header_eskomheritage.gif (784 bytes)


The objects in this museum are not housed in one building. They can be viewed at various venues throughout South Africa. Some are on loan to, or owned by, cultural bodies and special interest groups. The intent is to preserve these objects for educational purposes, and to be viewed by the widest possible public.

We attach to each object shown here, all that is known of that object. For those requiring a closer inspection of any item shown, a visit to the indicated current location may be necessary.

More antique electric exhibits can be viewed by visiting the Edisonian museum at
http://www.edisonian.com/edisonian001.htm and
http://www.ieee-virtual-museum.org/

Ionospheric recorder Wadley receiver Wire recorder
Current balance Crystal set Marconiphone
Lightning recorder The first integrated circuit? The beginnings of electronics
Lightning recorder The first integrated circuit? The beginnings of electronics
Electrical power frequency control The prototype tellurometer Early x-ray tube
Electrical power frequency control The prototype tellurometer Early x-ray tube
Escom Tugela Hunslet
"ESCOM" "TUGELA" "HUNSLET"
Kitson Steam turbine driven DC generator Compressed air meter
"KITSON" Steam turbine driven
DC generator
Painting of Highveld Power Station Turbine used at Sabie Hydro Station
Painting of Highveld Power Station Turbine used at Sabie Hydro Station Compressed air meter
Portable voltmeter Portable laboratory ohmmeter Portable temperature indicator
Portable voltmeter Portable laboratory ohmmeter Portable temperature indicator
Portable current transformer Portable wattmeter Voltage ratio box
Portable current transformer Portable wattmeter Voltage ratio box
Portable low resistance ohmmeter Phase splitting resistance box Portable wattmeter
Portable low resistance ohmmeter Phase splitting resistance box Portable wattmeter
Phase angle meter Mine telephone Portable millivoltmeter
Phase angle meter Mine telephone Portable millivoltmeter
Portable voltmeter Wheatstone bridge Conductivity meter
Portable voltmeter Wheatstone bridge Conductivity meter
Universal galvanometer Wheatstone bridge Electrodynamometer
Universal galvanometer Wheatstone bridge Electrodynamometer
Mercury Arc Rectifier DC Galvanometer AC Galvanometer
Mercury Arc Rectifier DC Galvanometer AC Galvanometer
Turbine condenser vacuum gauge Demand meter Time lag relay
Turbine condenser vacuum gauge Demand meter Time lag relay
Single element instantaneous relay Three element instantaneous relay Theodolite
Single element instantaneous relay Three element instantaneous relay Theodolite
Tally chain Time lag relay
Tally chain Time lag relay Universal Potentiometer
Proportional dividers Planimeter Pantograph
Current transformer Current transformer Current transformer


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

ESCOM
ESCOM is a fireless-type steam locomotive. This means that it has no boiler to generate steam. Instead, it has a large insulated pressure vessel holding steam under pressure. These locomotives were suitable for short trips in areas where large steam generating plants were available to recharge the pressure vessel.

Trains hauling coal were brought by the railways to points near the power stations. Each power station was then responsible for the haulage of the coal trucks to its coal staiths.

ESKOM, formerly known as the Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM) was the second largest user of fireless locomotives in South Africa. The Iron and Steel Corporation (ISCOR) was the largest user of this type of locomotive. ESKOM employed fireless locomotives at its power stations for almost sixty years.

ESCOM was obtained from W G Bagnall and Company Limited in 1937. It served at Colenso power station until the station was closed in 1984. In 2000, it was still on display outside the municipal offices at Colenso in KwaZulu/Natal.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION
Type: Fireless
Works No: 2571
Wheel Formation: 0-6-0
Tractive Force (lbs): 14 000
Year of manufacture: 1937

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This information on ESCOM locomotive comes from research material compiled by Mr. Rick Searle, a retired ESKOM employee.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page

PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

TUGELA

TUGELA is a fireless-type steam locomotive. This means that it has no boiler to generate steam. Instead, it has a large insulated pressure vessel holding steam under pressure. These locomotives were suitable for short trips in areas where large steam generating plants were available to recharge the pressure vessel.

Trains hauling coal were brought by the railways to points near the power stations. Each power station was then responsible for the haulage of the coal trucks to its coal staiths.

ESKOM, formerly known as the Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM) was the second largest user of fireless locomotives in South Africa. The Iron and Steel Corporation (ISCOR) was the largest user of this type of locomotive. ESKOM employed fireless locomotives at its power stations for almost sixty years.

