Whitehead, William Kay, The Boulton and Watt winding engine for the Duke of Devonshire’s Ecton copper mine, Staffordshire 1787-1790, Transactions of the 2nd International Early Engines Conference, Volume 2, IEEC & ISSES, 2023 [ISBN: 9781872986258/ISSN: ISSES, Stationary Power v.25 0960-0663], pp.77-120 doi:10.54267/ieec2-2-07
In 1787, the depth of Ecton mine was such that it became too slow and difficult to extract the ore using horse whims. This paper is presented as a diary of the design and construction of a rotative steam engine to replace these whims. Boulton and Watt had installed two such engines in Cornwall, using a new method of balancing (equalising) the winding ropes. The technical difficulties caused by the position of the mine-shaft, high on the steep sides of Ecton Hill meant that it took a year to design and build the engine. Finding someone to produce tapered ropes was also a challenge, as indeed is still the case in the 21st Century.