For over 300 years steam has been the driving force behind British trade and industry. Even now, steam turbines generate the majority of the electricity we use every day, both at home and at work.

The Energy Hall showcases an unparalleled collection of historic full-size engines and models. Displays range from the oldest surviving and unaltered atmospheric engine to rotative engines built by James Watt, high-pressure engines of the type pioneered by Richard Trevithick and a steam turbine designed and built by Charles Parsons.

The gallery uses working models and full-size engines, animations, interactive touch screens and much more to tell the story of steam power, its inventors and users, and the extraordinary part they played in shaping the modern world.

On display

Atmospheric Pumping Engine, 1791

Atmospheric engine built by Francis Thompson at Oakerthorpe Colliery, Derbyshire, in 1791.

 
Trevithick's high pressure stationary engine no 14, c 1805.

A unique high-pressure steam engine constructed c1806 to Richard Trevithick’s design.

 
The Mill Engine, East Hall of the Science Museum, London, c 1996

This mill engine drove 1700 power looms for weaving textiles at the same time.