Wednesday 27 June 2007, by Roy Gasson
In the early years from 1808 Napiers made a range of Printing presses, in 1842 his own design ’Nay-Peer’ cylinder press was made famous by T.C.Hansard.
In 1833 Napier constructed a machine for making compressed musket and rifle balls, thus improving the accuracy of small arms fire. A number of these machines were sold to the Royal Arsenal Woolwich in 1842.
During 1840, hydraulic machinery was supplied to the Great Western Railway for the Bristol Terminus and was later followed by overhead travelling cranes at the Swindon Works.
Power driven Stamp printing and perforating Machines were produced.
1842 saw work started on the “Automaton” precision coin sorting and bullion balances coin weighing machine, the prototype was supplied to the Bank of England for test, and the following year they purchased three machines, they were also used by Governments and mints around the world.
1848 saw David Napier’s Captains Patent Registering Ships Compass which was a great aid to navigation as it registered on paper the exact course of the vessel over the preceding 24 hours.
The company also supplied to the National Mint of Spain in 1859, with a Large non-condensing Beam Engine.
Between the years 1847 and 1866 a quantity of gun bore finishing machines were supplied to the Spanish Government and the Imperial Arsenal of St Petersburg, work was also carried out for the English Board of Ordnance.
Other items manufactured at this time were tide- gauge measures for the Admiralty, coin machines for the Mints in the UK and overseas, a hydraulic press for hot-pressing, an astronomical telescope, an envelope printing machine, the first postage perforating machines for Somerset House, and a sugar mill.
In 1854 the Crimean War brought considerable orders for Ship reversing gear quadrants, bilge pumps, rifle rods and for boring out thirty foot long cannon with three rifling grooves 5ft long x 5.5 in pitch.