Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Now We're Cookin' With Gas
If it's Tuesday, then of course I must be at the Gasworks Museum again. I think I'm done documenting the bits I want to for now. I really wanted to get a nice shot of the beam engine. Beam engines are the original steam engines, so named for the beam at the top that transfers the power of the piston to the driving wheel. If you're nerd enough, go read a little about the design of early steam engines, it's fascinating. This little engine was one of the original machines in the Dunedin City Gasworks, imported from Scotland in the 1860's.
These steam-powered pumps where what drove gas through the mains pipes throughout the city. The beam engine is in a tight little corner, so was quite hard to get a really satisfactory shot of, but after much experimenting with 3 strobes, I got something I can settle for. Here's an unlit shot from a similar angle:
You may be thinking why I go to all the bother of lighting these things. I'm sure my wife does. All I can say is that if the volunteers who maintain these wonderful old engines can put all that time into keeping them clean and running - and if you've any mechanical experience, you'll know how well-kept this stuff is looking, then I can put a few hours into showing off their work as well as I can. I'm going to make my shots available to the Museum Trust for their website and publicity purposes. There were no other members of the public here again today, and I really would like to help bring people to see it all.
After the beam engine I moved on to the old gas stove display. Not terribly exciting by itself, but after playing with some strobes and coloured gels, I got some fun stuff.
Finally, I got a shot of Stan Read in action. I've mentioned Stan before. He and Bill are the heroes of this place, unpaid volunteers who as far as I can tell, really make it all go.
Bloody good on them, I say.