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  1. #1
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    Default Thompson's Foundry Castlemaine

    Here is a brief history of the Thompson foundry in Castlemaine.

    Thompson's Foundry was established in 1875 as an engineering workshop by brothers David and James Thompson David Thompson (1828-1889) arrived in Australia from his native Ireland in 1852 and was joined by his brother James the following year. The brothers set up the foundry in 1875. David Thompson Jnr (1865-1916) served his apprenticeship at the works, eventually becoming manager after the death of his uncle in 1910. He developed the business into one of the largest and best equipped engineering works in Australia.
    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    Andre

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  3. #2
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    Here are some photos.
    1. Turning and boring machine
    2. Foundry built milling machine
    3. Article on foundry built boring machine
      4. 20 tonne steel forging






    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    Andre

  4. #3
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    Default

    HI,
    Thats Interesting - Thankyou, I am not sure if I had heard of them before. Doing some Seaching on the Internet and I found that the Thompson Foundry Music Band is also quite Famous. I did come across a Picture of the Band dated 2010 so I assume the Band is still going.
    Something else that I found was Interesting was that William Henry Sutton (Sutton Tools) opened a Toolroom there in 1912. I will start a New Thread for Sutton Tool History rather than post the Links here.

    I just seen the Pictures as I Replied, I am Curious as to what the Item is in the last Black & White Photo ?.
    Last edited by steran50; 16th Apr 2012 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Black & White Picture
    All The Best steran50 Stewart

    The shortest way to do many things is to do only one thing at once.

  5. #4
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    keep going Andre: what happened next and what is it doing now and what does it look like?
    I think it's a great parallel development of Australian engineering manufacturing as a whole....
    Very sad.
    Cheers,
    Joe

  6. #5
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    Thompsons became a limited liability company in 1913. In 1924-25 the Thompson family surrendered control of the company and it was restructured as Thompson's Engineering and Pipe Company. After several changes of ownership since 1947, the company is now know as Thompsons, Kelly & Lewis Pty Ltd and now owned by the American company Flowserve who closed everything but the machine shop and pump test bay,they now employ around 40 people.

    Here are some interesting facts from it's heyday
    The total number of employees, excluding those working for agencies, is 900.
    Each year the Plant at Castlemaine uses approximately:
    8000 tons Firewood.
    2,200,00 K.W.H. Electric Power.
    350 Tons Coal.
    700 Tons Coke.
    100,000 gallons Fuel Oil.
    15,000,000 gallons water.
    The maximum thickness Mild Steel plate that can be rolled is:
    3 Cold
    5 Hot
    The maximum weights of Casting that can be poured are:
    Iron - 30 Tons
    Bronze - 5 Tons
    The largest Ingot that can be handled in the Forge is: 20 Tons
    The maximum flow that can be measured in the hydraulic test laboratory is 150,000 gallons per
    minutes.
    The laboratory is suitable for electric motor drives up to 2000 H.P. on voltages of 2200, 3300 and
    6600. The maximum power on 415 volts is 1000 H.P.
    11
    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    Andre

  7. #6
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    Hi Andre,
    Interesting read.
    Thanks
    Stuart

  8. #7
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    Default

    Here are some more photos.







    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    Andre

  9. #8
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    Default

    More









    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    Andre

  10. #9
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    Another lot of photos









    BETTER TO HAVE TOOLS YOU DON'T NEED THAN TO NEED TOOLS YOU DON'T HAVE

    Andre

  11. #10
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    Thanks Andre. Nice summary and great photos.
    My wife's uncle started his apprenticeship there at age 14 and retired from there aged 67 - around 10 years ago. He's still alive and bright. If anyone is interested in any detail of prodution in that period, I can still go and ask him!

    Locally, the works are known as "the Thompson Foundry" - even now, when the is no casting going on at all.
    Cheers,
    Joe

  12. #11
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    Mornington Peninsula
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    Default

    Quite an interesting place.

    I did some work there in regard to energy demand for the CSIRO a few years ago.

    When they test their BIG pumps the lights in the whole town dim considerably!

    They also had a transformer (actually more like a substation) that had slipped through cracks and had no "demand charge" attached to it.

    Cheers

    Justin

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