TUGELA was bought from R W Hawthorne, Leslie & Company of the United Kingdom in 1935. It saw service at Colenso power station until the station closed in 1984. It is rather appropriate that the locomotive was named after the river on whose banks the station was built and from which the station obtained its water. In 2000, it was still on display at the municipal offices at Colenso, KwaZulu/Natal.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION
Type: Fireless
Work’s No: 3858
Wheel Formation: 0-4-0
Tractive Force (lbs): 11950
Year of manufacture: 1935

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This information on TUGELA comes from research material compiled by Mr. Rick Searle, a retired ESKOM employee.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

Hunslet
HUNSLET was built by the Hunslet Engineering Company, Leeds, England in 1902. It is not known who ordered the locomotive. However, it is known that she was shipped from the factory to Durban for Roger Jenkins, a firm of mechanical and electrical engineers acting as agents for Hunslet. The Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company Limited (VFP) bought Hunslet in 1912. It is not known from whom the VFP bought Hunslet.

Hunslet was used to haul coal trains from Modrea railway station to Brakpan power station, a distance of 4km. From 1922, Hunslet served at Vereeniging power station. Hunslet’s nickname was "Mitzi". In May 1953, while stationed at Vereeniging power station, Hunslet was loaned to Vaal power station until Vaal’s DUBS locomotive was repaired.

Hunslet was returned to Vereeniging power station in January 1954. In 1958 Hunslet was loaned to Grootvlei power station, then under construction, to serve as a stationary boiler for steam-cleaning the boiler tubes and steam pipes of the power station’s No 1 boiler. Hunslet was returned to Vereeniging power station again, until the station closed in 1967. With the closure of Vereeniging power station, Hunslet was sent to Rosherville power station. A dedicated locomotive maintenance team, located at Rosherville central workshops, kept Hunslet in first-class condition.

In accordance with conditions first stipulated in the Power Act of 1910 and included in the Electricity Act of 1922, all assets of the VFP were expropriated and taken over by ESCOM in 1948. ESKOM was formerly known as the Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM).

Originally, Hunslet had coal boxes on each side of the cab. But as these proved to be inadequate, a new coal-bunker was constructed at the rear of the cab in 1946. The old coal boxes became tool-boxes. In summer, as the water in Hunslet’s saddle tank became heated, it caused the two injectors to dribble. This indicated that the water did not condense the steam quickly enough. No such problem was experienced in winter.

Hunslet is on permanent loan from ESKOM to the South African National Railway and Steam Museum in Krugersdorp. A ride on this steam locomotive is still possible. Enthusiastic volunteers operate the museum. Their efforts ensure that Hunslet "steams" for the public approximately twice each year.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION
Type: Port Elizabeth Harbour Board
Work’s No: 790
Wheel Formation: 2-6-0
Tractive Force (lbs): 11700
Year of manufacture: 1902

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This information on HUNSLET comes from research material compiled by Mr. Rick Searle, a retired ESKOM employee.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

Kitson
KITSON was built by Kitson and Company, Leeds, England in 1879. The Natal Government Railways (NGR) paid 3 596 for "Kitty", as Kitson became to be known. Kitson was landed in Durban in late 1879 or early 1880. Natal Government Railways was incorporated into South African Railways in 1913. Between 1880 until 1913, little is known of Kitson’s history.

The Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company Limited (VFP) bought "Kitty" from South African Railways in 1913. VFP paid 600 and hauled "Kitty" from SAR Durban workshops to Modrea railway station. Until 1920, "Kitty" served the VFP by hauling coal trains from Modrea railway station to Brakpan power station, a distance of 4 km.

Kitson was re-located to serve at Rosherville power station in 1920. From 1920 until 1966, "Kitty" hauled coal trains between Jupiter railway station and Rosherville power station, a distance of 2,4km. After the closure of Rosherville power station in 1966, Kitty was used to haul light loads at Rosherville central workshop and stores. A dedicated locomotive maintenance team, located at Rosherville central workshops, kept "Kitty" in first-class condition.

In accordance with conditions first stipulated in the Power Act of 1910 and included in the Electricity Act of 1922, all assets of the VFP were expropriated and taken over by ESCOM in 1948. ESKOM was formerly known as the Electricity Supply Commission (ESCOM).

The Natal Government Railways, the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company Limited, and ESCOM made numerous modifications to Kitson.

  • The rear portion of the frame was extended, the coal bunker moved to the rear of the cab, the custom built toolboxes removed and the discarded coal bunker converted into a toolbox.
  • The rear portions of the side water tanks were lifted away from the frames and were extended towards the front of the engine. This necessitated some modification to the steam chests.
  • The vacuum brake ejector was replaced by a Dreadnought ejector
  • The bottle type lubricator was replaced by a Eureka lubricator.
  • The oil headlamp, which had been replaced by an electric headlamp, was restored except for the replacement of the wick by an electric globe.
  • The original bell-type buffers were replaced by standard SAR knuckle couplers. Kitty was re-boilered in 1927, and again in 1952.

