David Hulse – Steam Engines of the 18th Century

Welcome to davidhulse.co.uk a website featuring models of steam engines built in the eighteenth century that paved the way for the industrial revolution.  Featuring engines by Thomas Newcomen, James Watt, James Pickard, Matthew Wasborough, Francis Thompson, Adam Heslop and Richard Trevithick, all manufactured by David Hulse.

In 1970 I started a project which was to occupy all my spare time for the next 45 years. I have researched and constructed in miniature the important steam engines which were built in the eighteenth century.

These engines paved the way for the industrial revolution in the British Isles and which spread to many other countries throughout the world. These eighteenth century engines are usually grouped together and called steam engines, however, they were not steam engines. Steam was used as a means of creating a vacuum against which the earth’s pressure could act. The correct terminology is that they were atmospheric engines.

As you progress through this website, the engines you will see are all made from exactly the same materials which would have been available to the engineers of the eighteenth- century.

The engine houses are built from real bricks at a reduced scale of 1/16 the full size. In order to complete the buildings to house the engines 151,000 ceramic bricks were used and, all were made on a specially designed miniature brick machine.

All the metal parts were either machined from solid metal or made by hand forging in my home workshop, this gave the appearance of having been made by the engineers of the eighteenth-century.

For all of you who missed the news article that ITV ran about my Steam Engines then just Click Here!

Before retiring I was employed as the Chief Development Engineer for the Royal Doulton group of potteries and it was this use of ceramics which gave me the knowledge to make the parts that are not commercially available to model engineers. A start will now be made by describing the brick making because without an economical way of producing the bricks none of these engines I have researched would have been made:

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59 entries.
Jeff Farington wrote on September 25, 2021
David, It was a very great pleasure to meet you yesterday and have an all-too brief opportunity to see your incredible scale engines. It was impossible to express my thanks in the one line of the visitors'' book but I was extremely impressed, and that's an understatement. Thank you so much for the chance to see them. I very much enjoyed looking at just parts of your web site last night and look forward to deriving hours of pleasure looking at it very often from now on. Sincerely, Jeff Farrington
Alex Godon wrote on July 28, 2021
I must apologise for an error in my previous entry, where I stated "...in the 17th and 18th centuries”. I meant the 18th and 19th.
Alex Godon wrote on July 27, 2021
An impressive display and amazing explanation on how the various operational steam models worked. All of the latter, bar one, represent what no longer exist as an original build. So the models offer a great insight to what was functioning back in their days of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Peter Jackson ( Jacko ) wrote on January 29, 2021
Hello David After all these years I’ve finally tracked you down, You may or may not remember me from yours and mine Baddeley Green days but I certainly remember you. I do remember seeing a couple of your models I your development building and so pleased you carried on with your passion they are amazing. I hope your keeping well David Pete ( Jacko )
Roelf Valkema wrote on June 23, 2018
Many thanks David for showing me your excellent models, which are pieces of modelled history. All worthy museum pieces. Roelf from Oegstgeest the Netherlands
Joel Fritsche wrote on May 29, 2018
David You have done incredible honouring and preserving this history. The world owes you great thanks. I appreciate you dedication and search for historical accuracy. Thanks for your perseverance at pushing it to publication. I have already told a technical library in the USA about this and will tell others. Joel Fritsche Joel is the Executive director, Ride Engineering division Walt Disney Imagineering Glendale California
Bill Tranter wrote on May 20, 2018
David’s website is superb, like all his models, which are fulfilling a huge gap in the history of the steam engine (and especially atmospheric engines!), showing people how they were built, how they worked, and perhaps most importantly, WHY they were built the way they were, which all the ‘history’ records never revealed.
Carol Ann Garratt wrote on February 7, 2018
Many thanks for a wonderful history lesson. The models are absolutely amazing. They are a delight to see.From Worthington Springs USA
Robert Harrison wrote on September 1, 2017
Dear David, Finally, we got to the Post Office yesterday – so now I have your book!! It looks very interesting; it must be very satisfying to be such a practical and knowledgeable person, with all the things you have done and can make.Robert Harrison 'Ars Ceramica' New York
Martin Freston wrote on August 6, 2017
Dear David Thank you so much for your time on Saturday. Mike and I were fascinated by your work and the history of early steam engines. What a wonderful record and models of our industrial history, which you have spent a lifetime researching and are giving the Nation... Thank you We enjoyed our visit to the Etruria Ind Museum in the afternoon which was in steam. All the best Martin