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Website Design : Simon Potter

On 7th May 1873 Charles Edwin Hammond took out a patent on a novel centrifugal governing mechanism designed to control the speed of a windmill. [Patent No. 1654].

The first of these was fitted into the cap of Jack Windmill at Clayton, and the second in the rear of the bin floor at Windmill Hill Windmill at Herstmonceux, a post mill in which the Hammonds had an interest. This is basically a large centrifugal governor similar in action to the type used to control the tentering of millstones. A belt from the windshaft drove a cone friction clutch system which conveyed its action to the existing striking gear.

This could only be applied to Cubitt's patent sweep control and was intended as an additional refinement to be readily incorporated. Cubitt's method controlled the sweeps by relying on a counterweight load operating the shutters in response to a change in wind pressure via a series of levers and rods. The drawback with this was that power was lost unnecessarily when a sudden gust of wind occurred causing the sweep speed to vary, or if the work load within the mill changed. In this latter case the miller would be required to alter the weight setting to compensate.

Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor

Hammond's governor was intended to override the Cubitt gear whenever the sweep speed varied from a predetermined norm, whatever the wind or load conditions. Two opposed iron cones were fitted to a keyed sleeve. These were, according to sweep speed, raised or lowered by centrifugal weight levers . In turn the small cones drove a larger iron cone backwards or forwards which, via a light shackle chain and pulley, immediately pulled the Cubitt's weight wheel into the 'open' or 'closed' shutter position. The existing weight and chain were retained, acting in a second groove in the rim of the weight wheel. This was used to provide the initial setting and controlled the mill entirely at the idle position in the governor's action. A torque limiter was provided to prevent the existing striking gear being strained as the sweep speed increased.

Mr. Hammond's unique mechanism was used in both mills for a considerable time and was in working order at Herstmonceux mill when milling by wind ceased there in 1892. The concept seems very sound as the speed at which the windmill worked was quite critical especially if, as in the case of Jack, rolling equipment was installed. The wind however, never blows to order and the sort of conditions required to keep the sweep governor usefully employed would only have occurred for limited times. Periods of near still air often prevail even on the Downs.

Extracted from the publication "Clayton Windmills" compiled by Simon Potter and published by the Jack and Jill Windmills Society for the preservation of Jill Mill.

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In the early 1980s this Governor was renovated and installed in a working configuration in Jill Windmill at Clayton by volunteers from the Jack And Jill Windmills Society. It was loaned by Mr R. Buckmaster on the understanding that it would be returned to Herstmonceux post mill when the restoration of that mill reached an appropriate juncture.

Paul Frost (left) from Windmill Hill Windmill and Michael Peat (right) from Jill Windmill lowering Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor

Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor - Photo copyright : The Argus

This photograph
[ ©The Argus ]

appeared in the Argus on Tuesday 24th May 2005
Click here to visit
the Argus Photo sales

In May 2005 the Governor was returned to Herstmonceux.

Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor
 
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Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor - installed in Jill Windmill



Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor - installed in Jill Windmill




Website Design : Simon Potter
Website Design : Simon Potter





Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor - installed in Jill Windmill



Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor - Photo : Paul Frost



Hammond's Patent Sweep Governor - Photo : Paul Frost




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