The steam engine from P.S. Leven
This engine stands outside the Denny Tank Museum, at the eastern end of Castle Street (compare NS4075 : Maritime Museum, Dumbarton
). The museum is always known locally as the Denny Tank, but is the Dumbarton site of the Scottish Maritime Museum (the other site is at Irvine; there was a third – the NS5267 : Clydebuilt
Museum at Braehead – but it closed in 2010; at the time of writing, it is not expected that it will ever re-open).
The information panel visible in the left of the photograph has more information about the engine, including the following:
"The engine is a side lever marine engine built for the P.S. LEVEN in 1821. It has a single cylinder and produced 33 horsepower .... This was the first marine engine built by Robert Napier after he started his own engineering business in 1821. He and his cousin David Napier were to dominate the marine engineering industry in the West of Scotland during the nineteenth century. P.S. LEVEN was a wooden paddle-boat built by James Lang at Dumbarton. She was owned by the Dumbarton Steamship Co. for most of her working life .... The engine remained in P.S. LEVEN until 1845 when it was transferred to a new vessel, QUEEN OF BEAUTY, that Robert Napier was building. In 1877 the engine was presented to the town of Dumbarton by Robert Napier's sons. It was mounted on a stone plinth at the base of Dumbarton Rock as a monument to the 'Father of Modern Shipbuilding'. In 1984 it was moved to its present position."
[The panel omits to mention that, before moving to its present (as of 2009) location, the engine was also sited for many years at the centre of a fountain (now long gone) at the north-eastern end of what is now the Artizan Shopping Centre, whose entrance is shown here: NS3975 : Shopping Centre, Dumbarton
. On the above-mentioned Robert Napier, see NS3975 : The Napier Vault
In this image, the single cylinder mentioned on the information panel is visible at the right-hand side of the engine; rods (painted black) connect the top of the cylinder to large side levers (also painted black), which in turn drove paddle-wheels which were connected to the upper left-hand side of the engine.
For an older photo of this engine in its present site, but before it was painted red, see NS4075 : Engine of Paddle Steamer Leven, Dumbarton
On the other side of the wall and fence behind the engine is the busy A814 (Glasgow Road). The buildings visible in the background are in St James' Retail Park.