Historical information

Used by the Malvern city council until 1969 to drive a rock crushing plant.

While large horizontal steam engines predominated in major factories, small vertical steam engines like this were the workhorses of industries that had modest power requirements. This reliable little engine, made by leading UK manufacturer Tangye Bros of Birmingham
Steam engines had the advantage that any fuel could be used to fire their boilers, but they were less convenient and efficient than internal combustion engines, required operators with higher skill levels, and had lower power to weight ratios.
Tangye Limited was founded in 1857 in Birmingham by businessman Richard Tangye (1833-1906) and his mechanic brothers James and Joseph; brothers Edward and George joined them later. Richard was born near Redruth in Cornwall and educated at the Friends School at Sidcot, Somerset, where he became a pupil-teacher. From there he moved to Birmingham to work as a clerk for an engineering firm. In 1856 he started a hardware factor and commission agent business in Birmingham whose customers were mainly Cornish mine-owners in the Redruth district.

From 1858 Tangyes concentrated on the manufacture of machinery and secured the sole right to manufacture Weston's differential pulley block (object 2003/45/1). They established their Cornwall Works in the Birmingham suburb of Smethwick in 1864 and soon developed a huge range of products. It was stated that 'there are perhaps no other works in the kingdom so largely employed upon so great a variety of specialities as the Cornwall Works of Messrs Tangye Bros.' The Tangyes attracted creative people to work for them. They wrote: 'We are in a position to offer unusual facilities to Inventors for carrying out their patents.'

Info about Tangye Bros of Birmingham from Powerhouse Museum https://ma.as/207954

Donated by Malvern City Council in 1969
Of Interest : The Vertical and Horizontal Tangye engines on display are of the design that won a Gold Medallion at the Paris Industrial Exhibition of 1878.


Historic - Industrial Steam Engine Equipment

Physical description

single cylinder vertical Steam Engine made of Cast Iron, (Painted)

Inscriptions & markings

Tangye Birmingham
Builder's number 2462