THE THAMES IRON WORKS CO. LTD, Greenwich
In the early 20th century the great Penn works on Blackheath Hill was taken over by Thames Ironworks - the shipbuilders based on Bow Creek, who built the Warrior and many other important ships. They used the Penn site to build steam motor vehicles. The following piece describes one of these.
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"Steam was generated in a locomotive type boiler containing 32 tubes 1 3/4" dia. the heating surface totalling 50 sq. ft with a grate area of 3 sq. ft. The exhaust steam was passed through the ash pan to deposit any moisture in suspension and then through a heating coil in the smoke box. This was to render the exhaust practically invisible".
"Standard channels 6" x 2 ½” were used for the chassis framing and cross braced. Rear main springs were 'four feet long with secondary springs above them two feet long permitting a large movement but well damped. The fore-carriage mounting the front axle was in effect a rectangular frame pivoted at its centre thus providing three- point suspension. Steel wheels 3' 2" dia x 9 1/2" tread were used for the rear and 2' 911 dia. x 5 1/2" tread for the front on a wheelbase of 10' 3". "
"Other main features were an external contracting brake on the spur ring on the countershaft, wood block brakes on the rear wheels and a water tank holding 120 gallons mounted beneath the rear end of the framing. The unladen weight of the five-tonner was 4 T 10 cwt and four to five hundredweights of fuel were carried. If desired an extra two or three tons could be taken on a trailer."