Model, or small example, of Nasmyth's steam hammer, c 1848.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Front view asociated with James Nasmyth (1808-1890). Nasmyth invented the actual 'steam hammer' represented by this model made by James Nasmyth & Co. This small engine was probably built by James Nasmyth to drive a small machine tool in his private workshop. Nasmyth worked in the London machine-shop of Henry Maudslay (1771-1831). He was probably the greatest influence on mechanical engineering practice in the early 19th century, before going on to establish the Bridgewater Foundry at Patricroft, Greater Manchester, in 1836. His popular steam hammer, patented in 1842, took the human effort out of the proces of forging wrought iron and steel to form engine and machine parts. Amongst his other inventions were a steam pile driver, a planing machine and a hydraulic punching machine.