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Hamilton's First Waterworks

Located in: Hamilton
Location #3965

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Location Owner:doom vs
Creation Date: 1/26/2012
Last Updated: 5/14/2014

Hamilton's first waterworks, a magnificent structure built by Thomas Coltin Keefer between 1856 and 1859, now houses the Museum of Steam & Technology.

Let me start by saying this is a sweet visit! $3.50 gets you in for a tour of the former boiler room and pumphouse. You start in the basement and make your way up to an upper level. Only the top level is off limits due to liability with the low railings (dammit). I had seen some pictures online and knew I had to go. Talk about a steampunk wet dream. The Victorians may have had a shoddy record as far as work safety, but damn they did public works architecture proper.

This structure houses two preserved 45 foot high, 70-ton steam engines, one of which is demonstrated each visit. The inside is just beautiful, with curved wooden railings, tall colorful pillars and polished metal everywhere.

The works was responsible for bringing clean water to Hamilton for the first time. It is the only surviving facility of it's time in North America and is noted as Canada's most significant group of pre-Confederation pumphouse buildings.

Just as fascinating is the history provided by the tour guide in an adjacent building. The technology used at the time was cutting edge and this must have been a work of mammoth proportions and planning, yet the concepts used were so simple and ingenious.

I highly recommend this to anyone interested in history, who appreciates old architecture, or just wants some vintage technological eye candy. Your camera will thank you.

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Status: Repurposed
Category: Other


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May 2014
Hamilton's First Waterworks
Created on:5/14/2014
Created by: Motleykiwi
15 photos
April '14
Hamilton's First Waterworks
Created on:5/1/2014
Created by: drifter
26 photos

teeko says:
1/28/2012 11:30:29 AM

If its not busy and you are nice to the staff, they may let you up to the top level. Pretty cool building and engines. They used to use animal lard as lubrication. Between that and the warm temperature of the building from the boilers, you can imagine how bad it must have smelled.

Dave Summer says:
1/27/2012 10:24:13 AM

Great stuff! Love the old machinery.

Adriana says:
1/26/2012 7:06:14 PM

Me likey- great pictures doom!

Derelict Compositions says:
1/26/2012 6:03:49 PM

Very cool Doom!

doom vs says:
1/26/2012 5:50:55 PM

For sure...I was hardly part of the group the whole time as usual, going off in my own direction. I could have stayed another hour easily.

clay70 says:
1/26/2012 5:49:50 PM

amazing machinery and so clean

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On 5/14/2014 5:41:44 PM user Motleykiwi uploaded photos : DSC04529.JPG / DSC04546.JPG / DSC04585.JPG / DSC04586.JPG / DSC04648.JPG / to SID: 5142014143830
On 5/14/2014 5:40:25 PM user Motleykiwi uploaded photos : DSC04500.JPG / DSC04501.JPG / DSC04502.JPG / DSC04503.JPG / DSC04504.JPG / DSC04508.JPG / DSC04514.JPG / DSC04520.JPG / DSC04525.JPG / DSC04527.JPG / to SID: 5142014143830
On 5/14/2014 5:38:36 PM user Motleykiwi created gallery : May 2014
On 5/1/2014 5:50:49 PM user drifter uploaded photos : DSC_3334a.jpg / / DSC_3357a.jpg / DSC_3364a.jpg / DSC_3367a.jpg / DSC_3390a.jpg / DSC_3396a.jpg / DSC_3413sepia.jpg / DSC_3437a.jpg / DSC_3442a.jpg / DSC_3443a.jpg / DSC_3445a.jpg / pano1cutdownsize.jpg / to SID: 512014142517
On 5/1/2014 5:25:39 PM user drifter created gallery : April '14
On 1/26/2012 5:27:46 PM user doom vs uploaded photos : MST 11.jpg / MST 12.jpg /
On 1/26/2012 5:27:09 PM user doom vs uploaded photos : MST 1.jpg / MST 2.jpg / MST 3.jpg / MST 4.jpg / MST 5.jpg / MST 6.jpg / MST 7.jpg / MST 8.jpg / MST 9.jpg / MST 10.jpg /
On 1/26/2012 5:25:47 PM user doom vs created gallery : Steampunk progenitor