Hercules, locomotive luggage engine, side elevation. Inscribed 'Made by me at Railway Fy. 1843-4. 2 six-coupled Gray gear engines'.

OBJECTS OF ENGINEERING-David Joy drawings

Hercules, locomotive luggage engine, side elevation. Inscribed 'Made by me at Railway Fy. 1843-4. 2 six-coupled Gray gear engines'.
Hercules, locomotive luggage engine, side elevation. Inscribed ‘Made by me at Railway Fy. 1843-4. 2 six-coupled Gray gear engines’.

David Joy’s Drawings

Joy was not only an inventive engineer but also a draughtsman of distinction, producing over 50 original drawings held at IMechE, of the Jenny Lind and other engines etc. He is widely recognised to have helped in the development of engines which he drew plans for and patented some of his inventions: the most noted of which was his valve gear of 1870; thirty years after its patent this principle was applied by others to locomotives, and over 3000 were so equipped in Britain, Germany, and elsewhere. Search END/10 on our catalogue to see descriptions of these drawings.

We also hold an unpublished autobiography of Joy’s life (1825-1903) which details his major engineering works, 1851-1874. Illustrated with line drawings of engineering projects. Projects described include Joy’s contributions to  locomotive  design,  marine engineering and bridge building: together with improvements in steam hammers, rock drills, artillery  pieces and a variety of machine tools. See IMS/56 on our catalogue.

Locomotive passenger engine no 73, side elevation, built 1846-1847 to Stephenson's patent by E B Wilson and Company, Railway Foundry, Leeds, for the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway. Thomas Cabry, engineer. David Joy, draughtsman.
Locomotive passenger engine no 73, side elevation, built 1846-1847 to Stephenson’s patent by E B Wilson and Company, Railway Foundry, Leeds, for the York, Newcastle and Berwick Railway. Thomas Cabry, engineer. David Joy, draughtsman.

Joy showed keen interest in machinery from childhood and made ship and engine models, including a charcoal-fired model locomotive which ran at the Leeds exhibition in 1838. In 1840 he went to Wesley College, Sheffield, where he studied engineering drawing.

He then entered his father’s seed-crushing and oil-refining works but quickly started an apprenticeship with Fenton, Murray, and Jackson, locomotive builders until it closed in 1843. At this point his draughtsman career began, Joy joined the locomotive drawing office of the railway foundry works of Shepherd and Todd, where he became acting chief draughtsman. It was here that he designed the famous Jenny Lind 2–2–2 type express locomotive for the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway in 1847. Tested on the Midland Railway in the following year, one of these machines averaged 56 m.p.h. for 65 miles. The engine had considerable influence on locomotive design.

In 1850 his and Edward Wilson patented twin boilers working in parallel within the same casing. In 1855 he was involved in the building of the ‘farm engine’ of Robert Willis, the forerunner of the tractor and road locomotive, and in 1857 built a double expansion marine engine with innovative features. In 1859 he became manager of De Bergue’s, bridge builders of Manchester, and took out patents for an improved steam hammer, whose manufacture was started in his own Cleveland engine works in Middlesbrough.

John Gray valve gear diagram. Inscribed 'John Gray valve gear as arranged for 10 engines intended to be built for the London & Brighton Railway Cy., but abandoned by E B Wilson & Cy., Railway Foundry, Leeds...'
John Gray valve gear diagram. Inscribed ‘John Gray valve gear as arranged for 10 engines intended to be built for the London & Brighton Railway Cy., but abandoned by E B Wilson & Cy., Railway Foundry, Leeds…’

In 1879 he patented his radial valve gear, of simple and compact design, to give improved steam distribution in locomotive and marine engines. This was applied in 1880 to a new London and North Western Railway (LNWR) design of 0–6–0 freight locomotive. Well over 3000 locomotives of the LNWR, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and other railways were fitted with Joy’s valve gear, which was also applied by Maudslay & Co. to marine engines, where a saving of 25 per cent in space and weight was achieved.

Among his many inventions one of the most important, for which he was awarded a gold medal at the 1885 inventions exhibition, was the conjugating mechanism enabling the three valves of a triple-expansion marine engine to be driven by only two sets of valve gear.

Archives, Institution of Mechanical Engineering

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