March  2014.    

Beneath this photo of the cylinder block from a model tugboat engine is a gallery of color photographs of various miniature engines that I have made over the past 17 years.

Keep an eye out for highlighted text that you can click on for more information and larger or additional photos. Leaving the mouse pointer on top of a picture or button for more than two seconds will sometimes yield abbreviated descriptions or comments, but these will be brief.

The pictures presented here have been scanned at 300 dots per inch. Most were 4 x 6 inch prints, processed at one-hour supermarket photofinishers. They have been in my album for years and carried all over the country. I am amazed by the quality of these images on the computer monitor - it provides the perfect lighting which is seldom found when viewing the originals.

Many photographs were taken with a Fujica ST-901 automatic 35mm SLR and a 24mm Pentax lens. On occasion I used a Pentax Spotmatic manual camera body. Film ranged from Kodak to K-Mart (Focal).

                Birmingham Dribbler

This is a Carpet Engine - a model of a model. These were the toy trains of the mid-Nineteenth century. They loosely resembled the locomotives of the day and were constructed entirely of brass. This one is called the Birmingham Dribbler. It was made from a package of castings and materials that I purchased from Maxwell Hemmens in Thorganby, England. Mr. Hemmens told me that they were dubbed "dribblers" or "piddlers" because of the wet trails left behind as they lumbered across the living room carpet under steam.

A model mill engine steam plant with dynamo

This engine was made from a set of Stuart Turner S50 castings.
The flywheel is 3 3/4 inches in diameter. 5/8" bore x 1 1/4" stroke

The mill engine is coupled to a Cornish boiler fashioned from silver-soldered copper. It is 2 1/2 inches in diameter and the flue contains 16 Galloway tubes. The riveted exterior is only a decorative cover not attached to the pressure vessel. There are six miniature lamps on the model, as well as a working voltmeter and pilot light. The control panel houses a voltage regulator to supply a precise 3-volt output. The plant is capable of powering a radio at room filling volume at a fairly slow shaft speed.

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© John R. Bentley 2001.  All rights reserved.