David Hulse – Steam Engines of the 18th Century

Welcome to osmondm10.sg-host.com 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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64 entries.
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
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.