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Online Catalogue last updated 17th of September 2023

Brush Oil Engines The Story of the oil engines made by Brush Electrical Engineering Co. Ltd by Kevin Parsons

cover photo

This new book has been produced to fill a gap in our knowledge of British diesel prime movers. The Brush Electrical Engineering Company Ltd is better known for its electrical and traction equipment. However, during the long and distinguished life of the company, they digressed for a brief seven year period, from 1933 to 1940 into oil engine production to augment their product range.

Brush was not a volume producer like Lister or Ruston & Hornsby. These and other competitors placed their engines further and wider than Brush, but few produced their engines with such vision and fervour as did Brush Chief Engineer (Diesel Dept) – HV Senior. Engine production at the Falcon Works was a struggle and a costly one at that, but the design and the care taken in production showed a desire to produce the best.

Brush survived the Great Depression - but only just. To survive, the company had to restructure and as a result, its own oil engine design was discontinued – in the face of the acquisition of the Yeovil firm of Petter Ltd and the formation of the Associated British Oil Engines (ABOE) - but that is another story.

Using information gleaned from the Petter Archive, historic records, and personal recollections, as well as the personal archive of the designer (that is held in private hands), the book covers 64 pages in total. Over eight Chapters, it traces the fortunes of the Brush Company leading up to and during the life of the engine, with insights into management challenges. It goes on to outline Engine types and production figures, then investigates the design and manufacture of the engines and their derivatives.

Of course, engines eventually go to customers and the book looks in some depth at a few of the uses. From refrigerated liners of the Blue Star Line to the BBC, by way of numerous water pumping stations and a handful of generating plants, these engines had seen it all. Some engines survive to this day and each of these are examined, with photographs, were possible, of them.

There is a short peek at photographs from inside the factory erecting room as well as a study of the life of the engine designer - HV Senior. Finally, the author reflects upon the engine with a personal view. The book ends with many Appendices including Technical Data and User Endorsements.

The unusual book cover is a facsimile of the designer’s personal notebook, overlaid with modern and historic images. In A4 format, illustrated with 70 photographs and 15 drawings, this book has something for everybody interested in engines and their uses. Whether it is the technical side or the visual element, it tells a hitherto little known Story – the Story of the Brush Oil Engine.

Code No. 016968, 64 pages, ISBN 9780993147708, $35.00

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