Barr and Stroud

This is a request for any information on
the Barr & Stroud single cyl.sleeve valve stationary unit.
I have found some info on the m/cycle unit altho not much
Maybe this group will come up trumps
Mike.H.
Reply to
Mike.H
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As you will no doubt have found out if you have been trawling the net for info, Barr and Stroud's main business was precision optical engineering, including gun sights, range finders etc. After WW1 they found themselves with considerable surplus capacity and, like several other companies, decided to try their hand at producing engines. Why they shelled out for the rights to build something as unusual as the McCollum-Burt single sleeve valve design can only be guessed at, perhaps they saw the need for a unique selling point or maybe it suited the production facilities at their disposal. Either way engine production lasted only a few years.
Curiously, the only other stationary manifestation of the single sleeve engine (Glasgow/Wallace) also hailed from north of the border, as did the similarly engined Argyll car - must be a Scottish thing!
Do you have one of these engines? If so lucky b*****! Could we have some decent pics?
Reply to
Nick Highfield
There a few around, usually generating sets. There has also been some small amount of coverage in Stationary Engine magazine over the years, but as there are few that actually see the light of day, information is pretty scarce.
I know of one that I have seen in the flesh, and very nice it is too.
Peter
Kind regards,
Peter
Peter Forbes Prepair Ltd Luton, UK email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk home: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk
Reply to
Prepair Ltd
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Thanks for that. Maybe ,perhaps ,possibly some kind soul with a complete set of S.E.M. could ident and poss. copy the articles for me (all costs will be covered).
My reason for the info is I have in fact bought a Barr&Stroud close coupled to a Mackie alternator. Mike.H.
Reply to
Mike.H
I'll do a trawl through mine tonight, Mike, time permitting.
Regards, Arthur G
coupled to a Mackie alternator.
Reply to
Arthur Griffin
The index I have shows the following Issue/Page for Barr & Stroud. 71/7 73/3 196/19 234/19 253/17. My Copies only covered 196 & 234 which are a picture of Eric Brains engine & the A to Z of stationary engine mention of the B & S. -- Dave Croft Warrington England
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Reply to
Dave Croft
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -The engine is being crated up and will be delivered soon from Edingburgh. I will take some decent pics and post on Webshots a.s.a.p. The only pics I have at the moment are two from the E-bay ad.
Thanks to all for the info so far Mike.H.
Reply to
Mike.H
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Very Nice. Missed that one, as apparantly did the rest of the world! I really look forward to seeing details of this fascinating engine.
Reply to
Nick Highfield
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I could not believe the apparent lack of interest in it. I thought the bids would come in during the last hour ,but not a glimmer. I had contacted the vendor for more information previously,so with 15 minutes to go I popped in a maiden bid and held my breath.Surprise surprise I'd bought it.
Info from vendor. It was rescued from a breakers in 1937 by his late uncle who was aged 17 at the time. The drawing on the E-bay ad was done by his uncle. The unit was his pride and joy and was stored in his loft. Mike.H.
Reply to
Mike.H
Well done. I see the listing ran from 24th Dec to 3rd Jan, hardly the ideal time to be selling anything! But it worked to your advantage and netted you a nice little buy.
I wonder what Marconi did with 250 watts at 800 Hz? High frequencies were used on aircraft equipment to save weight on power transformers but probably not in the period of this engine. Aircraft wireless was pretty much in its infancy in the early 1920's and I would expect (though I may be talking out of my a***) equipment to be powered either by batteries or DC generators.
It strikes me that the current could have been fed through a step-up transformer to a spark transmitter, which would then produce an 800Hz note in the reciever. Though obsolete technology, spark transmitters would still have been around for emergency standby use at that time.
Anybody care to comment?
Reply to
Nick Highfield
"Nick Highfield" wrote (snip)
Sorry, discharge would be every half cycle, Ie 1600Hz note.
Reply to
Nick Highfield
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I'm not too sure of the tie up between the unit and Marconi.Altho the ad gave a reference to them. I have inserted a portion of the reply I had from the vendor ------------
"This engine was the pride and joy of my deceased Uncle.He kept it up in his loft.The sketch that you see on Ebay was drawn by Uncle when he acqired it at the age of 17 yrs in 1937.I am sure that he got it from a ship wrecking yard.Goodness knows how he found it.He was a prominent communications expert during the war hence the reference to the Marconi Wireless transmitter"------- Mike.H.
Reply to
Mike.H
I have come across the Marconi-B&S connection before, infact P. T-E mentioned it a couple of years ago (hooray for NG archives!) when we were trying to ID an engine seen at the sodbury sort-out (that one turned out to be a Marconi-Stanley).
Anyway, Marconi or not 800 Hz is a strange frequency to be generating at in the early 1920's. The sort of thing I have in mind is a small transmitter just to bang out a signal on the 500 KHz international distress frequency in an emergency. I'm sure spark transmitters persisted in emergency kit long after they had gone out of general use due to their simple and rugged nature - no delicate valves to break or burn out.
All guesswork of course, come on you lot, any other ideas?
Reply to
Nick Highfield
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------.Could this be a clue to its original use.-------
."I am sure that he got it from a ship wrecking yard." Mike.H.
Reply to
Mike.H
Well, the marine market was very important for Marconi's WT Co. from its earliest days. I thought about a lifeboat set, but I think these were either battery or hand powered (like the later Marconi Salvita), so perhaps a small ship's emergency TX? Sorry I've sold this idea so thoroughly to myself now that I'd better shut up or I will look even dafter than usual when someone reveals the real application!
Reply to
Nick Highfield
How sure are you that this is a 1920's device?
I'm not sure that the dates are right here, it sounds and looks like a WW2 device, or at least late 1930's.
Peter
-- Peter & Rita Forbes snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Engine pages for preservation info:
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes
Don't think B & S engine production lasted beyond 1925 or so
Reply to
Nick Highfield
this be a clue to
That would make some sense as Marconi supplied transmitting/receiving gear for ocean-going ships etc., but marine wireless wasn't that far advanced in the 1920's, they were still just past the spark-gap telegraphy stage IIRC. Proper telephony started in the 1930's?
The 800Hz output wouldn't matter if it were to be rectified in the transmitter/receiver and the engine governor wouldn't be that good on a petrol engine to make the frequency that stable anyway. 100V AC at 800Hz just doesn't sound right for that age, and having 0.3KVA on the label also sounds too modern.
Plenty of questions...
Peter
-- Peter & Rita Forbes snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Engine pages for preservation info:
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes
Not at all, it's an intriguing question, and one which we will eventually sort out...:-))
I could see a small emergency standby set on a ship, but again, these were not introduced until much later than the 1920's as batteries were much more common.
How about things like the magneto, can anyone put a date on that, or at least approximate production years?
Peter
-- Peter & Rita Forbes snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Engine pages for preservation info:
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes
Ricardo mentions the Sleeve-Valve engine in his book, and also that after the 1914-18 war he became interested in the principles.
The Argyle car six-cylinder engine with single sleeve valves is put at 1914, and his first prototype dates to 1922. Vauxhall had a new car engine design in 1925 using sleeve valves, and so on to the prototype aero-engines.
The archives at
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are pretty extensive and do shop a single-cylinder sleeve-valve engine, but the company only started properly in 1913, the unit we are talking about seems toi be much more modern.
Peter -- Peter & Rita Forbes snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Engine pages for preservation info:
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes

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