Category:Bowman stationary steam engines

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Bowman's range of stationary steam engines for Hobbies seems to have started with the Demon stationary steam engines, and the Hercules steam engine kits advertised in Hobbies Weekly and Hobbies Annual. Bowman's engines have a reputation for being solid, chunky (some would say "clunky"), and not especially pretty, but very, very reliable.

The Bowman stationary engines were often offered in two versions: an "M'" version (which presumably stood for "Meccano-compatible") with a metal base with punched or drilled holes at Meccano spacings, and an "E" version with a wooden base.

When Bowman and Hobbies eventually parted company, Bowman Models continued to make and sell stationary steam engines themselves, and Hobbies made a deal with Geoffrey Malins (Mamod) to supply them with a new range of engines to sell in their catalogues to replace the Bowman range.

1950/1951 Gamages advertising suggests that Bowman had by this time gone bust, and that Gamages had acquired the stock of unsold Bowman stationary engines to sell at a discount.

1930 Hobbies "Demon" advert:

Put power behind your models

No need to complain now at having to buy a foreign engine which looks cheap and will not go. Here's a little beauty – strong, well-made bright and shining, and, as its name implies, a demon for work. Its gleaming brass boiler, cylinder and flywheel are mounted on a strong metal base which can be screwed down by the holes provided. It is just the thing for driving Fretwork or Meccano models and a groove is provided for this purpose on the flywheel.


Nowhere will you find such sterling value. These engines are British made and are well-built, beautifully finished, as well as safe and reliable. They are supplied neatly packed in a box, ready to use.

The boiler is of polished brass with large water capacity. A safety valve is fitted, and the non-spill lamp quickly raises a big head of steam. The solid brass cylinder and machined piston ensure the use of all the energy and the flywheel revolves at high speed and for a considerable period. Full instructions and filler supplied.

Be sure to ask for "The Demon"!

— , Hobbies Ltd., , Hobbies magazine, , 20th September 1930

~1931 catalogue text:


There is no pastime so interesting and beneficial to the would-be engineer as the making of models, as, whether he builds from raw materials or from such constructional sets as Meccano, Erector, etc., he is faced with the same difficulties as those which confront his big brother. Their common enemy is "friction", and in learning to overcome this mechanical bugbear, the model engineer is going a long way toward fitting himself for real engineering. All models should be designed with this end in view, and having decided on the best and freest design, no bearing should be passed until the moving part will spin round freely with the slightest push.

Bowman stationary steam engines are especially designed for use with such models, the bases being drilled with equi-distant holes so that they can be erected as an integral part of the Meccano crane or other model under construction. it was recognised that to meet all demands, such engines must be sound, simple and powerful at a reasonable price, and we have now succeeded in placing on the market a range of engines suitable for all, from the beginner to the most advanced model engineer, every one of which is up to our approved standard of power and finish. Their success was instantaneous and many thousands of model workers have, for the first time, experienced the joy of seeing their models running under actual working conditions. We acknowledge with thanks the courtesy of Messrs. Meccano Ltd. in allowing us to use their standard drilling.

— , Bowman Models, , The Bowman Book of Steam Models, , ~1931

1950 Gamages adverts


Gamages purchased the Liquidator's entire stock at a discount of nearly 50 per cent.

Constructed of heavy gauge metal, bases drilled for Meccano fittings. Will drive up to 10 models. GAMAGES PRICE 32/

— , Gamages, , Meccano Magazine, , October 1950