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Chain pumps on first and second rates


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#1
dafi

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A long time ago on the research for the pumps of my Vic I realised that all drawings  of first and second rates at NMM from a certain date on show at least two of the four chain pumps reaching the middle deck. 

 

This started about 1760 to 1780. All the drawing showing details have a cistern on the lower deck even for the pumps reaching the middle deck, mostly showing something that appears like an exhaust for a dale or hose. 

 

From about 1810 both pairs of pumps reached the middle deck, both having a cistern and an "exhaust" on both decks.

 

Searching for quite a while already I just found one source apart from the drawings - the model of the Princes Royal. Here one pair of pump is reaching the upper deck, also showing the cistern, but no details of the mechanism is revealed.

 

The only reason so far I can see is that the double amount of man could man the handles. But no idea whatsoever how the technical side worked. Where these one chain running though the lower deck (as it seems to me) or were those two different chains for each pump? Was the cistern on the lower deck a water tight "passing through" cistern?

 

As usual - question over question ...

 

I just add some pictures of what I mean, some drawings out of NMM and of the Princess Royal.

 

XXXDAn

Attached Thumbnails

  • Pumps-Princess-Royal_2375.jpg
  • Pumps-Princess-Royal_2377.jpg
  • Pumps-Princess-Royal_2378.jpg
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Edited by dafi, 12 November 2014 - 09:42 PM.

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#2
mtaylor

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Daniel,

 

You always seem to ask the tough questions...  :D  :D  :D

 

I gave this some thought since 1) the plans are flat sectional plans and thus no detail as to how these were done  2) much wasn't written down as it was "common knowledge"  and...   3)  the builders and sailors were practical men who seemed to take the KISS (keep it simple, stupid) principle to heart.

 

Ok.. here's my musings.   Having two sets of dales seems counter-productive since if the lower pump set was open, no water would reach the top.  I notice that most of the plans (but not the photos you show) have only one set shown on the upper deck.   I've read that most 1st and 2nd rates had pressure pumps for these function which drew in sea water from under the ship.  But, these weren't pressure pumps that could be used for fire-fighting or washing the decks, the water came from the deep down in the hull... probably very yucky. 

 

So... back to the original thought that it's counter-productive to have both sets of dales open...   Well, there's no sign that there were two chains or two tubes inside one tube.  If it had been two tubes, I think it would have been shown on the draughts.  Could it have been in case of battle damage?  Probably not, since anything taking out the upper cistern would damage the chain.  Back to brain work.

 

Your premise that double the men could operate the pumps, but what would be the advantage to have  4 cisterns down low and only 2 up top (unless there were 4 up top, but they would be shown, right?   Then not battle damage.  Maybe exhaustion.  Double the men wouldn't mean double the water being pumped but it is hard work to crank the pumps. 

 

My thought would be that it allowed the men to be rotated as exhaustion set in.  Use the lower deck crew and switch to the upper deck crew without stopping the pumps.  I read somewhere that starting the pumps moving was when many times things went to hell... the chain broke, jumped off the sprocket, etc. so it makes sense in a logical sort of way, to keep that chain moving.  Stopping the pump to change out the pumpers would be asking for Murphy to jump in and break something.

 

I'll go with this for now until someone versed in the research (Hi Druxey :) ) slaps some sense into me and has the correct answer.

 

Edit... hmm... my reasoning falls to the wayside when I see that there's only one top set of cisterns and not two.  I did mention I was musing out loud, right?  However, the lower set are connected by the cranks.. Which creates another set of headaches in that crew up top is only half as great as the crew at the lower...  

Very strange on there only being one set on the upper vs. two sets on the lower..... 


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Mark

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#3
testazyk

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Interesting question and I really can't offer much.  The only thing I can think is that I understand that in heavy seas if the ship is listing the lower gun ports might actually be underwater.  So maybe then you'd want to pump the water higher?  It would be interesting to see what sort of valve system they might have had.


