The International Steam Pages

Steam Hammers in a Czech Factory

Kevin Hoggett wrote the account below (19th May 2006) to which he has made a few subsequent minor corrections (25th August 2006):

These are more recent pictures of the largest hammer referred to below.

The boiler house has fairly modern boilers. Also of interest are two fairly large Worthington type feed pumps which were not working (there are electric ones as well).

I have sent my Avonside 0-4-0ST boiler to ZOS Ceske Velenice railway works in the Czech Republic (one mile from the Austrian border at Gmund). The enclosed photos show the loco shop with 475.111 in for pistons and valves, and boilers from an Austrian 78 and two industrials. Looks authentic, but this is not working steam. However, I think that the Blacksmith shop nearby definitely is! The shop was built in 1869 and stepping inside is a time machine. All of the hammers (3x) are steam, fed from a large central boiler house (more modern) which also appears to heat part of the town. The steam hammers are used to make parts for the modern coaching stock overhauled her - so not only preservation. One of the photos shows the smiths busy forging a spring buckle on the largest hammer built by R. Fernau of Vienna in 1869, this company also built the smallest hammer! The other one bears the name Brinkmann & co of Warten a/d Ruhr. Are there many steam hammers surviving in Europe, or are these a rarity? Please note that security at the works is tight (as it should be) and casual visitors are not encouraged.

Rob Dickinson