List of boiler types, by manufacturer

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There have been a vast number of designs of steam boiler, particularly towards the end of the 19th century when the technology was evolving rapidly. A great many of these took the names of their originators or primary manufacturers, rather than a more descriptive name. Some large manufacturers also made boilers of several types. Accordingly, it is difficult to identify their technical aspects from merely their name. This list presents these known, notable names and a brief description of their main characteristics.

See also


Definitions Points of Interest
  • Admiralty three-drum boiler: the Royal Navy's standardised pattern of three-drum boiler.
  • annular fire-tube boiler: a vertical fire-tube boiler with the tubes arranged radially,[1] such as the Robertson.
  • annular water-tube boiler: a vertical water-tube boiler with the tubes arranged radially, such as the Straker with horizontal tubes, or near-vertically and conically[2] as used by Thornycroft for steam wagons.
  • auxiliary boiler: An auxiliary boiler, on a steam ship, supplies steam that is not used for main propulsion, but is necessary for some part of the essential machinery.[3]
    See also donkey boiler.
    A small boiler may be used as an auxiliary boiler when at sea, or a donkey boiler in port. A composite auxiliary boiler does this, using waste heat from the main engines when at sea, or is separately fired when acting as a donkey boiler.
Thornycroft steam wagon boiler, an annular water-tube with inclined tubes


Definitions Points of Interest
Babcock & Wilcox
Brotan-Defner boiler firebox


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The term is also applied to vertical boilers with other arrangements of tubes, such as those with horizontal fire-tubes.
section through a Cornish boiler
Vertical flue cross-tube boiler


Definitions Points of Interest
  • De Poray boiler: patented French designs with a secondary combustion chamber to improve combustion efficiency. A vertical form of this uses field-tubes.
  • Doble steam-car boiler:
  • donkey boiler: A donkey boiler is used to supply non-essential steam to a ship for 'hotel' services such as heating or lighting when the main boilers are not in steam, for example, when in port.[3] Donkey boilers were also used by the last sailing ships for working winches and anchor capstans.
    See also auxiliary boiler.
  • du Temple boiler: An early naval water-tube boiler, patented in 1876.[5][8][19]
  • Dublin "economic" boiler: a vertical multitubular return fire-tube design, for model engineering-scale uses.[15]
  • Dürr boiler An early naval water-tube boiler, developed and mostly used in Germany, but also trialled in the British HMS Medusa (1888)[20]


Definitions Points of Interest
Egg-ended boiler
with (wagon boiler behind)


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  • Galloway boiler: a Lancashire boiler fitted with Galloway tubes. Originally these fused the Lancashire boiler's original two flues into a single kidney-shaped flue, with the tubes mounted in the joined section. Later boilers kept the cylindrical flues separate and placed the tubes within them.
  • gothic boiler: an early locomotive boiler, where the outer firebox was particularly large and served as the steam dome, often highly decorated with polished brass. These were popular for early railway locomotives, from 1830 to 1850.[24]
This is another form of boiler frequently described as a "haystack".
  • gunboat boiler: similar to the commonly known locomotive boiler, from steam locomotives.
    A horizontal boiler drum contains multiple fire-tubes and a separate furnace. However the furnace in a gunboat boiler has no opening at the bottom of the furnace to allow dumping of ash, the furnace is completely water cooled, similar to a scotch boiler furnace. These boilers were used in early torpedo boats and gunboats, having low height for protection from enemy gunfire.
Galloway boiler


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  • Johnson boiler: one of the first "modern" classes of high-pressure marine oil-fired water-tube boilers. They have a single steam drum above a single water drum. Their small-diameter water-tubes curve outwards on each side to form a cylindrical furnace. As there is no grate or ashpan beneath, firing must be by oil. Return circulation is by external downcomers. Early versions also used water-walls at each end of the furnace, later ones had plain firebrick walls.[4]


Definitions Points of Interest
  • Kier: (sometimes Keeve or Kieve) an un-fired boiler, a pressure vessel heated by an external steam supply, used for bleaching in dyeworks and processing paper pulp. In use they were continuously rotated by an engine, steam being supplied through a rotating joint in the axle. They were usually spherical, sometimes cylindrical, and some were recycled from old boiler shells.[29]


Definitions Points of Interest
Sometimes small return-tube boilers of just this form are also described as "launch-type".
Lancashire boiler
Locomotive boiler


Definitions Points of Interest
monotube boiler (White steam car)


Definitions Points of Interest
Also known as the "haystack", although not the usual, and even earlier, haystack boiler.[39]


Definitions Points of Interest
  • One Atmosphere Boiler: A compact boiler capable of producing superheated steam to over 1000C at one atmosphere's pressure.[43]


