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John Danks and Son Ltd Pump Flywheel

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
I'm happy to see anything Danks turn up here from other posters,but don't hold any special expectations.
I reluctantly went out to a nearby garage sale on Saturday afternoon,only a minute or two from home.The vendor had set up a car park area in the back but because we were pretty late I thought I would show my ignorance by stopping in the driveway.
The wife wasn't happy with that idea and so I relented and turned off the track into the yard.
On stepping out her side at the gate wifey excitedly drew my attention to a flywheel being used as a gate stop.I doubt that I might have sighted it myself?
The wheel wasn't in the official sale but I thought I might need to ask the question.There was also a nice little fully rebuilt windmill head amongst the for sale items that followed me home with my new Danks wheel.
When I got home I discovered the embossed makers name under some caked on mud and rust.Being a bit of a windmill buff I cracked a bit of a laugh when I spotted the name!
 

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Paul Richardson

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Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Ok,... so the question remains now!?,...who has the rest of my pump?
Since bringing it home I have had thoughts of restoring it,...no wise cracks please from the purists that frequent here(there are quite a few it seems:rolleyes:),...yes Darryl,you know who I'm talking about:D
All joking aside if I could somehow find the body of the pump itself I would have a crack at making the table/crank etc.
The newspaper article where I found this pic was 1886.I found others of the same unit being made up until late 1890's.Not a very thorough search.
 

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typak

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Last Subscription Date
07/30/2019
There is a similar wheel on gumtree, perhaps it would be worth a ph call in case this fellow has any other parts?...........:)
 

Paul Richardson

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Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
I thought that might happen!And I actually already guessed where the suggestion might come from! EVERYTHING here is on gumtree,..back to the pump!


........**&#***@!! purists!
 

typak

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Last Subscription Date
07/30/2019
Intersting wheel Paul, these pumps appear have been used in a few configurations, the little I read says in different sizes for hand, horse or steam driven.
 

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Darryl

Registered
There's one in a park in Rochester Vic, that is complete. I'll get some photos next time im there. By memory, your only missing a few bolts.
 

Paul Richardson

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Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Yes Darryl 'a few chunky Whitworths only' needed,I have a few spare of those in nos.
I was thinking of getting a few Malley roots and building a "huge fire" to clean the rust off it:D ...ahem!...?.. where were we?
Thanks for the pic Kim.Is the pump in Rochester a table model like in my drawing or a windlass/tower arrangement like the larger one in Kim's photo?
I would be very pleased to get a look at the one in Rochester.
 

Darryl

Registered
Table mount. Same looking flywheel but i couldnt vouch for it being a Danks. Going through Rochy for footy next Saturday.
 

Wayne Timms

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Last Subscription Date
03/24/2019
Hi,

As mentioned previously, if this is the one that was or is painted yellow, I can confirm that it is a Danks.

In fact it has been there for a long time, as long as I can remember. i am surprised that it is still there given all the rules and regulations that councils must follow, unless it now has a fence around it.

Regards,
Wayne
 

Siz

Registered
I know where there is a Danks pump that has the flywheel similar to the one Paul picked up . No hope of getting it ,the cast base has a shearing grinder mounted on it and the rest of the pump is lying under a tree . Still has the handle in the flywheel.
Many have tried over the years with no success.
Cheers
Siz
 

Oil Power

Registered
Paul, you are missing a few parts. This photo shows one of two Danks pumps that can be found in the old Quarantine Station at Point Nepean. Both pumps are of the same design.
Hugh
 

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Paul Richardson

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Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
I know where there is a Danks pump that has the flywheel similar to the one Paul picked up . No hope of getting it ,the cast base has a shearing grinder mounted on it and the rest of the pump is lying under a tree . Still has the handle in the flywheel.
Many have tried over the years with no success.
Cheers
Siz
Siz this subject if you remove the particular makers name has plenty of potential I think for a discussion of it's own?We all as collectors/restorers must have a story or two like yours outlined above?I certainly do!Sometimes the story has a happy ending.Sometimes it takes a fresh face and a fresh approach and then the result can be a surprise?
I told a mate where to find the old Mitchell saw bench transport that was my grandfathers.It once carried his old F&J which was long gone.The owner was not even close to letting it go when I spoke to him,so I put up the white flag and told my mate who had no problems purchasing it.The carriage was later sold without a call to see if I might want it.Another saga of wins and losses.
Hugh,thanks for that photo,i do think I have enough parts to get one like that going,but a hand operated version to me,..please don't think of me as 'collar proud' but,I don't find it as exciting as the table mount type,and now,having seen the high mounted engine driven windlass or apex frame style,i would like one of those even more than the others!
I did find a table from one of these recently,in the hands of another member here,perhaps you noticed that?
The table is currently being used as a restorers work table and as yet I don't know if it is just a single part like my wheel or part of a more complete unit?
I think it would make a terrible work bench,heavy to move,and quite narrow,....I could think of many reasons why a nice angle iron one to replace it might be much much better.:D
Surprised once again at the response,after asking "where is the rest of it?"as usually happens when a rare piece of cast iron comes home,i am now wondering does anyone know of any surviving bits and pieces of one of the tall windlass form units?
 
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Wayne Timms

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Last Subscription Date
03/24/2019
Hi,

This is a size 4, Danks pump. The drive pulley is not original.

