Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,127 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Julius Griffiths

From Graces Guide

In 1821, Julius Griffiths, of Brompton, Middlesex, patented a steam carriage for the transportation of passengers on the highway.

His first road locomotive was built in the same year by Joseph Bramah, one of the ablest mechanics of his time. The frame of the carriage carried a large double coach-body between the two axles, and the machinery was mounted over and behind the rear axle. One man was stationed on a rear platform, to manage the engine and to attend to the fire, and another, stationed in front of the body of the coach, handled the steering wheel.

The flash steam boiler was composed of horizontal water tubes and steam tubes, the latter being so situated as to receive heat from the furnace gases en route to the chimney, and thus to act as a super-heater.

The wheels were driven, by means of intermediate gearing, by two steam engines, which, with their attachments, were suspended by an ingenious arrangement to prevent injury by jars and shocks. The engine unit was suspended by four pairs of vertical chains. Each chain in the pair was connected at top and bottom, and a helical compression spring was placed horizontally between them at mid height. An air surface condenser was used, consisting of flattened thin metal tubes, cooled by the contact of the external air, and discharging the water of condensation, as it accumulated within them, into a feed-pump, which, in turn, forced it into the lowest row of tubes in the boiler.

Steam was admitted and exhausted from the cylinders by semi-rotary plug valves, worked by cams.

The boiler did not prove large enough for continuous work; but the carriage was used experimentally, now and then, for a number of years.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] History of Rochester
  • Steam Locomotion on Common Roads by William Fletcher. Published 1891.
  • 'Art and Old Iron' by Ron Jarvis, Beverley Books, 2001