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Steam Power: the Allis Engine

The Allis Engine in the Waterworks Museum in
Boston, MA.

I’m not able to insert a picture but this is beautiful work, both the engine and the photography.


“Allis is a 5-story, self-contained steam engine that was the
most thermally efficient pump of its era. Installed in 1898, Alllis
was also 30 percent more fuel efficient than any other steam engine of
its era.

The parts were manufactured in Milwaukee and sent to Boston via train,
where they were assembled in the open air while an extension to the
Waterworks building was constructed around it–brick by brick.

Apart from two giant flywheels that had to be hand-started by workmen
with crowbars, Allis practically ran itself. It required nothing more
than periodic oiling. Workers spent the rest of their time as they
liked, and they often liked to polish and tend to Allis. The engine’s
relatively pristine condition today gives evidence to the care
lavished upon it at the time.”

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  1. Brother Lapis Brother Lapis November 11, 2012

    It looks more like a virtual build than a real one in those photos! I must go see it someday.

    • Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs November 11, 2012

      It’s HDR photography, which makes for some interesting effects.

  2. Nathaniel Lorefield Nathaniel Lorefield November 11, 2012

    hmmm, that would be awesome as an inworld build… I’m just drooling imagining something like that in a power station or something… O_O


  3. Amber Ilsker Amber Ilsker November 11, 2012

    Need more prims … lots more …. to make this !

    The shape of that engine reminds me of the ones at the Colonel Ward pumping station in Buffalo I was looking at online last year. Heres a link to google search of it …..,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1167&bih=595&ix=sea&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=YnNNT439Jseo0QWo9pk9

    • Nathaniel Lorefield Nathaniel Lorefield November 11, 2012

      looks like that same company made the engines.


    • Kimika Ying Kimika Ying November 11, 2012

      Thanks for the link. I found this site which has an animated diagram, and a video of a similar engine in operation showing how it starts up. Its impressive to see something that large working so smoothly.

      “Nooooooo! I have other things I’m working on…..”

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