Steam Turbines
United Kingdom - Manufacture date: 1976
Bore = N/A , Stroke N/A, Rotor diameter = 1 1/4"
Style: Steam Turbine

# 1 - Dimensions: 6" length x 3" width x 3" height
# 2 - Dimensions: 4 1/2" length x 2" width x 2" height
# 3 - Dimensions: 2 1/2" length 1 1/8 ?" width x 2 3/4" height

The 3 Turbines

These steam turbines were purchased on Ebay. I'd seen Empire toy turbines but couldn't see bidding on one considering the construction of their steam engines. I've watched for handmade or factory miniature turbines for several years without success. I was quite pleased when I found these badly listed pieces and realized none of the regular " Ebay Steam Brigade" had spotted them. Some times you get lucky and this was one of those moments. Not wanting to miss such a rare chance, I placed a bid and bought them. Each of the turbines is of different design externally, but more interestingly, internally too.

These are prototypes designed for high pressure, high flow operation. The rotors are intricately machined from solid alloy bronze and must have taken quite a bit of work to complete. The spare boiler I keep around here is able to produce up to 25 PSI which would turn the turbines at very low RPM. When hooked to an air compressor at 40 PSI the turbines operated fairly well.

I'm told they were made in about 1976 as part of a course study by an apprentice at The Royal Armament Research & Development Establishment which is part of the British Military, located in Seven Oaks, Kent England.

Multi-stage turbine Rotor Assembly

The response since posting these little machines has been unbelievable. Several visitors have generously tried to buy them. Others have asked to "borrow" them, even offering to put up deposits to ensure their return. A couple of people thought it a grand idea to donate them to their "museum" as tax deductions. One misguided soul even felt the right to demand that I sell them. (not the wisest courses of action) As entertaining as some of the inquiries have been, you see, none were successful in convincing me to part with these rare pieces.

Recently, a lady tracked me down and convinced me that it her husband did indeed build these turbines. He had regretted selling them ever since he'd let them slip away. I sold two of these pieces back to her so she could surprise him, but the third had already been traded away for another engine. Igave her the information to contact the new owner only to learn He had passed away and no one knew anything about the turbine.  I'd like to think that maybe I scored a few Karma points with this transaction.


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