Crossley Gas Engine

Crossley Gas Engine Kelham Island Museum

The Crossley Gas Engine was made by Crossley Brothers Ltd in Manchester in 1915. It drove a small rod and bar rolling mill on Penistone Road belonging to George Clarke and it remained in use at the rolling mill in Sheffield until 1970.

With only 150 brake horse power, it was not as powerful as the mighty River Don Engine, but it was still able to shape steel into rods and bars which could then be sold to be made into finished products.

Gas powered engines were developed in the 1860s by people searching for better ways to provide power and drive machines. Crossley became one of best known builders of gas engines in UK. Such engines were the answer to the industry’s need for small, simple and economic power units for small factories and workshops which could be used almost anywhere, and a range of sizes were produced.

Crossley Brothers are famous for making engines and cars, with more than 100,000 Crossley oil and gas engines having been built. They were pioneering in the production of internal combustion engines.

The Crossley Engine on display represents the largest single cylinder engine manufactured by the Crossleys, and is a rare survivor of its type.

The Crossley Gas Engine is 50 feet long and 28 feet high, and weighs 3 tons. It used town gas which was made from coal. Town gas played an important part in industrial and social progress in the 19th century, providing power, fuel and lighting. Natural gas is used nowadays.

The movement of the machinery is illustrated in action continuously at the museum, although the Crossley Engine is now powered by electricity.

Engine Technical Specification

Metric Imperial
Bore 0.56m 22 inches
Piston Stroke 0.81m 32 inches
Speed 160 revolutions per minute
Bedplate weight 12.70 tonnes 12.5 tons
Flyweight weight 14.23 tonnes 14 tons
Crankshaft weight 3.05 tonnes 3 tons
Original Fuel Town gas/producer gas option
Overall height 8.54 metres 28 feet
Overall length 12.2 metres 40 feet