Saturday, 29 May 2010

Textile and Industrial Heritage - Smeaton's Engine

John Smeaton has already starred on the Local Faces panel, above is a sketch of one of his engines which appears on the Textile and Industrial Heritage panel. The writing on the top is 'sketch of a (steam?) engine by J Smeaton about the year 1741'.

The subject is believed to have been drawn at Garforth Colliery c1741 (Royal Society). Thomas Newcomen designed a steam engine in 1712 mainly for draining mines. This is one of Smeaton’s drawings for an improved version of the engine. He improved the sealing on the cylinders and paid more attention to the measurements of the individual parts of the machine.

Mr Smeaton is being mentioned again now because there's a portrait of him at Temple Newsam, at the bottom of the stone staircase. If anyone is going to the Flocking Together Exhibition he or she can kill two birds with one stone and see the painting too.

The embroidery was hand stitched on calico which had been stained with tea and ironed when still wet to give it an old, stressed look. The material was then printed on a domestic printer - not a technique advised if you value your printer - giving an image which isn't colour-fast but fine if the whole piece is stitched. Anne Boyle embroidered the piece.

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