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main image Steam beam engine house, Prestongrange, East Lothian
This steam pumping engine was made by Harvey of Hayle, Cornwall and installed in 1874 to pump water from coal seams at Prestongrange Colliery. It is open to the public as part of the Scottish Mining Museum.

The engine is housed in a stone building. It is attached to a huge, metal, oscillating beam. The opposite end, projecting from the building, is attached to pump rods which draw water from the coal seams below.

Horse, water and wind-powered pumps were used to drain mines in Scotland from the 16th century onwards. The first steam engines were installed in the early 1700s. Later, steam engines were used to pump water, take miners to and from the work-face and raise coal from the mines.

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