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Digital Group online session

Digital Group online session via Zoom. Please contact the Digital Group coordinator for more details – digital@sm-ee.co.uk


Society General Meeting

Talk: Magnificent Women and Their Revolutionary Machines

Henrietta Heald

Henrietta will talk about her recent book, Magnificent Women and their Revolutionary Machines (Unbound, 2019), published to mark the centenary of the Women’s Engineering Society. The society was founded in 1919 by Katharine and Rachel Parsons, wife and daughter of Charles Parsons, inventor of the compound steam turbine. Magnificent Women tells the stories of the Parsons duo and a host of other pioneering female engineers.

    Henrietta’s earlier books include William Armstrong: Magician of the North and a National Trust guide to Cragside, Northumberland.

Society General Meeting

Talk:  The Steam Engine of the USS Monitor Ironclad (1862)

Rich Carlstedt

Monitor was the first ironclad warship built for the Union navy during the American civil war.  Her wreck was discovered in 1973 and has been partially salvaged, a discovery which started Rich Carlstedt on a journey to model her unusual engine.  For the past 40 years he has developed this interest to the point we will see and hear in his talk.  Rich’s journey has required years of research, travel, and the construction of detailed drawings that did not exist in any archives. His operating replica of the engine in 1/16th scale was completed in 2008 – the only accurate scale model.  In his talk, Rich will describe the design and development of a “vibrating lever – half trunk” engine, with short videos showing basic piston/crank relationships. He will review the operation of the engine – in particular the valve gear. He will describe the research required to build a model with no blueprints accessible, how drawings, methods and work were used to get dimensions, and some of the unusual techniques used for building the model.  He will show a video of the engine running.

    Rich’s work was recognized by the Joe Martin Foundation, and in 2009, he was named “Metalworking Craftsman of the Year”.  Through his research and expertise, he is a technical resource for the Mariners Museum in Newport News Virginia.  He is a long-time member of the Society for Industrial Archaeology.

    The talk will be held using Zoom, and Rich will be speaking to us from his home in Wisconsin.  This will be a first for the Society and is something of an experiment

Society Annual General Meeting

The Annual General Meeting will be held via Zoom.  Since it is expected to be shorter than usual because of the absence of Competition presentations, it will be followed by a general “chat” and “show-and-tell;” session.

Society General Meeting

Talk:  3D printing – ready for close up

Adrian Johnstone

A new breed of low cost, high precision 3D printers has become available over the last three years including filament extrusion printers capable of 5 thou layer heights and resin printers accurate to 2 thou, at prices in the £200-£350 pound level.  In his talk Adrian will outline the core 3D printing technologies (both commercial and hobbyist), explain how these new hobbyist printers have achieved these higher levels of accuracy and repeatability, and discuss commercial services that provide cheap-ish access to professional grade printing.  He will also talk about the CAD software learning curve which for many people presents a formidable obstacle to using these tools. In response to this problem, G1MRA has launched an initiative to create and publish 3D models of railway items that can be scaled intelligently and printed without needing to use CAD design software.  He will show examples of prints made using different technologies, including railway wagons which rival the quality of commercial items but  only cost a few pounds to make.

Adrian is a member of  SMEE and a founding member of the Computer Conservation Society.  He works with museums and academics in the History of Science on computing history. He is also Chair of the G1MRA Surrey Local Area Group, and runs a ‘virtual’ G1MRA group called the Gauge One 3D Circle, which exists to share expertise in all forms of CAD/CAM as applied to Gauge 1 modelling, and aims to create a series of freely available high quality parameterised 3D models of Gauge 1 items.

Society General Meeting

Talk:  Keeping our Feet Dry – A Potted History of Land Drainage

By Roger Backhouse

Roger is a well-known member of SMEE, who has given several entertaining and informative talks to the Society. In this one he will look at the long history of land drainage by machine including how the English learned from advanced Dutch technology, what is a polder and how to drain one, the biggest cylinder in the world in Europe’s most unusual steam engine. why a cast iron post is important, and what happened to England’s largest lowland lake. He will describe how the landscape was transformed by drainage and how land drainage is now being rethought in the light of environmental concerns.

Engine Builders' Group Online Meeting

The main speaker will be Allen Berman who will talk about the Bradley Engine in the SMEE collection which he restored in 2017 and is now on display in the SMEE Marshall House Library. The work was carried out in his home workshop and the result displayed at Ally Pally in Jan 2018. Roger Backhouse wrote an article for MEW based on the conservation and Allen has pictures of the internals of the engine and also a short video of it running.  Ian Bradley was a well-known model engineer; he and Norman Hallows wrote a number of books and articles on model engineering topics under the pseudonym ‘Duplex’.  

In addition, Charles is hoping to present a ‘Snippet’ on the manufacture of Fish-Bellied Con-Rods which should lead to an interesting discussion. If you have experiences or ideas about this topic, please do contribute.

The meeting will follow the usual format and is planned for 2 hours:

  1. Chairman’s Introduction and Updates
  2. Main speaker followed by questions and discussion#
  3. Snippets
  4. Work on the Table
  5. Closing comments

If you would like to join the meeting please contact the group for a Zoom invitation.

Digital Group Online meeting

Engine Builders' Group

Digital Group Online Meeting