Edited by testazyk, 13 November 2014 - 10:34 PM.

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#4
druxey

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OK, I bite! There is one level of discharge - at lower deck level -  for the one pair of pumps. It would be reasonable not to have to raise bilge water any higher than necessary to discharge it. The first deck above water level was the lower gun deck. Hence the cisterns and brakes (cranks) to work these pumps placed here.

 

The other set of pump tubes continue one deck higher - the middle deck - to terminate at their upper end in the usual cisterns and cranks. However, on their way up, there are boxes at lower deck level that the chains pass through. This would allow water to discharge at this level as well. However, the pumps were worked one deck higher: more men could be employed on both set of pumps this way. Again, less effort would be required to raise water only as far as the lower deck level, rather than all the way up to the middle deck. Does this make sense?


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#5
jud

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Without a side view it would be hard to say. What would be reasonable is those pumps that appear to be on the same tube, aren't. Maybe the lower pump is rigged to discharge into a cistern which would be open to drain to the deck if the discharge would drain overboard and closed if the water was needed or wanted to be pumped higher. The upper set of pumps would need to be offset so the same cistern could be used to catch the discharge of the lower and hold it for the upper pump to use it a a water intake. Water is heavy and enough of it riding up in separate moving chambers on the same chain might have a lift height limit or they wanted to be able to occasionally discharge water on both decks..

jud


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#6
dafi

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Thank you all, you confirm some my thoughts :-)

 

The plans from the decks in NMM show quite clearly that there are no two tubes and threre is no offset for the second level - both levels look to be perfectly in line. 

 

My personal guess is that the cistern from the two storeys pump has a watertight "passing through" cistern that could be opened if necessairy.

 

if the cranc of the "normal" pump that leads through this cistern is just passing through or if it also drives a coq wheelis pure guess from my side.

 

But interesting, that no further technical evidence so far is to be found ...

 

XXXDan


Edited by dafi, 14 November 2014 - 01:17 PM.

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#7
druxey

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The rods of the lower deck pumps pass through the boxes of the middle deck pumps. Rhodings (bearings) would support the rods here. There would not be wheels inside the boxes at lower deck level. The normal drive mechanism would be under the hoods at middle deck level.

 

The only difference between the 'short' and 'long' pumps would be the boxes with their discharge dales and longer chains of the latter.


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#8
Mark P

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Hello everyone;

 

This is an interesting topic;  I have read the comments above,  and looked at the pictures (I too have the Princess Royal book,  which is very helpful)  I think Druxey is totally correct in that the idea was to allow more men to work the pump,  and not to try an raise water to the middle deck.  

 

Neither the main pump chain,  though,  nor any water it carried,  can have risen to the middle deck,  as the carlings are located in the centre of the trunking to the middle deck,  and this would prevent the pump discs and washers passing through this space;   but it would allow a chain to pass down each side of the carling,  which could be connected to an additional,  thinner and secondary sprocket on the lower deck adjacent to the lower deck sprocket over which the head of the main pump chain with its washers would pass.  The width of the casing on the middle deck would seem to indicate that two chains were used,  which were connected to a secondary sprocket on each side of the main sprocket on the lower deck.

 

Alternatively,  the pump reaching the middle deck was worked from the middle deck only,  but discharged on the lower deck. However,  see next paragraph for reasoning as to why this is unlikely.

 

HMS Nelson,  1806,  is perhaps the earliest vessel which has the arrangement with both pumps brought up to the middle deck,  which Dafi says becomes the norm after this.  This would seem to illustrate that the idea was to allow extra manpower to the pumps,  as otherwise,  if water cannot be raised to that height due to the position of the carlings,  it would be simpler to just terminate the pumps on the lower deck.  If the pump is simply worked from the upper deck,  but discharges on the lower deck,  there is no connection between the turning effort applied by men on the lower deck,  and that from the men on the upper deck.  There must have been an additional sprocket(s) fitted on the pump axle at the lower deck level,  and a separate chain mechanism to link this to the pump handles cranked by the men on the middle deck. 

