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Stutterheim Stationary Engine Museum, Eastern Cape

Stutterheim Stationary Engine Museum, Eastern CapeThe Stutterheim Stationary Engine Museum is believed to have one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of restored stationary engines, all in mint running condition, in the world.

The oldest gem is a Mietz & Weitz engine dating back to 1905. Forgotten names like Ruston Hornsby, Wholesly, Bamford, Lister and Massey Harris are all there, saved from a scrap yard where they would have been crushed and melted down to be lost forever. The development and advancement of technology can be followed in the engines on display, some dating back almost a century to the very recent, world class, advanced Mercedes C200 Kompressor engine.

Excerpt from the Official Blackstone Engine Website:

A six hours drive took me south to Stutterheim, north of East London, to find the Stutterheim Stationary Engine Museum. The museum was founded a few years ago by Ron Starkey, who still operates it with one part time helper. It has a well laid out display of about thirty engines. I was particularly interested in the big SI engine No. 171383 of 1929 that had come from the Stutterheim power station, and the even bigger TP. No. TPG61J278, 77 hp at 420 rpm. [5] This engine was originally installed at an orphanage at Ugle for electrical generation. The SI crank was out of the engine so it couldn’t be run, but Ron did get the TP started. What a satisfying noise that made. I imagine the orphans would have got little sleep.

As good as it was to have the TP running the star that afternoon was the big two-cylinder vertical engine by W H Allen & Sons of Bedford. [6] A hot bulb engine it is rated at 70 hp at 325 rpm. It had been installed at Molteno power station in 1928 where it and associated 50 KVA alternator was transported by ox-cart. The gas fired hot bulbs flamed like two volcanoes and the exhaust beat was deafening. What a monster! 

Ron and his museum are well worth making the effort to visit.

Telephone: +27 (0)43 683-1521: Address: Off Bush road, Lister Lane, Stutterheim.

Opening hours: Open every Tuesday for visitors. Special arrangement must be made prior to educational tours. We will gladly open for anyone at any time.

More info on the town of Stutterheim More info on the Amatola Region



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