In 1979, "Kitty" became the first steam locomotive in South Africa (possibly the world) to have completed a century of continuous service. "Kitty’s" feats are legendary in South African steam locomotive circles. Dave Parson, the foreman of the locomotive maintenance team at Rosherville central workshops, states

"I have been on the footplate when Kitty pulled 20 loaded coal hoppers, more that 50 times her own weight, from Jupiter station to Rosherville power station. Many ten shilling bets were won by ESCOM men when South African Railways drivers bet that Kitty could not pull such loads."

Acting on an ESCOM proposal, the South African National Monuments Commission declared Kitty a national monument on the 29 April 1983. It is the first moveable, working machine to receive this distinction. This locomotive is one of the oldest operating steam locomotives in the world. At the inauguration ceremony, Mr Jan H Smith, then Chairman of ESCOM, said of "Kitty." "To me, "Kitty" has always been a link between the past and the future - an example of how dedicated maintenance and the will to preserve can make a chunk of steel a symbol of inspiration which motivates both the young and not so young."

Kitson is on permanent loan from ESKOM to the South African National Railway and Steam Museum in Krugersdorp. A ride on this steam locomotive is still possible. Enthusiastic volunteers operate the museum. Their efforts ensure that Kitson "steams" for the public approximately twice each year. Despite the numerous modifications made, "Kitty" is still resplendent in ESCOM’s familiar brown and gold colours closely resembling the original design.

"Kitty" has been used in various film productions over the years.

TECHNICAL DESCRIPTION
Type: Natal Government Railways Class 13
Work’s No: 2 269
Wheel Formation: 4-6-0
Tractive Force (lbs): 11080
Year of manufacture: 1879

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
This information on KITSON comes from research material compiled by Mr. Rick Searle, a retired ESKOM employee.

More information on Kitson can be found in R.V. Conyngham's book on "The K & S Class Locomotives of the Natal Government Railways".


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

PAINTING OF HIGHVELD POWER STATION

PAINTING OF HIGHVELD POWER STATION
An original oil painting of Highveld Power Station by Hennie Maree.
Hennie Maree worked at ESKOM’s Taaibos Power Station, which was situated nearby.
The size of the painting is 2,5m long x 1,5m wide.
The painting can be viewed at ESKOM, Megawatt Park, Sandton.

RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION
Image60_300height.jpg (11279 bytes)


THEODOLITE

A "Rand Model" theodolite used in the United Kingdom by Cooke Troughton and Simms specially for use in the mining industry. Circa 1925.  It was manufactured to a 1913 patent, and was used by the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company Limited from 1925 to 1940.

The instrument is currently on display at Palmiet Power Station.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION
Image61_350.jpg (70379 bytes)

TALLY CHAIN

A survey tally chain used by surveyors at the beginning of the twentieth century to measure surface areas.

It is 100 Cape feet (103,3 imperial feet) in length.

The instrument is currently on display at Palmiet Power Station.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION
Image64_300high.jpg (24195 bytes)

PROPORTIONAL DIVIDERS

An instrument used by draughtspersons for enlarging or reducing the length of lines without use of scales for measurement. Circa 1950. This was used extensively for indicating cadastral boundaries on aerial photographs for the purpose of route planning.

The length of both legs of this particular instrument is 180mm.

The instrument is currently on display at Palmiet Power Station.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

PLANIMETER

The planimeter is an instrument used for calculating the area of irregular figures. Circa 1940.

This instrument was used by the Victoria Falls and Transvaal Power Company Limited Company Limited (VFP).

The approximate length of both legs of the instrument is 380mm.

The instrument is currently on display at Palmiet Power Station.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION

PANTOGRAPH

The pantograph is a precision instrument used for the reduction or enlargements of maps. Circa 1940.

It is based on a parallelogram joined at all four corners, and secured at the prolongation of one side. It was used extensively in drawing offices in the early years of the twentieth century. It has been replaced by photographic methods.

The two long sides of this instrument measure approximately 620mm. The two shorter sides measure approximately 300mm.

The instrument is currently on display at Palmiet Power Station.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page


PLEASE CLICK ON PHOTOGRAPH TO VIEW A LARGER VERSION
Image55_300high.jpg (25591 bytes)

TURBINE CONDENSER VACUUM GAUGE

Turbine condenser vacuum gauge made by Tycos in USA or Canada.

Scaled 0 – 10 inches, and 0 – 5 pounds.

Mounted on a base with approximate overall dimensions 140mm wide x 750mm high.

The instrument is currently on display at Palmiet Power Station.


RETURN TO TOP OF PAGE    Go to the Top of the page

This webpage was last updated on the 24 November, 2008