The Maritime History of the Great Lakes
Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 19, 1871

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Mr. Brokenshire's Ship Pump Factory

At the foot of Union street, near the Kingston Foundry, and in close proximity to (sic) the lounger along the wharves of Kingston might see if he had his observing faculties about him, as a lounger ought to have, a small unpretending white sign with the words, "Atlantic Pump Shop," painted in black letters, fastened against, and projecting from, an equally plain and unpretending wooden building. This and some adjoining buildings, are the workshops of Mr. J. Brokenshire, for the manufacture of his justly celebrated ship pump, known as the Atlantic Pump. In this building, dingy looking as it is, has been perfected after years of patient toil and unremitting perseverance a pump which, it is not too much to say, stands unrivalled in any portion of the globe. Mr. Brokenshire has passed through the trials, common to all inventors, in the opposition with rival pumps of rival manufacturers, ignorance of those before whom he wished to bring the principle of his improvement upon ship pumps at present in use, and the difficulty with a limited capital in bringing his invention before the public with sufficient prominence for its merits to become fairly known. Still, like Joyce, in the firm of Clennans and Joyce, with unswerving faith in the truth of the principle of his invention, Mr. Brokenshire persevered and struggled manfully on until at last success has crowned his efforts, and a large business, which is increasing annually, is the reward of his past trials. Agents for the Atlantic and some other pumps, which we shall presently notice, have been appointed at Port Dalhousie, Port Burwell, Goderich, Owen Sound, Collingwood, Toronto, Port Hope, Montreal and Ottawa, and the agents in the principal towns and cities of the United States are doing a large and rapidly extending business. A brief desription will give an idea of the principle upon which Mr. Brokenshire's pumps have acquired their present celebrity:

Description of Pumps

The pumps are all got up on what is termed a mechanical system, and is said to be a great improvement on all others, being well adapted for all purposes where pumps are required.

The novel features of this pump consists, 1st, in having a chamber or reservoir, which provides communication at the bottom with the lower part of the pump barrels, and also with the suction pipes.

2nd - In having the elevated pipe or what is termed the mechanical system, being the suction pipe and being elevated to a given point above the pistons and valves in the pump, by which the elevated water is compelled to descend therefrom through the chamber or reservoir in order to pass through the lower valves, and from them through the barrels to the outlet nozzle, thus leaving the pump to form another vacuum in the reservoir, and the elevated water to very materially assist in raising the water from the bottom of the vessel.

3rd - In having a reservoir as described, the pump is capable of holding its own priming, even thought the valves are all drawn out of the pumps, the reservoir always keeping a supply of water, while the suction pipes which are submerged in the water are always kept lubricated.

4th - Again this pump is capable of being worked either as a suction or a force pump, for putting out fire or both combined.

5th - These pumps are all provided with a hole and plug right over the suction pipes; by the removal of the plug the water can be let off from the suction pipe, through which the vessel can be sounded at will and obstructions removed therefrom.

6th - Another very important feature is that these pumps can be so arranged as to pump water from any desired part of a vessel with the same pumps, having an orifice in the pump above deck, to which a combination of pumps can be attached, leading to either bilge as well as to the centre of the ship, and all can be regulated from above deck by the arrangement of a three-way turn cock, got up expressly for that purpose.

Other advantages might be referred to, such as the application of the brakes or handles in a perpendicular manner, so as to be more particularly adapted for lumber vessels as a saving of room on the ship's deck, but we think the great demand for this pump since its introduction is a sufficient guarantee of its worth. Indeed the demand has so increased during the present season that it has been almost impossible for Mr. Brokenshire to keep up the supply with his present facilities, and we are glad to hear that Mr. Brokenshire has purchased a very suitable lot near the Kingston Foundry, with the view of erecting a building and suitable machinery for his own use another year, when it is to be hoped he will be fully rewarded for his valuable inventions.

Last year Mr. Brokenshire introduced a large wrecking pump for the purpose of raising sunken vessels. It was finished late in the fall of the year, but was thoroughly tested in pumping out and raising the schooner Saucy Jack at Timber Island. A large steamer with pumps had failed, having spent many days in the attempt at a cost of $500 per diem, while the entire cost incurred with Mr. Brokenshire's pumps was only $180, and for this the vessel was put alongside the wharf at Kingston. At this time the pump pumped out of the sunken vessel 95 bushels of wet grain in nine minutes, being at the rate of from 500 to 600 bushels per hour. These wrecking pumps are warranted not to choke with grain, and consequently are particularly well adapted for raising sunken grain vessels. A new pump brought before the public this spring, which Mr. Brokenshire calls the Pacific Pump, has been got up expressly for lumber vessels, and one of its principal advantages is the economy of room. It works with a perpendicular handle, and is considered in every respect to be an immense improvement upon the old pumps used by lumber vessels.

The other portion of the business is devoted to the manufacture of ordinary well pumps, ship blocks, etc.

At present Mr. Brokenshire employs constantly about ten workmen, but such is the increasing demands of his business that double that number would not be sufficient to supply the orders of his customers. Want of building facilities for his work alone prevents him increasing at once the number of his workmen, to obviate which he has to purchase a piece of land at the corner of Union and Ontario streets upon which he intends at once to build for himself the necessary workshops, the plans, etc., being already furnished, and most of the materials ready to commence operations at an early day.

Mr. Brokenshire is an example of what can be done in Canada by intelligent perseverance. He is now on the road to acquire a handsome fortune, and he deserves it.

Shipping News - At Swift's wharf the steamer Picton left this morning to take the Mechanic's Association of Watertown for a picnic to the Thousand Isles. The steamers Osprey, Corsican and Athenian passed passed down this morning, the last with a large number of the Press Association on board. The steamer Norfolk arrived this morning from Clayton and left again at eleven o'clock with a Sunday School picnic party for Yate's Farm.

At Carruthers' wharf the steamer Norseman was towed in by the Mixer from Portsmouth, having had her bottom scraped; she will have her machinery overhauled before resuming her regular trips.

The propeller Enterprise arrived this morning from Port Dalhousie with 22,000 bushels of wheat.

p.2 Struck The Rocks - The Kingston, Capt. Farrell, struck on a rock below Cedar Rapids on Tuesday, sprung a bad leak, and held fast. The passengers, mostly tourists, landed, and were conveyed by other transport to Montreal. Captain Farrell was indefatigable in his endeavours for the safety of the passengers. The place of stranding was known as the Split Rock.

Sinking of the Steamer Magnet - The following are the particulars of the accident to the steamer Magnet, of the Jacques Line:- It appears that the Magnet was coming from Toronto with a cargo of 8,000 bushels of peas and 500 barrels of flour, and on nearing the lock at Cote St. Paul, she, in endeavouring to pass a raft which was coming down at the same time, got her wheel caught by a projecting log, which prevented her reversing, and threw her with great force against the outside pier of the lock, damaging her upper works very badly and starting a large leak. She drifted into the lock, and in a few minutes sunk; the captain and all the crew and passengers were saved. The peas have commenced to swell, and the boat is bursting out, so she will probably be a total loss. A large gang of men are at work removing the peas to barges, and it is expected that the lock will be cleared for traffic by evening. The Magnet is 260 tons burthen, was owned by Jacques & Co., of Montreal, and commanded by Captain Patterson. She is insured for $9,600 in the British North American Company. We have not learned by whom the cargo is owned or whether it was insured, but it will be almost a total loss; probable value over $10,000.

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July 19, 1871
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Rick Neilson
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Public domain: Copyright has expired according to the applicable Canadian or American laws. No restrictions on use.
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Daily News (Kingston, ON), July 19, 1871