, with the rocking beam mounted low on the engine, became widely used on ships.

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Science Museum: Energy Hall Gallery

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Related people


Motive Power
Object Number:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), cast iron, gunmetal, paint and wrought iron
overall without flywheel: 575 mm x 325 mm x 810 mm,
flywheel diameter: 675 mm
overall weight:
beam engine
  • visual and verbal communication
Street, C.J.H.

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