Our engineering model used to be owned by Hiram Maxim (1840-1916), who was best known as the inventor of the Maxim gun (the first portable fully automatic machine gun). After he died in 1916, his widow Lady Sarah gifted it to IMechE. In 1885, Maxim had introduced his invention at IMechE in the paper, Description of the Maxim automatic machine gun.
Of exceptional quality it shows the ‘ideal’ 20th century workshop – largely based on Royal Arsenal workshops at Woolwich. Its scale is 1” to 1ft. It wasn’t made by an engineer but by an optometrist, EJ Windsor of Messrs Curry & Paxton, between 1893 and 1910.
The workshop is belt-driven from a horizontal steam engine (it doesn’t steam now) and features an overhead crane. The machinery is based upon Whitworth & Company products, Windsor used their product catalogues which are now in IMechE Archive and online.
Windsor included details such as hand tools and wire wool, these are placed about giving the impression everyone has just gone to lunch! Extra touches include parquet-style flooring.
The workshop is now in the IMechE Library, email email@example.com if you’d like to come and see it. To enquire about Maxim’s paper email firstname.lastname@example.org (quote Proceedings v36 1885).