 

Regards,

 

Mark P


Edited by Mark P, 29 November 2014 - 09:33 AM.

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#9
druxey

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Your concept of a thinner sprocket and secondary chain is an appealing one, Mark. The reason for this being the ease of repair (assuming the side of the casing at lower deck level was removable to carry this out). It would be more difficult to fish out a longer broken chain in adverse conditions. However, I've never seen any illustration or description of such an arrangement.


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#10
Mark P

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Hi Druxey;

 

No,  nor me either.  It is purely a personal supposition.

 

The one thing that I cannot make fit my theory is that one of Dafi's photos does seem to show a discharge hole in the cistern on the middle deck.  As he asks,  why would they want to raise water to here?  Not for fire fighting,  as it is not under pressure;  nor for washing decks;  for even if the lower decks were washed,  something of which I have no knowledge (the upper deck was washed every morning) there are no scuppers fitted to the middle deck to allow water to disperse.

 

Maybe Testazyk's proposition is correct:  it was to allow water to be discharged at a higher level when the ship was heeling so much that the pump-dale outlets from the lower deck were under the water line.  But if that is the reason,  why was it not done on a 74,  which would also heel over in strong winds,  and had a deck above the pumps? 

 

A bit of a conundrum!

 

Mark P


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#11
WackoWolf

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As always, one question will bring forward 3 or 4 more question. Mark P. You have a very good point if it was done on that ship why was it not done on the 74. I know someone might have the answer so like the rest of us I will be waiting to hear of it.


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#12
druxey

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I find that the argument about the dales being too low when the ship is heeled difficult to accept. The dale scuppers are not much lower than the lower deck ports, which have a good amount of freeboard. Counter-arguments, anyone?


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#13
Mark P

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I have to admit that my thoughts were that any ship which was heeled to such an extent that the lower deck gunports were nearly under water would already be in such dire straits that the pumps probably wouldn't help much,  so I was never a strong fan of the possibility. 

 

I find my earlier thoughts more convincing;  but then why would they wish for outlets on the middle deck.  The location of the carlings in Dafi's photograph from the Princess Royal makes it difficult for me to believe that water could be raised past them,  which if true,  means one is back to the idea that it is just to give extra men the ability to work the pumps.  The strongest argument against this is the outlet in the upper cistern,  which seems to be quite clearly shown in Dafi's monochrome picture of the inner works.

 

Then again,  maybe it is not an outlet;  yet,  what else could it be?


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#14
mtaylor

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I'm thinking Druxey is right on the more men and easier to pump concept.  Those pumps had to have been hard work.  More men on the pumps would mean they could do it longer before having to rest.  

 

I'm still puzzled by the drawings showing dales at two levels.  I suppose it's possible that the lower dales let the water out and the upper ones stayed "dry".  I'm also wondering if the Navy ordered these boxes in quantity and used the same ones on the upper and lower level.


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#15
Mark P

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The pumps were definitely hard work.  CS Forester,  author of the 'Hornblower' books,  who was born at a time when the Napoleonic wars were still just about in living memory,  and certainly seems to know his stuff about the era,  makes reference to seamen being given a turn at the pumps as a punishment for minor infringements of discipline.


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#16
dafi

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Gentlemen, thank you very much for all your input, it is pleasure to follow :-)

 

My basic thpought of having more people being able to work is still the strongest reason for this setup.

 

But the cisterns and the outlets shown still puzzle me to bits ;-)

 

What Mark and Druxey guess would makes sense. Having the pump in the lower deck being worked with cranks on both sides and the pump in the middle deck also being manned on both sides would give the double amount of people being able to pump this resulting in a higher speed and therefor more water being raised.

 

Still puzzling is here the two cisterns and also that later on both pumps were made reach the lower deck. All the drawings in NMM show these setups and dales on all the cisterns (if shown).

 

Are there any other models known like the Princess with this setup?

