Energy, Aviation, Industrial History, Objectivity and Cynicism


These cover energy matters which pertain mainly to Britain. Here, the links to my internal website include articles and papers from me, but also include stuff from the web. Principally “Energy Solutions” that have been forgotten  by the organisations which once promoted them.

The articles on aviation cover a variety of technical issues relating to supersonics and the early history of the jet engine.

I am also interested in modern industrial history covering the years from about 1880 to 1970, which by its nature has to cover innovations in Europe, America and Japan.

The links to articles are provided below:

Own and forgotten papers on the development and history of aircraft and jet engines that would be understood by those trying to extend their knowhow in these areas.

Covers my papers and articles on industrial history, mainly geared towards the modern gas industry, iron and steel, and chemicals.0. Dr Bryan Lawton’s Contributions  0.1 Industrial Development Before, During and After the First World WarDr Bryan Lawton, FIMechE, the distinguished historian of engineering and technology , adds his opinion on my own thesis that engineering in Britian accelerated as a result of the demands of the First World War. Dr Lawton seems to suggest that for most industries there were no major changes during the war, and the rate of technical development did not change much, although improvements continued.  He argues that the war led to revolutionary changes in just a few areas like chemical engineering and motor car manufacture, but the real developments were in the 1920s. He  also shows that two Victorian industries began their long decline. Coal and the Railways.1.Gas Industry 1.1 Forced Shutdown of Steam Reformer in the 1960s1.2 Brief Description of Hitchin Steam Reformer Site in 1960s1.3 ICI Steam Reforming History from Johnson Matthey Technology Review1.4 The British Gas Lurgi – Its failure to be taken up by the CEGB as the core of an IGCC system1.5 Steam Reforming at British Gas – Cost Implications for Hydrogen

1.6 Steam Reforming at Brtish Gas – Steam Reforming Origins- Description of ICI Process – Routine Operation and Start Up Procedure – Town Gas Improvements GRH, CRG, ICI 500 Rich Gas Processes and Topsoe Straight Town Gas – Hydrogen Economy Steam Reforming Plants – Need to Vary Output

2. Nineteenth Century German Wrought Iron and Open Hearth Steel Production

3. The Piston Engine Revolution

Although these papers, from the conference of the same name, are published in book form, the conference organisers decided that they should be made available without let or hinderance. If you do decide to make use of the papers, please acknowledge the time and money that was spent by the conference organisers, Bryan Lawton, Ed Marshall, John Anning and Fred Starr in setting up the conference and getting the conference volume published.

The conference was held in Manchester under the aegis of the Newcomen Society. The papers cover the development of the piston type internal combustion engine, from its earliest days, when it operated on town or producer gas, to more modern times. At the time of writing, 2020, the IC engine still holds its own in the automotive field, but although it made manned flight possible, this reign ended with the coming of the jet engine.

The Newcomen Society for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology was formed a 100 years ago, with the aim of recording the achievements of engineers and technicians from the past. The Society is mainly made up of professional engineers and scientists, but is open to all.

It has a number of branches throughout Britain and strong links to similar organisations overseas.  Talks and lectures are held monthly during most of the year, the main branch in London meeting in Science Museum Offices. The Newcomen Society website gives full details.

Membership of the Society enables you to to receive the Journal, which comprises formal papers and the Links magazine. All the papers, going back to the early 1920s, when the the Society came into being are now available, to Society Members, for electronic down loading. 

1.Early Aero Engines : Graham Mottram

2.The First Internal Combustion Engine: G. Ricci, P. Gasparini, P. Lazzerini and F. Viola

3. From Humble Shunter to Trans-Atlantic Blue -Some Recollections of the Development of the Famous English Electric RK Engine : AG Orrell

4.The Development of the Piston Engine for Motor Cars : Anders Ditlev Clausager

5. Stirling Engines -A Brief Review of Loaded Hot Air : Derek Duffet

6. The Bristol Sleeve Valve Engines : Patrick Hassell

7.Napier Multicylinder Engines : Alan Vessey

8. Harry Ricardo – The Man and His Contribution : David Morrison

9. Very Early IC Engines : Bryan Lawton

10. First 50 Years of Aircraft Engines : Daniel Schaad

11. Early Liquid Fuels and the Controversial Octane Number Tests : EL Marshall

12. The Mitchell Crankless Engines : John Anning

13. The Pratt and Whitney R4360 Aircraft Radial : Graham White

14. Large Gas Engines : Bryan Lawton

15. Gas Producers for Internal Combustion Engines – Ancient and Modern : D. Andrews and F. Starr

16. Post 1945 R&D at Ricardo : CCJ French

17. A Heuristic Look at Aero Engine Development 1915-1950 : Brian Price

18. Origins of the V12 Engine : Karl Ludvigsen

19. Air and Road Blackburn Engines : MW Vincent

20. Fedden’s Flat Six Aeroengine : Philip Whiteman

21. Paxman’s Diesel Engine Development : Richard Carr

22. Valve Cooling -The Key to Record Breaking : F. Starr

4. German Technologists and Scientists 

These are links to articles I wrote for HE Translations website

The author has published over fifty one page articles, of a sardonic nature in Materials World, the house magazine of the Institute of Materials, Mining and Minerals. They are largely based on his experiences in the gas, steel and energy industries, where he did research into high temperature corrosion and did failure investigation. They go under the byline “Fred Starr Recollects”

1. Procedures developed by Lawrence when deciding on people’s needs when designing new buildings and ensuring that they fit in with the local area and comply with planning restrictions.
POLITICS AND TECHNOLOGY New text to go here …