Wellard Street, Serpentine, WA, 6125

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Mon-Tues: Closed
Wednesday: 9am-1pm
Thur-Fri: Closed
Sat-Sun: 10am-3pm
Public Holidays: 10am-3pm

Note: Closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day

Pulsometer Steam Water pump - c. 1900


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The pump on display was popular in the early 1900s for recovering sunken ships and transferring a ship’s water for ballast. The pump was extremely simple in construction, made of cast iron with no pistons, rods, cylinders, cranks, or flywheels. It operated by the direct action of steam on water. The mechanism consisted of two chambers. As the steam condensed in one chamber, it acted as a suction pump, while in the other chamber, steam was introduced under pressure and so it acted as a force pump. At the end of every stroke, a ball valve consisting of a small brass ball moved slightly, causing the two chambers to swap functions from suction-pump to force-pump and vice versa. The result was that the water was first suction-pumped and then force-pumped.

Pulsometer Engineering Company Limited was founded in Britain in 1875 after a British engineer bought the patent rights of the pulsometer pump from Thomas Hall. In 1901 the company moved from London to Reading, Berkshire. In 1961 Pulsometer merged with Sigmund Pumps of Gateshead to form Sigmund Pulsometer Pumps (SPP). This firm became one of the largest pump companies in Europe. SPP Pumps Ltd is now part of Kirloskar Brothers Ltd.


Pulsometer Steam Water pump - c. 1900
Pulsometer Steam Water pump - c. 1900