 

Cheers, DAniel


Edited by dafi, 30 November 2014 - 10:28 PM.

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#17
wq3296

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Greetings dafi,

 

Longridge's book on Victory has a section drawing through the ship center line from stem to stern. This drawing shows the four pumps, located on the Gun Deck, situated fore and aft around the main mast - 2 on each side. Note that the Gun Deck is the next deck up from the Orlop. The crank handles run through each set of pumps and extend about 20' fore and aft respectively from each pump, for a total crank length of over 50' for each set of pumps. According to Longridge, the cranks were long enough to accommodate six men per side. The pump discharges were on the Gun Deck as part of the pump housings. Longridge states that the pump mechanisms were the endless chain type with sprockets for each pump located in the pump well at the bottom (bilge) and in the semi circular casing on top of the pump housing. Pumped water discharged from the well up to the Gun Deck via a cast iron pipe. There were also port and starboard elm tree pumps adjacent to the main mast.

 

wq3296



#18
dafi

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Thank you wq!

Longridge describes exactely what is on display today in the ship. There are some documents in the NMM suggesting that the arrangement could have been different in the past.

 

Cheers, DAniel


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See also our german forum for Sailing Ship Modeling and History: http://www.segelschiffsmodellbau.com/

 

 

Finest etch parts for HMS Victory 1:100 (Heller Kit) and other useful bits.

http://dafinismus.de/index_en.html

 

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#19
Mark P

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There are deck plans of the Victory in the NMM,  believed to date from around 1788,  showing her after a large repair at Portsmouth.  These can be accessed on the internet at a large enough scale to distinguish the layouts.  The plan of the lower deck shows the four pumps around the mainmast,  with the two after pumps discharging into a single long cistern athwartships,  and the two fore pumps not joined.

 

The plan of the middle deck quite clearly shows the two fore pumps continuing up to this deck,  where each has again a separate cistern,  not joined together.

 

So obviously at this point in her history she had pumps on both decks. They may indeed have been there from her first build,  in the 1760s,  which is around the time when Dafi's research indicates that they were coming into vogue.

 

I will look at some earlier plans of three-deckers,  and see if they show pumps on both decks.

 

Mark P


Edited by Mark P, 03 December 2014 - 09:05 PM.

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#20
Mark P

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Okay,  here goes:

 

I have spent an hour or so looking through some of the plans from the NMM collection via their website,  and there are some rather interesting details on some. 

 

The inboard profile of 'Sandwich' 1759,  90 guns,  and that of 'Princess Royal' 1773,  both seem to show a sprocket on the middle deck in line with the cistern of the pump below on the gundeck. There seems to be a horizontal shaft drawn through it,  extending from aft bitt pin to fore bitt pin,  and a much narrower vertical trunking running down from it to the deck.

 

The details are not completely clear,  as the plan does not come up to a large enough scale to be completely doubt-free,  but I think I am right in saying that this is what I am seeing on the draught.

 

Even more interestingly,  the deck plans of 'Duke' 1777,  show the pumps on the gundeck,  and then immediately above on the middle deck,  in line with where the pump tubes are on the gundeck,  no pump cistern or similar is shown;  but there is something else:  two pairs of small holes (not sure if they are circular or square) either side of a longitudinal pair of lines each side which seem to represent carlings.  This could well be holes for a mechanical link to join a sprocket on the middle deck with the actual cisterns on the lower deck.

 

The inboard profile of 'Duke' though,  is clear: it definitely shows a sprocket and shaft on the middle deck,  with a narrow trunking running down to the deck planking.  However,  and intriguingly,  there does not seem to be a continuation of this trunking running down from the middle deck to the cisterns on the gundeck below.

 

On my next visit to the NMM,  which has a large-scale plan viewing screen in the Caird Library,  I will look at these plans and see what is shown,  then report back.

 

Thanks,  Dafi,  for introducing such an interesting and novel topic!

 

Mark P


Edited by Mark P, 04 December 2014 - 09:35 PM.

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