Murray's Hypocycloidal Engine


Murray's Hypocycloidal Engine, now in Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum, England, was made around 1805[1] and is the world's third-oldest working steam engine[2] and the oldest working engine with a Tusi couple hypocycloidal straight line mechanism.[a]

Murray's Hypocycloidal Engine
Thinktank - Iron Foundry Engine 2.jpg
The engine at Thinktank
DesignerMatthew Murray
MakerFenton, Murray and Wood
Date1805 (1805)
Country of originEngland
Former operator
CollectionBirmingham Museums Trust
LocationThinktank, Digbeth, Birmingham, England
Accession no.1961S01437.00001
The engine in motion


Designed by Matthew Murray, and made by Fenton, Murray and Wood of Holbeck, Leeds, it is one of only two of the type to survive;[3] the other is located at The Henry Ford, Michigan, United States.[4]

The single-cylinder engine was used by John Bradley & Co of Stourbridge from 1805 until 1931, and by N. Hingley & Sons Ltd of Netherton from 1931 until 1961, when it was acquired by Birmingham City Council for their science museum.[5]

Murray patented the hypocycloidal arrangement in 1802.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ The oldest working engine, the Smethwick Engine, and the second oldest, the Whitbread Engine, are beam engines, and neither uses a hypocycloidal straight line mechanism.


  1. ^ Reyburn, Ross (2 December 2000). "Full steam ahead; Some of Birmingham's most impressive artefacts are on the move". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Thinktank Birmingham Science Museum". Automuseums. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Matthew Murray's elegant design". Birmingham Stories. Retrieved 7 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Hypocycloidal Pumping Engine". Stationary Steam. Retrieved 7 March 2015.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Birmingham Museums Trust catalogue, accession number: 1961S01437.00001