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Help wanted identifying a boiler plate.

Discussion in 'Railwayana' started by RalphW, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. RalphW

    RalphW Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Administrator Friend

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    The following has been moved from profile posts to here as it will get more views, I hope someone can help with the identification. RW


    I am a Curator at a community Museum in Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada, seeking information about a boiler plate in our collection. Marked A Barclay/Engineer/Kilmarnock/May1866. No. 407. Rectangular 3 cm thick, 49 cm wide , 37.5 cm high. From poking around on the internet it is earlier than the material in the Glasgow archives. Hoping someone can suggest some leads. It came into the collection with no history, but presumably was from an abandoned mining site.
    Our area opened up to "European" settlement with the discovery of Gold in the early 1860s- The Caribou Gold Rush.

    Elizabeth Hunter.
     
  2. 32110

    32110 Member

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    Any chance of a photograph of this plate? It might help us to help you. Certainly this is quite different from the well known Andrew Barclay locomotive makers plate.
     
  3. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    It may not be a loco plate as the company did make other equipment.
     
  4. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    The history of the Kilmarnock builders is rather complicated and there was another, supposedly independent organisation called Barclay and Company. However Andrew Barclay was a wilful character who wandered in and out of bankruptcy, so anything is possible. Eventually he was evicted from his own firm.

    PH
     
  5. huochemi

    huochemi Active Member Friend

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    Are the measurements correct? The plate would be enormous. 3cm thick!? One normally would expect a boiler plate to be a small plate giving details of test etc. Buckle & Love show a loco worksplate with the same language other than a date of May 1863 and "No 17". It is brass, rectangular and has scalloped corners,
    8 5/8" x 4 1/4".
     
  6. Elizabeth Hunter

    Elizabeth Hunter New Member

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    Yes I was assuming it was stationary equipment. It is not like locomotive name plates. I am attaching images to confirm dimensions. Thanks E Hunter IMG_1142.JPG IMG_1143.JPG IMG_1147.JPG
     
  7. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Looks very much like a valve chest cover. A valve chest is part of a steam engine cylinder either for a locomotive or a stationary engine. The fact that there is a brass maker's plate attached suggests it is from a stationary engine as this component would not normally be easily visible on a locomotive.

    Paul H
     
  8. 21B

    21B Active Member

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    I think you may be right Paul. The thickness of the plate suggests this also, and it would be rare for a boiler component not to have curvature. Given the dimensions and the circumstantial evidence of it being in a mining area, it might suggest a single cylinder stationary engine for power or pumping? Pretty common for the builders plate to be on the valve chest of a stationary engine too.
     
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  9. huochemi

    huochemi Active Member Friend

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    Thanks, that is useful to see it in context. As has been suggested, it looks like the valve chest cover of a stationary steam engine, and the orientation suggests it is from a horizontal steam engine. If you Google for "horizontal steam engine" images, there are a few examples of engines with the maker's name either cast into or attached to the valve chest cover, although most images are either from the cylinder side or have the exhaust attached to the centre of the cover plate.
     
  10. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Nat Pres stalwart Staff Member Moderator Friend

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    It could equally be the valve chest cover from a 'Weir' type pump.
     
  11. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Weir "type" pump possibly but it does not resemble anything off an actual Weir pump.

    Paul H
     

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