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East Pool Whim Engine
Michellís Shaft, East Pool, Redruth, Cornwall
associated engineer
Francis W. Michell
date  1877
era  Victorian  |  category  Mining/Quarrying  |  reference  SW673419
ICE reference number  HEW 879
The whim, or small engine, at East Pool mine was designed by local engineer F.W. Michell for the inclined shaft that bears his name. It was used to haul the mined copper and tin, and waste rock, to the surface.
A whim is a small engine, in this case steam-driven, that turns a winding drum (or works underground water pumps) in relatively shallow mines.
The East Pool whim is a double-acting condensing steam engine. It has a 0.75m diameter cylinder with an unusually long stroke of 2.7m and worked at a steam pressure of 276kN. The engine ran at 17rpm and was very quiet because it had no gears.
A long I-section connecting rod joined a crank on the flywheel axle near ground level. This crank was I-section also, with eight cruciform spokes, set between two winding drums. Ropes from the winding drums led to the 18m head frame over Michellís Shaft, which was 37m east of the engine house.
The 396m deep inclined shaft was decommissioned in 1920. The plant deteriorated but since World War II it has been restored gradually as a tourist attraction.
The engine is owned now by the National Trust and is an exhibit at the Cornish Mines & Engines site, which forms part of the Cornwall & West Devon Mining Landscape World Heritage region.
Contractor: Holman Brothers of Camborne
Research ECPK
reference sources   CEH South

East Pool Whim Engine