Gratitude is expressed to Alan Denney of the Cambridge Museum of Technology in England for supplying the underlying text and for permission to display this image. The museum web site may be accessed via this link. It is a small independent organisation run entirely by volunteer input. Public openings are limited to Sundays 2pm-5pm and Bank Holiday (Steam Weekends) 11am-5pm. The Web Site gives details.

Steam Pump - Mather & Platt - Cambridge Museum of Technology.

Mather & Platt
Horizontal Duplex Direct Acting Pump
Steam Cylinders 14’’ (355mm) Bore.   
Pump Displacers 7” (178mm) Bore. 
X  12” (305mm) Stroke.
Steam was supplied at 120 P.S.I
Steam is distributed by Slide valves. Each Steam Cylinder is fitted with cushioning valves in the exhaust steam passages. The purpose is to cushion the travel of the piston at the end of each stroke. The amount of cushioning is adjustable by turning the small hand wheels on each end of each steam cylinder.The steam cylinders and pump displacers are both double acting.


The pump was installed at the Foster Flour Mills, Station Road, Cambridge. As far as is known, Mather and Platt supplied the pump when the Mill was built in 1902.  Its function was to pump water from a large water tank situated at ground level up into a high level header tank of approximately 10,000 gallons (45,500 litres) at the highest point on the mill building at 120 feet (36.5 metres).  This tank supplied the sprinkler system and the fire fighting water mains around the Mill buildings.

The pump was in service until 1981. Refurbishment work at the Mill saw it replaced by a modern multi-stage electric pump unit.  The Mather and Platt pump was donated to the Cambridge Museum of Technology by the then Mill owners Dalgety Spillers in 1981.  Museum volunteers dismantled the old pump ready for removal to its new home but several years passed before re-assembly could take place and the task was finally completed in 1998.  The pump has been set up as a static exhibit.

The former Foster Flour Mill is still operational, now - 2002 - in its centenary year. It is situated adjacent to the Railway Station in Station Road, Cambridge.