I have also seen a size 2 and 3, but never a size 1.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Winchester

Registered
Yes well Paul am I correct in saying that Danks were also manufactures of large ammonia compressors . More to the point I recall that some years ago I sent in a photo to TOMM of a large Danks Compressor that was used as a letter box . I believe the item is still there and more than likely still collecting mail. I dont venture to that part of town but if you wish I can revisit and let you see it .
 

Paul Richardson

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Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Thanks for those photos Wayne,I'm wondering about the table you have,is it the only part that you have of that unit at the moment?Also the #4?...is that pump also one of your own?The main frame looks to be very similar in size to Hugh's example but it's difficult to compare perspective from the pictures (yours/Hugh's) with one having a foreign wheel?
I'm ashamed to admit that I have scrapped a large gunmetal and brass 'badged' Danks siphon pump larger than the example on the #4 pictured.In the first few years of my collecting engines I was also collecting scrap to sell and picked up a very large one on a cleanup job.
The property where I was scrapping had a wrecked Hornsby Akroyd which I purchased and still own.Many of the larger cast pieces were present but a lot of small parts were missing.After the purchase of the engine wreck the owner announced that he was getting a skip to deal with the machinery shed.I immediately offered to join in the cleanup with scrap prices being low at the time and was able to save him the skip fee.The agreement was that all non ferrous and collectibles plus recovered Hornsby parts were mine for the taking but the penalty was that I had to remove the many trailer loads of iron and steel that went with it.
Plenty of Hornsby parts turned up and the large Danks pump was part of my other spoils.On getting the Danks pump home with perhaps a dozen broken windmill pumps I tried removing the brass cylinder from the Danks.My attempts got rougher untill I lost all patience and care and eventually I turned the thing into scrap brass.It wasn't too many years later until I saw an identical one on the rallyground and my regret became a lot worse.
A couple of years ago I located an identical one at a farm clearing sale and watched a local scrappie win it along with a pile of brass.I kept away from bidding against the winner but a mate of mine didn't have the brains to do the same and helped the scrappie drive the price up fairly high.I tried to buy the individual pump from the new owner just after the sale,but it was wishful thinking.At the time iron and steel had just taken a deep slump in price immediately on the back of the scrappie taking on a fresh load of personal debt.At that particular time he wasn't his usual self,and besides that the particular scrappie and I had had some history( I wasn't his favourite person).
By the look on his face he may have been thinking that I was the losing bidder?
I do own a little 2 1/2" pump that was fitted to a very early Metters K windmill which was a gift to me.Although it's not badged I have always thought of it as a more recent Danks siphon pump?The pump on Hugh's photo unit is of that early variety seen in the pre 1900 adverts.I haven't seen one of those first hand yet.
Winchester,I would be grateful if you went to the trouble of chasing up a photo of the compressor?Thank you.As stated at the outset,I would be happy to see anything Danks turn up here from other posters.Apart from the iconic Billabong windmills made by Danks they also created a model named 'Cooee' in more recent times,which is one that I have come across a little bit.From what I can see it has borrowed the design directly from an Aermotor 602 model?
 

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Wayne Timms

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Last Subscription Date
03/24/2019
The newspaper article where I found this pic was 1886.I found others of the same unit being made up until late 1890's.

Hi Paul,

Looking at the history of Danks, The picture you have posted from 1886 has 'John Danks and Sons' on it. I believe that John Danks and Son didn't come into existence until 1889.

I have included a photo of 2 taps, you will note they carry different names, but they are probably from the same pattern and the name was changed when the company changed names.

The second photo is the remains of a No 2 pump frame. There is not much difference in height but it has a considerably smaller footprint and wall section in the casting.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Paul Richardson

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Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Hi Paul,

Looking at the history of Danks, The picture you have posted from 1886 has 'John Danks and Sons' on it. I believe that John Danks and Son didn't come into existence until 1889.
Regards,
Wayne
Thanks for those photos Wayne,as a matter of interest do you know the height and depth of the #4 frame.I am hoping to rough out a clone frame so that I can enjoy my wheel?
Your comment above shook my confidence a little,because I did look at a lot of adverts before choosing a good picture to save,and thinking about the date of the actual newspaper I used had me doubting my quote of the correct era,ie "John Danks and Son" from an actual 1886 publication.
I went back to trove to check and a brief search returned a table mounted "monitor" pump with the badge "John Danks and Son" from a newspaper illustrated article from 15 August 1885.It seems they were happy enough using that name earlier than 1889?I have included the drawing from the 1885 newspaper.Used here I notice this time it carries a subtitle.(this pic is less clear than the one I added in post #2)
I see also on the companys recorded brief history 1889 is noted as the official year for the company to register under the name "John Danks and Son".The year and change also relates to a distinct change in directorship.
A discrepancy that has baffled me just a little since beginning searching is the use of terms 'Pty Ltd' and then the shortened 'Ltd'.I haven't made a close enough study to discern if the 'Pty Ltd' title relates to the pre 1889 '...& Son Ltd' era,or if the usage of both terms have been random enough to have been put down to just poor journalism?
I wouldn't debate any of these details vigorously with anybody as I am only beginning to search out a little of the companies pre 1900 history since coming home with my wheel.
 

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Nathan Woodruff

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Hi I have not really been following this thread closely but it suddenly clicked that I have seen a J Danks pump before. It is owned by the Millicent museum and not really sure much about it. I will attach some photos of the stand and wheel. I think they have the pump that might go with it but unfortunately I don't currently have a photo of it.
Regards, Nathan
 

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