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Report - Nobel's, Ardeer (Again) - Oct. 2009

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by BenCooper, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. BenCooper

    BenCooper Mr Boombastic
    Regular User

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    I know what you're thinking - you're thinking when the hell am I going to STFU about Ardeer? Soon, I promise :) This was a revisit to walk the last few unexplored paths, go into every building I've missed, and hunt down a few loose ends - plus get better pictures of some places for my book project. There were a few bonuses, though...

    First up, one of the four gunpowder presses - GP4 is a "Yankee" horizontal hydraulic press, which was apparently preferred by the workers.

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    GP1-3 are vertical hydraulic presses.

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    GP1 still has the controls, dials etc - it's in the best condition.

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    I found a wee book of photos (see later) - and one was of a vertical press in use, around 1935.

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    Next, onto the detonator test building.

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    A drop test machine - still works :)

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    Next onto the labs - I just really stopped here for lunch, but decided on another wee poke about and found a big stash of paperwork - first some time-lapse photos:

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    Then lots and lots of plans - including the beautiful ballistic mortar, and some plans of the labs. They mostly date from 1912-13.

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    One of the lab plans had a handwritten note on the back: "I have viewed this drawing several times - it is a good one - they were artists in 1912. The drawing helps to tell the history of the Testing Station, because I expect the buildings will be altered in the near future and then no other drawing and no person will be able to recall what is inscribed herein. JH 18/1/54"
    The plans are different to the current layout of the labs, so whoever wrote this was right.

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    I also found a wee booklet - for the 60th Anniversary Dinner for the Foreman's Association. There were a bunch more interesting pictures in there - not at brilliant resolution, but some I've not seen anywhere else. The press one above came from this booklet - here are some others, first the factory gate in 1949:

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    The original nitroglycerine hill and dynamite cartridging huts - probably about 1890.

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    The nitrocellulose department in WW1:

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    Also in the drawer was a big plastic hand - no idea why...

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    Elsewhere, a much better shot of the rotating-mirror camera:

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    A couple of ballistic mortar projectiles, with a slide rule for calculating explosive power:

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    Finally, the silica gel drying stoves:

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    And a storage magazine:

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    More pictures, as usual, in my great big Flickr set...
     

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