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Robertson boiler


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Scotch marine boiler


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Definitions Points of Interest
Yarrow boiler
Yorkshire steam wagon


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  2. 2.0 2.1 Harris, Model Boilers, p. 55 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Harris.2C_Model_Boilers.2C_submerged_multitube" defined multiple times with different content
  3. 3.0 3.1 Milton, J. H. (1961) [1953]. Marine Steam Boilers (2nd ed.). Newnes. p. 60. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 111-115
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 Brassey, Thomas Allnutt (1896). The Naval Annual. Brassey. pp. 118–119. ISBN 1-4212-4178-1. 
  6. Brown, David K (2010) [1997]. Warrior to Dreadnought. Chatham. p. 137. ISBN 978-1-84832-086-4. 
  7. Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 144-145
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Brown 1997, p. 140
  9. Harris, K. N. (1974). Model Boilers and Boilermaking. MAP. pp. 58–59. ISBN 0-85242-377-2. 
  10. Rippon, Commander P.M., RN (1998). The evolution of engineering in the Royal Navy. Vol 1: 1827-1939. Spellmount. p. 29. ISBN 0-946771-55-3. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "Brotan". Loco Locomotive gallery. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Brotan". 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Kennedy, Modern Engines, Vol VI
  14. Clarkson Thimble Tube Boiler Co
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 58-60 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Harris.2C_Model_Boilers.2C" defined multiple times with different content
  16. Kennedy, Modern Engines, Vol V
  17. Milton, J. H. (1961) [1953]. Marine Steam Boilers (2nd ed.). Newnes. pp. 63–66. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 119–137 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Milton.2C_Marine_Steam_Boilers.2C_Heat-recovery_boilers" defined multiple times with different content
  19. Gardner D. Hiscox (2001) [1904]. 970 Mechanical Appliances and Novelties of Construction. Algrove Publishing. p. 58. ISBN 1-894572-37-8. 
  20. Brown 1997, p. 165
  21. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 52-53
  22. "Flaman". Loco Locomotive gallery. 
  23. Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 138-145
  24. Hewison, Boiler Explosions, p. 12
  25. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 158-160
  26. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 58-59
  27. Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, p. 59
  28. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 47
  29. McEwen, Alan (2009). Historic Steam Boiler Explosions. Sledgehammer Engineering Press. ISBN 978-0-9532725-2-5. 
  30. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 60-61
  31. 31.0 31.1 Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 138-141
  32. 32.0 32.1 "German high-pressure locomotives". Loco Locomotive gallery. 
  33. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 1501-151
  34. 34.0 34.1 Ahrons, E.L. (1966). The British Steam Railway Locomotive. I, to 1925. Ian Allan. p. 351. 
  35. Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 138-141
  36. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 56-58
  37. Light Steam Power. XXIV (3): 157–159. July–September 1975.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  38. Kennedy, Rankin (1912). The Book of Modern Engines and Power Generators. V. London: Caxton. pp. 43–45. 
  39. 39.0 39.1 Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 54
  40. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 63,65
  41. Cisin, Harry G. (1921). Modern Marine Engineering. New York: Van Nostrand. p. 84. 
  42. Robertson, Leslie S. Water-tube boilers. p. 38. 
  43. "One Atmosphere Boiler - Superheated Steam Boiler". Micropyretics Heaters Industrial. 
  44. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 63-64
  45. Seikan Ishigai (1999). Steam Power Engineering. Cambridge University Press. pp. 33–35. ISBN 0521135184. 
  46. McEwen, Historic Steam Boiler Explosions
  47. "Schmidt high-pressure system". Loco Locomotive gallery. 
  48. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 167-168
  49. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 57
  50. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 169-171
  51. Greenly, Henry (1922). Model Steam Locomotives. Cassell. pp. 52–56. 
  52. Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 130-132
  53. Hills, Power from Steam, pp. 130-131
  54. 54.0 54.1 Naval Marine Engineering Practice 1971, pp. 8–10
  55. Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 143-144
  56. 56.0 56.1 Stokers Manual ((1912 edition) ed.). Admiralty, via HMSO, via Eyre & Spottiswoode. 1901. 
  57. "Thuile". Loco Locomotive gallery. 
  58. "Velox locomotive". Loco Locomotive gallery. 
  59. "The Colombian Steam Motor Locomotive.". Loco loco gallery.  External link in |publisher= (help)
  61. Britannica, 1911
  62. Hills, Power from Steam
  63. Harris, Model Boilers, pp. 36
  64. Kennedy, Rankin (1912). The Book of Modern Engines and Power Generators. VI. London: Caxton. 
  65. Milton, Marine Steam Boilers, pp. 108-111
  66. Borthwick, Alastair (1965). Yarrows: the first hundred years. Yarrows.