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B643 Steam locomotive model, 'Perseverance' type 2-2-2, metal / brass / wood, England, [1850-1935], part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering. Click to enlarge.

Steam locomotive model, ‘Perseverance’ type 2-2-2, metal / brass / wood, England, [1850-1935], part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering

Made
  • 1850-1935
This model is thought to represent the first steam locomotive built for Egypt's first railway of 1854 made in England by Robert Stephenson's company. Called, Perseverance, locomotive builders often named their products after admirable qualities such as 'Reliability', 'Power' and 'Speed". The engine's elaborate decoration is certainly in the style used on early loco's built for the viceroy of Egypt.

The model is a part of the A. A. Stewart collection of ship, mechanical, and railway models acquired by the Powerhouse Museum over nearly 30 years from 1938 to 1963. Albyn A. Stewart was a trained engineer fascinated by engineering models and he constructed some of those in the collection. Others however were brought from amateur and commercial modellers at great expense to Stewart who travelled regularly to England to seek out models. In January 1938, Percival Marshall, the editor of 'The Model Engineer' England's premiere modelling magazine devoted editorial space to the collection where he stated that "Mr. Stewart has been fortunate in acquiring some excellent examples of both screw and paddle marine engines of considerable value as records of real prototype practice."

In April of the same years he expanded his comments on the collection by saying, "As a trained engineer himself, his judgement of the technical merits of a model is very sound, and I should imagine that his collection is now the finest of its kind in Australia, in private hands. Many of the models are undoubtedly worthy of careful preservation, and I hope that they will eventually find a suitable resting place in one or other of the Australian national museums."

Stewart was first contacted by the Technological Museum, as the Powerhouse Museum was then known, in 1933. The then Director/Curator A. R. Penfold immediately recognised the importance of the engineering models and in 1935 began to loan items for display. Penfold expanded the area available for displaying the models as they were seen as instructive for students at the adjacent Technical College as they were for the general public.

In early 1938 Stewart's company 'Lymdale Ltd.' which owned most of the models was approached about the purchase of a large part of the collection. Stewart was appointed to the Advisory Board of the Museum and in July 1938 it began to purchase the models it had lent as well as the best examples in the rest of the collection. The cost of this was estimated at over 3000.00 pounds. By 1943 the museum was still acquiring material from the collection and the Advisory Committee made a special appropriation request to the Minister of Education. "In view of the advantage of retaining a collection intact, and the national asset which the museum possesses, the committee recommends the purchase of the remainder of the Stewart collection offered at approximately 2,400. This sum was approved and between 1943 and 1945 around 80 more models were purchased. Apart from the monetary limitations the acquisition was spread over a number of years because some of Stewart's models needed to be finished before they could be sold.

The high costs reflected the quality of the models. Many of the working steam engines are one-off examples hand crafted by amateur modellers over the course of years. The same is true of some of the ship and locomotive models many of which are made to exact scale and include working parts. The models were carefully collected by Stewart who collected as much for posterity as he did for personal interest. Once contacted by the museum he deliberately sought models which would fill historical and technological gaps and as a result the collection is one of the most significant in still extant in Australia. A. A. Stewart died in 1961.

Geoff Barker, March, 2007

References
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, April 29, 1937
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, May, 27, 1937
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, January, 27, 1938
Marshall, Percival, 'The Model Engineer and Practical Electrician', London, April, 14, 1938
Chalmers, A. Mar, 'The Model Engineer in Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne, January, 1939
Davison, G., Webber, K., 'Yesterday's Tomorrows; the Powerhouse Museum and its precursors 1880-2005', Powerhouse Publishing, 2005
Lavery, B. and Stephens, S., 'Ship Models; their purpose and development from 1650 to the present', Zwemmer, London, 1995

Summary

Object No.

B643

Object Statement

Steam locomotive model, 'Perseverance' type 2-2-2, metal / brass / wood, England, [1850-1935], part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering

Physical Description

Steam locomotive model, 'Perseverance', type 2-2-2, metal / brass / wood, England, [1850-1935], part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering

Model, Locomotive, 'Perseverance' type 2-2-2, 1 1/2 scale, fitted with inside cylinders, feed pumps, reversing gear, and fire bars consist of cross water tubes, on brass rails and polished wooden sleepers, England, [1850-1935].

Dimensions

Height

460 mm

Width

290 mm

Depth

1000 mm

Production

Made

  • 1850-1935

History

Notes

This model is thought to represent a locomotive intended for a railway in Turkey.

In an article published in the "Sydney Morning Herald" on 21 September 1946 (page 6), journalist Ronald McCuaig writes about his interview with Mr A A Stewart in the Director's office of the Technological Museum (now Powerhouse Museum), Sydney. Mr Stewart was the donor of a over 250 engineering models to the Museum's collection, including the locomotive model "Perseverance". In the article, Stewart is quoted as saying of the model of Perseverance: "I picked it up in England. It had been in the show window of some paint people. I think it must have been made originally as a model for a train to be sent out to some Turkish ruler. At a penny a time to make it work, it helped to earn some £20000 for charity in its day."

Source

Credit Line

Purchased 1935

Acquisition Date

19 February 1935

Cite this Object

Harvard

Steam locomotive model, 'Perseverance' type 2-2-2, metal / brass / wood, England, [1850-1935], part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering 2019, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 25 September 2020, <https://ma.as/214381>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/214381 |title=Steam locomotive model, 'Perseverance' type 2-2-2, metal / brass / wood, England, [1850-1935], part of A.A. Stewart Collection of model engineering |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=25 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.