Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,170 pages of information and 233,417 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Kirkaldy Testing Museum

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JD Kirkaldy20.jpg
JD Kirkaldy21.jpg
Large testing machine: Crosshead in foreground, hydraulic ram behind. When pressure is applied, the four tie bars connected to the crosshead pull a moving carriage (see below) towards the ram. On the far side of the carriage there are jaws used for tensile testing,while on the near side are anvils used for compression and bending tests
This shows the moving carriage being positioned for a tensile tensile test. On the extreme right, behind the threaded tie rods, may be seen the jaws used for holding the tensile test piece
The small carriage supports the weights on the steelyard. The scale shows the distance from the pivot
Impact testing machines: Izod, by W. and T. Avery and Charpy, by Chatillon
Hydraulic intensifier by the Hydraulic Engineering Co of Chester. It was used to increase the pressure of water available from the London hydraulic main for the large testing machine
Hydraulic testing machine by Musgrave Brothers of Leeds

at 99 Southwark Street, London, a short distance south of the Tate Modern Gallery.

The museum has been established to:

  • To preserve David Kirkaldy's versatile testing machine in good working order and close to its original condition
  • To retain as far as possible the Victorian character of the Works
  • To explain to the public Kirkaldy's role in developing quality control by regular monthly opening and special open days
  • To store and exhibit the Kirkaldy archive, and develop a library on the history of materials testing
  • To build and maintain a representative collection of working testing machines.

It occupies the ground floor and basement of 99 Southwark Street in the Southwark area of London, just south of the Tate Modern gallery (which occupies the former Bankside Power Station.

This building was built in 1874 specifically to house "Kirkaldy's Testing and Experimenting Works". It was a place where experiments took place on materials to determine their strength. This was done primarily using David Kirkaldy's own design of testing machine, located in an area that was a hive of industry, and also close to the headquarters of industry, the engineering institutions, Government and Parliament.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Museum website [1]