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.
Laurie Thorpe wrote on April 19, 2017
I am in total awe of your skills and cannot find sufficient words of praise for your achievements.I have a model railway which pales into insignificance and I have to bow to a true master.
Robert Langlands wrote on March 15, 2017
Hello David,Thank you for your email and the fantastic video.I have seen your engines on your website and they are works of art, the video on the other hand shows the true beauty of these engines.They are the finest models I have ever seen.Thank you for sharing them
Eur Ing John S Allen past President Newcomen Society wrote on January 19, 2017
It is a privilege to be asked to open this exhibition at Shugborough,for this is is a very unique occasion. We are able to examine six of the finest engineering models extant which relate to this type of engine construction. All have been produced with infinite skill and devotion to accurate detail by Mr David Hulse, and some have won gold medals at National Model Contests. He is indeed a master craftsman and model engineer.
Jim Ranaham wrote on January 8, 2017
I had a quick word with Irene at the Black Country Museum, about your generous decision re: the engine models. Apart from the historic and research importance of your collection, it is a 'once in a career' opportunity for a curator to be involved with something like this. From the Industrial Heritage community, THANK YOU. And of course, from the Newcomen Society, THANK YOU too. Jim Ranaham
John Reeves wrote on January 6, 2017
I attended your talk in Birmingham to the Newcomen Society when I saw a flyer for it by chance. It turned out to be the most fascinating presentation that I have been privileged to attend. Anyone who has the opportunity to see your work is recommended to do so and your skills and models are a true tribute to the geniuses who designed and built the originals at the start of the industrial age.
Hans van Oerle wrote on December 2, 2016
Just discovered your site, I have your two books about the construction of the models already several years and read and re-read them with great pleasure. Nice to know now the "Man behind the Machines"
Gianni Dainotti wrote on August 20, 2016
Simply fabulous. A great work that signals a passion for steam and machines. These are concepts that I try to teach to my pupils during my courses and always the old story catches their attention. My compliments for this invaluable work that will stay for the next future !
Andrey and Anastasia Ryakhorsky wrote on August 16, 2016
Fabulous work + exhibition! thank you very much, breathtaking, from Moscow, Russia-with love!
Michael Grace President Newcomen Society Science Museum wrote on August 5, 2016
Incredible and very valuable models of international importance which have revealed much new knowledge on the history of early steam engines.
Joel Fritsche Director Ride Engineering Division Walt Disney California wrote on July 22, 2016
A joy of my life to see your things and to get to know you. Thank you David.