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.
April White IDM MEDIA wrote on July 18, 2016
David thank you so much for having us and letting us film your incredible engines: it has been fascinating to learn all about then over the coarse of making this film. April White IDM MEDIA
Keith Wilkinson ITV Central Birmingham wrote on July 18, 2016
The only thing that needs to be said I have seen a work of genius!
Visitors from Lund University Sweden wrote on July 18, 2016
We are all overwhelmed by the work research and effort. A magnificent display ans a lovely presentation. Thank you so much David
Simon Russell IDM MEDIA wrote on July 14, 2016
This has been absolutely fascinating, and a joy to film!Thank you so much for all of your help and the incredible experience of viewing your wonderful models up close!
John Ogbourne President Rotary Club of Eccleshall Mercia wrote on July 13, 2016
Many thanks for your friendly welcome last week, and for your presentation of the models. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and It was very interesting to hear the history of the development of atmospheric engines and their important part in the development of the industrial revolution. I certainly came away with the feeling that I had met no ordinary man ! With very best wishes, John Ogbourne President Rotary Club of Eccleshall Mercia
Jerry Hagon wrote on March 4, 2016
Model-making virtuosity gone mad! An incredible achievement with a pathological attention to detail! These must be among the best models anyone has ever produced.
Joel Fritsche Walt Disney Imagineering wrote on December 7, 2015
David I visited your home and models last September with my wife and learned of your book in work. I am anxious to get one. Let me know when it is available. Joel Fritsche Walt Disney Imagineering
Terry Bullard wrote on November 20, 2015
Outstanding research, attention to detail and craftsmanship. An inspiration to Model Engineers everywhere.....must visit soon and see these lovely engines working.
Les Tolson wrote on October 18, 2015
Was pleased to meet you at the Warwick show like the Website very informative. Also some Very nice Models on show.forgot to say shame you cannot make any more bricks you said you had some but not enough for what i wanted.Regards Les Tolson
Steve Rowe wrote on July 21, 2015
Hi David What a fascinating night we had at your home viewing you wonderful and so accurate models. Thank you so much for opening your door to North Staffs Model Engineering society. Your research and presentation is second to none. Best Regards Steve Rowe (1st to arrive.)