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On Mighty Arms

Steam Power, Video Production

On Mighty Arms
Steam Power, Video Production

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“On mighty arms, alternately I bear
Prodigious weights of water and of air;
And yet you’ll stop my motion with a hair.”

Lines from a poem of 1725 celebrating the atmospheric engine built by Thomas Newcomen in 1712 at Coneygree near Dudley, which was the first practical steam engine in the world.

The Newcomen Engine house at the Black Country Living MuseumBackground

In 1986 the Black Country Living Museum built the world’s only full-sized working replica of that most significant engine, on a site very close to the original, overlooked then as now by Dudley Castle.

Mike Dunn lighting the fire This DVD shows museum volunteer Mike Dunn preparing the engine, setting and lighting the fire in a cold boiler and checking the equipment.

When steam has been raised, Mike operates the engine manually as must have been done with the earliest prototypes, although the engines were usually run self-acting.

The replica Newcomen engine Hand operation does show the very fine control that is possible, as mentioned in the poem!

Mike has been working and maintaining the engine since 2004 and he uses his extensive knowledge to describe the technical details of the mechanisms and the techniques and tricks needed to work with it safely and efficiently.

Mike Dunn explaining the purpose of the cold water well The hot and cold water circuits are examined in detail and Mike also explains how to shut down the engine quickly in the event of low water in the boiler.

The outdoor end of the beam with pump chain

This DVD was made with the help of the:
Black Country Living Museum.

See their website at

Top of the steam cylinder and piston rod


  • Written & Narrated by Mike Dunn
  • 16:9 widescreen (anamorphic)
  • Running time: 46 mins.
  • £13.45 - DVD (Standard definition)
  • £17.00 - Blu-ray™ (1080i High Definition)
  • Price includes worldwide delivery.
  • ' PAL' and 'NTSC' versions available.

Please choose the disc format you want,
before adding to Cart:
Blu-ray (High Definition)



On Mighty Arms DVD case

Recorded and mastered in High Definition.

Standard definition DVD copies clearly benefit from the High Definition master quality, but this Compilation is also now available in 1080i HD on Blu-ray™ disc !


Please see the 'Sales' page for additional purchasing information.

The images on this page are taken from the video.

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Copyright © 2018 I.A.Recordings, Last modified: 8 December, 2021