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A model in the IMechE's collection is made to i/8th scale and based on the steam hammer built at James Nasmyth's works in Patricroft, Manchester. It shows the hammer with the self-acting improvement patented in 1847.

Through harnessing the power of steam Nasmyth's hammer revolutionised existing mechanised hammers, leading to a reduction in costs and improvements in the quality of forging iron. The steam hammer was a creation of necessity. By the late 1830s, steam engines in locomotives and paddle steamers were becoming bigger, requiring the manufacture of larger shafts which existing tools were unable to adequately forge. In 1839 Nasmyth proposed a steam hammer to overcome this issue.

His sketches showed an anvil on which to rest the working material, a block of iron to act as the hammer, and an inverted steam cylinder with a piston attached to the hammer. Records of Nasmyth, including his scheme book with sketches for the steam hammer, can be found in the IMechE virtual archive ( and archive (archivecat.imeche. org/calmview/).

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Title Annotation:Reaction
Publication:Professional Engineering Magazine
Date:Jul 1, 2019
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