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W. Joyce and Co

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of Greenwich Ironworks

1830s Engines fitted to the City of Paris

Built the Thames paddle steamer Cricket for the Halfpenny Steamboat Company, who operated a shuttle service on the Thames. This was destroyed by a boiler explosion in 1847, with great loss of life. An inquest concluded that the safety valves had been tied down.
A description of the Cricket's engines[1]. stated that 'The principal novelty introduced by Messrs Joyce in this vessel is the application of Woolf's double cylinders as oscillating engines.' The steam pressure was stated to be higher than ordinarily used in condensing engines.

1848 'Double cylinder pendulous condensing engine' described and illustrated in The Practical Mechanic's Journal, April 1848. Installed at the Bone Mills and Patent Manure Manufactory, Deptford, of J. B. Lawes.

1850 'Steam Flour-mill for Smyrna.— Messrs. Joyce and Co., of Greenwich iron-works, exhibited on Saturday, to a select company of distinguished persons and scientific gentlemen a steam flour-mill and engines, of improved make, constructed for an English company, who intend shipping it immediately for Smyrna. The general reader is doubtless aware that Turkey is eminently a corn-growing country, growing not only sufficient grain for the use of its own population, but exporting large quantities to the countries of Western Europe. It may not, however, be so generally known that there is this anomalous state of things in the East, that whilst Turkey grows her own corn and exports it to other countries, she has hitherto been driven to great extent to import the flour necessary for the subsistence of her people, which she does chiefly, ftom America. Windmills have been use in the country for some time, but these afford so inadequate and precarious a supply of flour, that the people have been principally dependent upon other countries for the necessary quantity. The company, which we understand the Sultan himself holds a considerable stake, have received the Imperial Firman, granting the exclusive privilege against all other companies of a like nature, for the next 15 years, and the monopoly of supplying the troops and state necessities of the pachalic of Smyrna. The engines and mill by which they propose accomplishing their object have been constructed according to the latest improvements, and under the patent of the Messrs. Joyce, presenting to the eye at first simplicity of contrivance and great beauty of form, and not at all disappointing upon a closer examination, whether of the strength and effective character of the works, or of the sound principles on which they have been designed. The engines are constructed on the principle first discovered by Arthur Woolf, steam of considerable pressure was first made act upon a comparatively small piston, and subsequently allowed to expand into a larger cylinder, where, having done its duty at a reduced pressure, it was exhausted into the condeuoer, and added to the effective force by vacuum. But the application of this principle, the simple means by which these uibiiuguished engineers have availed themselves of the power thus created, was the praise of every one who inspected the works on Saturday. The cylinders are double and inverted and are suspended by the bottom on a rod which permits them to oscillate to and fro like a pendulum while the piston descends, and by a crank gives motion to the main shaft directly. The intermediate beam so commonly met with in old engines is thus entirely discarded, and the simple contrivance of a crank, coupled with a piston-rod descending from an oscillating cylinder, gives a so free and easy that the eye is gratified with the compact simplicity of the design, and the work is done at least as effectively as before, with a great saving on the tear and wear of the machinery. Two of these engines that have been at work for three years and were inspected by the visitors in the immediate neighbourhood the iron works, were models of compact simplicity and beauty of construction. In the mills for Smyrna there are fourteen pairs of stones, which are driven by the same horizontal shaft; and the apparatus necessary for dressing the corn is compactly combined with the stones, that one man, it is thought, will be able to attend with the greatest ease to all the fourteen pairs full work. As the district in which Smyrna is situated is by no means abundant in water, the mill is to be erected by the sea coast; and as they intend making their steam from salt water the company have had the boilers, lined with bell metal, to prevent the bad effects of the brine. The two engines are constructed for 30 horse power each, but may be wrought together at 90 with ease, at an expense of fuel not exceeding 3lbs of coal, or about one half penny per horse power per hour. After inspecting the engines with great minuteness, the company present were unanimpus in expressing their high satisfaction with the works.'[2]

1854 Bankruptcy notice: William Joyce, Greenwich, engineer, ship builder and ironfounder[3]

By 1858 Greenwich Ironworks had been renamed Victoria Foundry and was under the management of Thomas Meacham.[4]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Imperial Journal 1852 Vol I. p130/1
  2. West Kent Guardian - Saturday 26 January 1850
  3. Leicester Journal 15 December 1854
  4. The Practical Mechanic's Journal, 1 November 1858