Rankin & Blackmore

The Eagle Foundry in Baker St., was bought by Daniel Rankin and Edward Blackmore in 1862, from Johnstone & Leitch, makers of sugar house machinery. The new firm erected a boilershop on the opposite side of Baker St and engaged also in the manufacture of ship machinery, in which they were very successful. In 1874 Rankin invented a disconnecting compound engine for twin screw and paddle steamers. In 1884 his two sons John & Matthew invented several types of triple and quadruple expansion engines. The 'Arabian' was the first twin screw to be fitted with triple expansion engines. Rankin died in 1885. Blackmore retired soon after and Rankins sons carried on. In 1890 the firm secured a world speed record with their engines for the 'Hygeia' in Melbourne, possible on account of the lightness of the engines. Rankin & Blackmore provided engines for paddle steamers and tugs and then cargo and passenger steamers. They did do experimentation in petrol engines but at that time there was no demand. By 1921 they were producing over 30 different types of engines. Rankin and Blackmore became known by its apprentices as 'The College' on account of the wide range of training provided. The works were badly damaged during the Blitz of 1941. Rankin & Blackmores became a subsidiary of Lithgow's in 1952. The foundry closed in 1954 with castings being bought from GM Hay & Co. The firm closed in 1964.
Iron dressers from Rankin & Blackmore - Denis Gillen Snr in middle