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archivingindustry.com, created in 2008, currently welcomes more than sixty thousand visitors annually. The site replaced ‘bollee.fsnet.co.uk’, which supported work on engine indicators (then sponsored by the Canadian Museum of Making) and on the Éolienne Bollée (originally sponsored by the British Engineerium).
In its earliest stages, the indicator website was supported by the British Engineerium. Unfortunately, the closure of the Engineerium in December 2005 (and its subsequent sale) left a void that had proved difficult to fill until the Canadian Museum of Making very generously came to the rescue late in 2006.
In 2001, the Museum of Making—a not-for-profit organization—began acquiring machinery and tools which had been used in Canada, Britain and the United States in the 1750–1920 era. The goal has been to create and maintain an accurate source of information about these machines, accessible to everybody from academic researchers to individual enthusiasts.
The centerpiece of the site in Cochrane, Alberta, is 'Mary', a nineteenth-century horizontal mill engine built by S.S. Stott & Co. of Laneside Foundry, Haslingen, Yorkshire, England, for Carr Parker & Co. of Charles Lane Mills. This engine was converted about 1890 to tandem-compound configuration (gaining a new cylinder named 'Tom') and was sold at auction in 1895 to R. Cudworth of Baiting's Mill, Norden, Yorkshire, for £610. There it replaced an obsolete beam engine. The family-owned Cudworth business made a special kind of cloth for many years, but work ceased in the 1980s and the future of the engine which miraculously remained complete was under genuine threat as the factory around it gradually fell into decay.
Fortunately, 'Mary' now graces a purpose-built underground time capsule alongside a collection of machine tools and associated artefacts. These include a superlative collection of indicators, currently being catalogued for inclusion in the museum website.
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