We saved it last winter and will be restoring it at our steam engine museum in Youngstown, OH.The IR compressors are not too terribly rare, several are preserved in the U. If it isn't an IR type 10 then it would be worth saving if possible.
There were three such beasts still in use at one of ICI's power stations when I worked there some 30 years ago.Unless you have some monster that will break your bank account to take apart and move, if a steam driven compressor is something you can handle, try to save it.If it is too big, post the particular son the Board. If you have stumbled on a "Locomotive" or "Airbrake" type steam driven compressor, - grab it.It was rumoured that this machine was built to ICI requirements and the final high cost resulted in no more being built.The other two were Sentinel vertical twin cylinder air over steam piston compressors dating from 1913, bore size was in the order of 30" and the end mounted flywheel was around ten feet in diameter.These wer emounted vertically, usually hung off a wall or steel column. some were fairly small, on the order of a 6" bore steam cylinder and perhaps a 4 or 5" bore air cylinder. Some had slide valves and some bigger ones used Corliss type valve gear.The bulk of the steam driven compressors were units which integrated a steam engine with a compressor. If you stumble upon any steam engines or compressors, they are now so scarce they should be saved if you can do so.Sadly they were put to the gas axe some years ago & to my regret I had not the foresight at the time to take some photographs. In fact you had to take the lever from the starting box, get the flywheel to roll, then shut it back off, then throw the starting lever all the way on. John You prompted a memory....similarly...the old Sentinels were alive the best place on the turbine stage to take a skive was to sit between the two machines..foreman could not see you because of all the steam leaks.I wonder, did Sentinel steam powered machinery find it's way to America ? The "Greek" told me that you would blow the fuses and take out the whole buildings electrical power. This one compressor powered a weld shop, two levels of a large and complete machine shop, and a roll shop that made paper filled rolls. Asquith....indeed, quite recently there was a lathe on ebay, badged as the "Sentinel of Shrewsbury"...regards Brian We had an old flywheel compressor I think IR. I am sure this was originally steam powered, but when I came along it had been converted to electric. I was told it originally came out of a mine someplace. I assumed it must have been the road engine makers, similarly the Aldays & Onions lathe commented upon recently, many of these large manufacturing companies, I assume, took to making their own machine tools during & post WW2 when established manufacturers were unable to provide for the domestic markets none war effort requirements.When I was a welder they gave me the job of shutting down/starting it. I always loved that old beast, it never quit running or gave anybody trouble either. Sitting here typing this late on Sunday evening, watching Fred Dibnah's age of steam on the television reminds me, I wonder did you notice in the episode covering his back garden pit head, the winching gear had herringbone gears ?